Monday, September 13, 2010

WaPo Edit Page: "Almost Everyone Agrees" Rhee Has Been "Stellar"

The Washington Post editorial page is getting desperate when it comes to the DC mayoral race, and now their out-of-touchness has emerged on further display.

The paper already endorsed Fenty for mayor several weeks ago. But in Sunday's paper, the edit page came back to the topic in an unusual final plea ("Preserving D.C.'s hard-won gains"). The piece serves up this logic:
There have been complaints about Mr. Fenty's tendency to go outside the city's political establishment to staff his administration, yet almost everyone agrees that his key appointments -- police chief, schools chancellor, fire chief, transportation chief and more -- have been stellar.
If Fenty's schools chancellor, Michelle Rhee, really was viewed positively by "almost everyone", this reelection bid could be looking much better for Fenty. But she isn't.

Good, recent polling data on the subject is available from... The Washington Post. The paper published a poll that included relevant questions just two weeks ago. From that article:
Talk of Rhee's performance and future is a constant on the campaign trail, but the deep polarization over the chancellor does not give either candidate a clear advantage. In the latest poll, 41 percent of Democrats say her record is a reason to vote for Fenty; 40 percent say it is a factor against Fenty. Among white voters polled, 68 percent say Rhee is a reason to support Fenty, but 54 percent of African Americans consider Rhee a strike against him.
Sure, those numbers for Rhee aren't absolutely terrible, but the explanation there gets it right -- she is the subject of deep polarization.

Jo-Ann Armao and Fred Hiatt are welcome to think Rhee is "stellar" if they want, but declaring that "almost everyone" shares this view -- when the polling is clear otherwise -- is an insult.


At 8:19 AM, Blogger Richard said...

Right on target. The WaPo editorial page has over the recent weeks become a joke as all effort is made to save Fenty and Rhee from themselves. The bias in the writing is palpable. The WaPo is losing its grip - a shame- for what was once a highly respected paper. The paper is dying. Jo-Ann Armao, Fred Hiatt and collaborators are hurrying its demise.


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