As someone who’s long had a not-so-secret journalistic-blogger crush on Jennifer Rubin, I am especially interested in a new Ben Smith piece published in Politico.
Rubin, says Smith, is Rick Perry’s “worst nightmare.” Why, from her perch at the Washington Post, the prolific Rubin has written 60 columns about Perry, eight of them on Tuesday alone! Here’s a sampling of the “Rubin treatment.” This from an Oct. 25 post.
The real question regarding Perry is whether he is fit for office… Perry is playing the role of a Texas A&M frat boy, not a contender for leader of the free world and commander in chief. Can such a person be taken seriously?
This is not a problem, by the way, that his staff can fix. This goes to the candidate’s character and judgment. If such a person would stoop to birtherism and secession, and let anti-religious bigotry go without condemnation, where does it stop?
“Almost any other reporter,” writes Smith,
or even partisan blogger, might have pulled a punch on the man who seemed, for a moment, likely to be her party’s presidential nominee, and perhaps the next president. But Rubin, 49, who published her first piece of journalism in 2007 after a career doing legal work for Hollywood studios, makes no pretense of either formal neutrality or party loyalty.
Rubin’s “caustic and single-minded” assault on Perry has not gone unnoticed by the Perry campaign.
“It’s just a very high level saturation bombing from our perspective,” says one anonymous Perry “ally” quoted by Smith. “It’s just duck and cover.”
As the late great Robert Novak put it, “You’re either a source or a target.” Rubin sees Novak and raises him. In her eyes, you’re both a source and a target.” And I, for one, say bravo.
Right-leaning journalists such Rubin, myself and our colleagues here at the American Spectator are not political partisans. Instead, we are partisans for the truth. We are biased in favor of conservative ideas and conservative public-policies. However, we carry no water for GOP pols and party apparatchiks. And so, when they err, we say so.
Jennifer Rubin gets this better than most; and, for that reason, she leads the pack and sets the pace. And we in the conservative movement are fortunate to have her.
This doesn’t mean that I always agree with Rubin, because I don’t. But I respect her, and I value her work, even when we disagree.