June 24th, 2008
04:38 PM ET

Dobson, Black and Rove... But what about McCain, Obama?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/24/art.triple.gergen.jpg caption = "James Dobson         Charlie Black             Karl Rove"]
David Gergen
CNN Sr. Political Analyst
Fmr. Presidential Adviser

The latest remarks by James Dobson, just like those yesterday by Karl Rove and Charlie Black, are sure to stir up a public fuss. Every presidential campaign brings these flare-ups when partisans let fly with criticisms about rival candidates (sometimes off the wall, as these seem) and naturally enough, the news media focuses in.

But I wish that storms like these would pass quickly. They are tending to drown out public conversation about issues more central to the next Presidency.

Just yesterday, John McCain offered some interesting ideas about the growing energy crisis (gas prices have now reached $4.75 in some areas around New York City and could hit $5 by July 4), but they were lost in the Charlie Black controversy...

Similarly, Barack Obama yesterday put forward some interesting ideas about working women (e.g., requiring small employers to provide at least 7 days of paid sick leave to their employees, something now denied many workers who have sick children at home), and they, too, were ignored in nearly all coverage.

Last week Obama offered his most comprehensive statement to date about his long-term strategy for the economy; it wasn't a particularly compelling speech - in some ways it was disappointing . But it was completely lost from sight, even in the New York Times, as attention focused on Al Gore's endorsement on the same day as the speech.

So, Dobson, Black and Rove will all come under scrutiny - as they should - but personally, I hope not for long.

Filed under: Barack Obama • David Gergen • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. leslie

    Thanks David, you can help by telling the people who run CNN not focus on it; especially religion. There is seperation of church and state. The american people get cheated every time by the media when comes to covering the issues.

    June 25, 2008 at 7:26 am |
  2. camen

    Well, unfortunately the lines between news and entertainment are so blurred that the media are in a race to entertain rather than inform and we through conditioning and lack of alternative sources are going along with it. In some ways a bit if this cycle is being broken in this campaign, but not nearly enough

    June 25, 2008 at 7:11 am |
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