There’s been a dearth of Biden process stories, especially compared to Trump. What does that mean? https://t.co/N2Waif50hw
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) May 18, 2021
Keep in mind: Drezner, author of the #Toddler-in-Chief thread/book, is a professor of international relations, not a journalist:
… The surfeit of Trump dirt raises an interesting question: Where are the stories dripping with insider details about how President Biden runs his White House?…
Let’s start with the lack of stories. The brute fact on the ground is that Biden is considerably more mature and less erratic than Trump. Biden’s staff is also clearly more cohesive and simpatico with Biden’s policy preferences than was the case with the Toddler in Chief. All else equal, the supply of bad-presidential-behavior stories should be smaller than it was in 2017.
The easy conservative narrative is that the mainstream media is in bed with the Biden administration. The trouble with that line of attack is that even GOP strategists are acknowledging that it’s really, really tough to attack Biden’s presidential style.
Stories about presidential dysfunction are likelier to emerge when an administration commits an own-goal or when an ideological faction loses a policy debate. A bad news cycle incentivizes staffers to explain to reporters how something was not their fault. Losing out on a policy decision gives some policymakers an incentive to go to the press. In the Biden White House, there has been little of the former and only one prominent example of the latter.
[The ‘prominent example’ is Larry Summers. Who should be ignored, for every possible reason.]
So there has been a virtuous circle within the Biden team. The lack of stumbles have led to fewer process stories, which in turn has reinforced a reputation of the Biden White House as a tight ship, disincentivizing further leaking…