Jonathan Alter says that while President Obama goes into his re-election campaign with a weak economy, he still has one asset that hasn’t received much attention: He’s honest.
“How did we end up in such a scandal-less state? … For starters, the tone is always set at the top. Obama puts a premium on personal integrity, and with a few exceptions (Tim Geithner’s tax problems in 2009) his administration tends to fire first and ask questions later. The best known example is Shirley Sherrod, the Agriculture Department official who was mistakenly fired by her boss over a miscommunication that led higher-ups to believe — wrongly — that she had made inappropriate racially tinged remarks. In several other cases, the decision to give staffers accused of wrongdoing the boot was made within hours, taking the air out of any possible uproar.”