Mark Halperin has a hysterical op-ed in the NYT today, designed to be a mea culpa for the failures of presidential campaign journalism. Halperin reveals the reason behind the press corps' obsession with horse race politics--they all read Ben Cramer's What It Takes--and then admits that success in a political horse race does not necessarily equip someone to run the country.
For most of my time covering presidential elections, I shared the view that there was a direct correlation between the skills needed to be a great candidate and a great president. The chaotic and demanding requirements of running for president, I felt, were a perfect test for the toughest job in the world.
But now I think I was wrong. The “campaigner equals leader” formula that inspired me and so many others in the news media is flawed...read on