George and Jeb: The week that was

It was reported, correctly, George Stephanopoulos contributed a total of $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation…that is, former key advisor to President Clinton and now ABC News’ Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos. Oops!

Jeb Bush, brother of W, was unbelievably and completely unprepared for the Iraq War question. About five answers and days later he finally had a coherent answer. Oops!

And so it goes in the inside baseball of politics. Basically, if you’re not really all that concerned with the minutiae of politics a full seventeen months out from the presidential , you likely don’t care. That said, one of the above fumbles could easily live on and that would be a shame.

Not Jeb’s words. It’s too far out to make a difference. If anything, all the pro-war Republicans now turned doves in their animated criticism of Bush, will look like the losers as time goes on. The former Florida governor may have needed a little reality check to get his game face on.

But the partisan contribution George Stephanopoulos made has already cost him hosting a Republican debate and it would be difficult to imagine his hosting a debate between the two parties’ presidential nominees. It is impossible to know just what he was thinking as he plucked down tens of thousands of dollars to Mr. Democrat’s foundation. But we all lose because of it.

Responding to the controversy, former George W. Bush press secretary Dana Perino said that she always felt Stephanopoulos was fair to the administration on his “This Week” program. So ironically the Republicans might lose one of the best, most objective hosts they could have hoped for. But we, the public, lose the most. George Stephanopoulos has few peers when it comes to exacting knowledge and insight of presidential politics. And he truly has been fair throughout his career in journalism.

It would be instructive to remember the late “Meet The Press” host Tim Russert, considered to have been the gold standard in journalism. Russert, before his career in journalism, was chief of staff for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and worked as counsel for Governor Mario Cuomo, both New York Democrats. Stephanopoulos is uniquely in this same mode. But I fear in the echo chamber of political media and gotcha politicians, George Stephanopoulos could easily become marginalized. And that would be a shame. For everyone.

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