[Yesterday] President Obama [broke] George W. Bush's record as the administration with the most scandal-free days since 1977. Yes, both Fast and Furious and Solyndra have forced the White House to do a lot of explaining, but they haven't met Dartmouth professor Brendan Nyhan's definition of a genuine scandal — yet.
Nyhan says that political scientists generally see The Washington Post as a solid indicator of elite opinion — so for his study, a problem officially curdles into a scandal once the S-word is used in a reporter's own voice in a story that runs on the front page of the Post. Bush made it 34-months before he faced a scandal in the Post. And as of this morning, Obama has beaten that record.
Not there haven't been plenty of close calls. In the Sept. 27 paper, the words "Solyndra scandal" were printed. But they didn't meet Nyhan's criteria for three reasons: 1) it was in a quote from Sen. Mitch McConnell, 2) it was in an opinion column by Dana Milbank, and 3) the story ran on page A08.
Oh, he'll get there alright. But I fear it'll be too late to mean much. I can only hope that Mitt Romney is taking note of this and planning with some dead Indonesian school boys in his Martha's Vineyard mansion or something. I hear he's got some good advisers, so I'm pretty confident that he'll deliver early in his first term.
You know, though. I hate to say it, but this is why the Democrats should have gone with John Edwards. When it comes to this type of political tradition, that guy is a true visionary.
Photo by Dominic Lipinski-WPA Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Scandalgate, Solyndra, Washington Post