A more serious example can be found in some of the news coverage of the stimulus bill. Obama made it his top priority to get bipartisan support for his unprecedented spending bill. The president exerted enormous personal effort to sway House Republicans to his cause but failed to win a single GOP vote, and he even lost 11 Democrats. And yet the Post reported in another front-page article that the Democratic House's passage of the bill -- which was always assured -- "marked a big victory for his presidency a little more than a week into his term." Indeed, it's hard to see how anything short of a crushing defeat would be described as anything other than a "big victory."
Then there's Obama's inaugural address, which was panned as pedestrian by pretty much everyone who hasn't drunk the Kool-Aid and was received as the greatest oration since Henry V rallied the British at Agincourt by everyone else. Leave it to New York magazine's political reporter, John Heilemann, to square the circle. He conceded that Obama's speech failed to deliver the goods, inspirationwise. But, don't ya see, he meant to do that. In a piece titled, "Obama's Spare Inaugural Rhetoric Signals Strategic Mastery," Heilemann explained that the speech was "less than thrilling in itself, perhaps by design."
Since the inauguration, it seems every day brings another article about "Day 3" or "Day 7" or "Day 12.5" of the Obama presidency. And each one reads like a People magazine blog about "American Idol." Everything he does signals hope for peace in the Middle East or race relations or the economy or whatever.
CNN's John King recently said "nobody disputes" that journalists are too enraptured by Obama's historic presidency; he seems to think it will wear off when the serious work of the nation kicks in.
History is not so reassuring. "You are still the most interesting person," newspaper editor William Allen White told FDR at the end of his second term. "For box office attraction you leave Clark Gable gasping for breath."