High Noonan

The hardworking staff at Campaign Outsider had a little fling with Peggy Noonan – as a reader, as a reader – during the 2008 presidential campaign.  Noonan was at the top of her game in her Wall Street Journal column back then, and the hardworking staff – along with NBC’s hothouse anchor Brian Williams – posited a Pulitzer  in Noonan’s future.

Alas, Noonan’s writing has fallen off since then, but her latest WSJ column, headlined “Common Sense May Sink ObamaCare,” is pretty good.  Here’s a representative sample:

The White House misread the national mood. The problem isn’t that they didn’t “bend the curve,” or didn’t sell it right. The problem is that the national mood has changed since the president was elected. Back then the mood was “change is for the good.” But that altered as the full implications of the financial crash seeped in. The crash gave everyone a diminished sense of their own margin for error. It gave them a diminished sense of their country’s margin for error. Americans are not in a chance-taking mood.

Pretty good, except for this:

The final bill, with all its complexities, will probably be huge, a thousand pages or so. Americans don’t fear the devil’s in the details, they fear hell is. Do they want the same people running health care who gave us the Department of Motor Vehicles, the post office and the invasion of Iraq?

Noonan could just have easily written, “Do they want the same people running heath care who gave us Medicare, the 40-hour work week and the moon landing?”

It all depends on how you hold it up to the light.

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5 Responses to High Noonan

  1. gosh says:

    What do you expect?

    Peggy is a Republican speech writer — not a journalist. She took a leave from the Wall Street Journal in 2004 to work on George W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

    The bigger question is why you and other media critics have never taken issue with the Wall Street Journal’s decision to employ a steady stream of Republican party activists as columnists (such as Noonan, Karl Rove) instead of journalists who can be more independent? I imagine there are plenty of conservatives who aren’t involved in Republican campaigns.

  2. Michael Pahre says:

    Regarding Noonan’s DMV phrase, I would respond:

    Do we want a nominee for the Pulitzer Prize packing his/her columns with talking points taken directly from of the Republican National Committee?



    She needs to be far more creative than a recycling truck to deserve a nomination.

    • jcarroll7 says:

      No question, Michael – Noonan is more than flirting with partisan hackery. But even a blind squirrel etc. etc.

  3. Pingback: Peggy Noonan Has Jumped the Shark « Campaign Outsider

  4. Pingback: Peggy Noonan Gets It Right « Campaign Outsider

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