AP Writer: Is Obama Too Spock-like?

<p>Have Associated Press's Seth Borenstein and Chris Matthews had a Vulcan mind-meld? Two weeks ago, you may recall, the MSNBC &quot;Hardball&quot; hosts wondered if the president was just <a href="/blogs/kyle-drennen/2009/11/20/msnbc-s-matthews-finds-obama-s-weakness-he-s-too-darned-intellectual" target="_blank">&quot;too darned intellectual.&quot;</a> </p><p>Today, AP's Borenstein wondered, <a href="http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/412790_obamaspock01.html" target="_blank">&quot;Is Obama another Mr. Spock?&quot;:</a></p><blockquote><p>WASHINGTON -- He shows a fascination with science, an all-too deliberate decision-making demeanor, an adherence to logic and some pretty, ahem, prominent ears.</p> <p>They all add up to a quite logical conclusion, at least for &quot;Star Trek&quot; fans: Barack Obama is Washington's Mr. Spock, the chief science officer for the ship of state.</p><p>&quot;I guess it's somewhat unusual for a politician to be so precise, logical, in his thought process,&quot; actor Leonard Nimoy, who has portrayed Spock for more than 40 years, told The Associated Press in an e-mail interview. &quot;The comparison to Spock is, in my opinion, a compliment to him and to the character.&quot;</p><!--break--><p>Until now.</p><p>Obama's Spock-like qualities have started to cause him political problems in real world Washington. Critics see him as too technocratic, too deliberative, too lacking in emotion.</p><p>Obama's protracted decision-making on a new war strategy in Afghanistan, for example, prompted criticisms that he's too deliberate. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and other conservatives faulted Obama for &quot;dithering.&quot;</p></blockquote> <p>Yet Obama's &quot;egg-headed&quot; nature on foreign policy was not really Borenstein's concern in this article. Instead, the AP writer set out to paint Obama as a very science-friendly chief executive, although Borenstein noted an expert who argued that Republican presidents in general  have been &quot;good to science&quot; and cited a Bush science advisor and registered Democrat, to imply that the media didn't prefer to paint the 43rd president as intrigued by science. </p><p>As Borenstein noted towards the end of his 32-paragraph article:</p><blockquote><p>Obama's science emphasis often is contrasted with his predecessor's perceived treatment of science, especially when it came to global warming.</p><p>&quot;The current administration seems to be more science-friendly than the immediate past,&quot; said Alan Leshner, director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest science society in the country. &quot;That's not a statement about Republicans and Democrats. Republicans have been very good to science over time.&quot;</p><p>That's not fair, said former Bush science adviser Jack Marburger, arguing that Bush did much of what Obama is doing.</p><p>The trouble is the media &quot;simply didn't see Bush as the kind of president who did these things, and his many science and tech related activities were not covered and not well-known,&quot; said Marburger, a Democrat.</p><p>&quot;The Obama campaign played the science card superbly and the Obama administration continues to do so,&quot; Marburger said. &quot;I don't see anything wrong with that. ... It may encourage greater public appreciation for the importance of science, and that is good.&quot;</p></blockquote>

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters