As the Democrat-loving media pile on California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman over the illegal alien status of her former housekeeper, a strange thing happened at the New York Times Friday: columnist David Brooks published a positive piece about the former eBay CEO.
In fact, "The Austerity Caucus" never mentioned this new scandal that has most mainstream media members doing backflips.
Instead, Brooks presented a surprisingly even portrait of an extremely intelligent woman always ready to spout off facts about an issue with lightning speed:
Whitman seems to have led a sober, performance-oriented life. She began her career at a string of traditional companies: Procter & Gamble, FTD florists and Hasbro. Then, in 1998, she took the leap to a ramshackle company called Auction Web, which became eBay. Even as annual revenues surged from $6 million to somewhere north of infinity, she could have won an award for Most Likely to Avoid Irrational Exuberance. She was the grown-up chief executive hired to look after financial discipline, management structure, customer analysis and other spheres of eat-your-veggies sensibleness. [...]
Whitman doesn't exactly soar into the realm of poetry when she talks about what she'd like to do if elected governor. But if you ask her about the need for earthquake-proof water levies or the intricacies of budget rules, you will be greeted with a torrent of figures.
She talks fast, begins too many sentences with "So..." and holds out her hands while counting off points on her fingers. Problems with the tax code? Four fingers pop up and four quick proposals follow. Problems with the State Legislature? Four fingers and four data points. Television doesn't quite capture how physically imposing she can be, and how locomotivelike she is when focused and resolved.
Pretty flattering given the scandal that rocked this campaign days ago.
Brooks then described what he believes is a new movement in the Republican Party: sober thinkers like Whitman looking to intelligently analyze budgets in order to save taxpayers money.
These include Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (who Brooks believes will be the Republican nominee for president in 2012), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
After addressing successful cost-cutting measures employed by Christie since taking over New Jersey, Brooks moved back to California:
Whitman has brought Christie to California to campaign for her and says he offers a roadmap of where she'd like to go. It's not clear that Whitman has as deft an enactment strategy as Christie does. It's also not clear that Californians are as alarmed about their fiscal mess as people in New Jersey.
But Whitman has the personality type that you're seeing more and more of these days. Not big picture, like Reagan. Not an idea volcano, like Gingrich. Not a straightforward man of faith, like George W. Bush. The quintessential New Republican is detail-oriented, managerial, tough-minded, effective but a little dry. If Whitman wins her race, she'll fit right in.
Pretty shocking given the current media hyperventilation concerning Whitman's housekeeper, wouldn't you agree?