The most interesting part of my job is that I get to observe powerful people at close quarters. Most people in government, I find, are there because they sincerely want to do good.
This encapsulates everything that is wrong with the modern punditocracy: getting off on access to powerful people and assuming that these powerful people aren’t crooks and charlatans.
By virtue of writing for this blog, I have gotten a few (though not many) high-level pundit-types to return my emails. And it’s amazing how much they buy into the “if you met so-and-so, you’d see he’s really a good guy even if he compares Obama to Hitler every week on the Sunday shows”. For example, I was once told that I couldn’t appreciate what a decent, serious person Newt Gingrich is since I’d never toured inner-city schools with him.
I’ve never seen this kind of naivete from any group of people other than national pundits.