Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Woodward vs. Obama, Round One

Back in June, I wrote a New Republic piece about Bob Woodward’s new book on the Obama White House. At the time, I reported that Woodward’s new project was causing agita inside the West Wing.

Now, Woodward is giving the White House reason to worry: his Washington Post scoop on Stanley McChrystal’s 66-page Afghanistan report. I’ve been covering the Obama White House’s relationship with the press since the campaign, and reporters have told me repeatedly that Obama’s message control is as tight, or tighter, than the famously secretive Bush White House. One thing reporters routinely mention is Obama distaste for “process” stories that explain how and why decisions are made. But Woodward–perhaps more than any reporter working in Washington–is the master of process: he can locate and document the internal power struggles that ultimately come to define every administration. The McChrystal Report is the first major national security leak of this nascent presidency, one of many more to follow…

Read my TNR piece, Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack

And here’s my TNR piece on Obama’s thorny relationship with the campaign press corp, End of the Affair


Wolffe at the Door

I have a new TNR piece out on former Newsweek writer Richard Wolffe’s book proposal to write an insider-account of the Obama White House. Wolffe, who now works at Dan Bartlett’s corporate lobbying firm Public Strategies, has been generating headlines in recent days for trying to occupy conflicting roles as both journalist and flack. On Friday, Wolffe guest-hosted “Countdown” on MSNBC, but this week the network said it should have divulged his PR affiliations. And now many are questioning the ethics of his trying to write a reported book about the Obama administration while also advising corporate clients that may benefit from policies passed by the White House.

Wolffe still desparately wants to be a writer. From the piece:

According to a person familiar with the book proposal, Wolffe’s project is titled “30 Days: A Portrait of the White House at Work.” In the proposal, Wolffe writes that he has personal relationships with Obama officials at “the highest level” who have already “expressed support informally” for the project. Wolffe envisions a fly-on-the-wall account of a month inside the White House, where he’ll be “capturing group dynamics and people in action.”
Read the full piece HERE: