Parker examines the veeps: Yesterday, Paul Krugman asked a rare silly question: Will the press corps do a good job covering issues of substance during the White House campaign?
Of course they won’t, we thoughtfully said. Today, as if to prove our point, Ashley Parker came along with a wonderful piece of time-wasting.
At this juncture, it’s required by Hard Pundit Law! Silly scribes will waste everyone's time reviewing the possible VP picks. The exercise is utterly pointless, but it serves one key purpose:
It gives flyweights like Parker one more way to avoid real reporting. Her editors tell her to do this.
How stupid does this "reporting" get? This morning, Parker reviews a Pennsylvania campaign event in which Candidate Romney appeared with Marco Rubio.
In our hard-copy Times, her report, accompanied by a large photo, eats the whole top half of page A14. This is the wonderfully silly way this consummate flyweight began:
PARKER (4/24/12): Rubio Is Latest Possible Running Mate to Join Romney on the Campaign TrailParker showcases her skills as a novelist—and as a world-class waster of time:
CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Pa.—Senator Marco Rubio of Florida looked on respectfully Monday afternoon as Mitt Romney addressed a group of reporters in a suburb of Philadelphia. He clasped his hands behind his back, rested them on his hips and folded them in front of him. He nodded almost imperceptibly at the appropriate times and, later, clapped along with the crowd.
As Mr. Rubio campaigned with him on Monday, standing at his side quietly as Mr. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, fielded questions on illegal immigration, he also became the latest member of the up-and-coming Republican establishment to try out as a potential vice-presidential candidate with the party’s likely nominee.
She tells us that Rubio looked on “respectfully” as Romney spoke. From this, we can assume he didn’t roll his eyes or make funny faces during Romney’s remarks.
In paragraph 2, we learn that Rubio stood there “quietly” as Romney fielded his questions. Presumably, he didn’t hum, pop gum or sing favorite songs as Romney took those questions.
Parker wasted oodles of time helping readers know what Rubio did with his hands this day. Just for the record, he sometimes clasped them behind his back. At other times, he rested them on his hips. Or folded them in front of him!
Three or four months from now, Romney will announce his vice presidential pick. Until that time, people like Parker and Lawrence O’Donnell will waste oodles of everyone's time on pointless presentations like this.
They engage in this foolishness every four years. It helps them avoid the thing they hate—the real events of the real world.
Will the press corps examine the actual issues? Kruggers! Why did you ask?
Direct from the world of true bromance: Parker, one of the corps’ top flyweights, got her start as Maureen Dowd’s “research assistant.” This morning, the Dowdism crept in on little cats’ feet as Parker hissed and spat:
PARKER: Though Mr. Romney carefully noted that “the process for selecting a vice-presidential running mate is just beginning,” Mr. Rubio did seem to be one of a series of potential running mates who have campaigned with Mr. Romney in recent weeks. These men and women—including Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Gov. Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina and Senator John Thune of South Dakota—have helped him stump in early primary states, but their presence has also given Mr. Romney the chance to learn who is perpetually late, who might overshadow him, who relates well to him and who, of course, is a great campaigner.This is good, solid, thought-provoking stuff. It comes from the world of true bromance, the silly world Maureen Dowd made.
Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia flew on a small chartered plane in South Carolina with Mr. Romney; Ms. Haley barnstormed around her home state with Mr. Romney, as well, clocking many hours of rallies—and face time.
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio campaigned with Mr. Romney during his state’s primary, and hosted a small dinner with members of the news media and several Romney staff members.
Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, meanwhile, introduced Mr. Romney to Culver’s for butter burgers and chocolate malts, and exhibited all of the telltale signs of a “bromance”; the two laughed and riffed off each other so frequently that Mr. Romney joked about having to deny that Mr. Ryan was one of his sons.
Though Mr. Romney and Mr. Rubio did not share notable personal chemistry and or the easy banter of longtime friends, they did spend some time together on Monday. They met at the airport, and rode and chatted on Mr. Romney’s bus.