If you’re hearing the sound of glee in the air, it’s likely coming from whatever direction the nation’s capital lies.
Washington is full of cries of joy, as journalists try their best to sniff out who the author is of a mysterious op-ed that appeared in the New York Times, that was purportedly written by a “senior official” in the Trump Administration.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 5, 2018
Now, the race is on to find out just who the self-styled guardian of the Republic is, who is apparently brave enough to call out their boss, but too scared to reveal himself/herself to the world.
If you need a metaphor to know what kind of drug-like high this is to journalists, just imagine rats being released into a multi-tier maze with one piece of cheese hiding in a corner. The ensuing frenzy is exactly what’s taking place currently in Washington.
The Administration has fired back at both the New York Times and the author, calling the latter a coward for hiding beneath the guise of anonymity:
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) September 5, 2018
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So the big question in the news remains: Who wrote it?
Well, here are some clues that we, at The Political Insider, have gathered so far. Keep in mind: these are heavy with speculation.
First, the Times, despite being the paper of record, basically admitted that the author is a male:
On NYTimes page, they used a pronoun: “he” pic.twitter.com/PHpHym61JC
— mollyswordmcdonough (@mollysmcdonough) September 5, 2018
They have since walked that back.
Second, a Washington Post reporter points out that the op-ed is full of hackneyed language usually employed by either professional op-ed writers or consultant groups:
This NYT piece has every oped cliche possible. Makes me think the writer is an oped pro:
“Don’t get me wrong.”
“put it best”
“reaching across the aisle”https://t.co/WQoJcq0yAS
— Carlos Lozada (@CarlosLozadaWP) September 5, 2018
If you actually read the article, it’s clear the author has experience writing generic pieces for Republican officials. The very invocation of the phrase “free minds, free markets and free people” as Republican principles scream someone who went to a conservative university and was a member of College Republicans.
In other words, this was a Republican factotum from the start, who probably isn’t old enough to have voted for Reagan, but desperately wishes he had.
Third, the author probably isn’t anyone of importance, as Sean Davis points out:
Most who claim to be “senior” officials are nothing of the sort. They’re overwhelmingly mid-level functionaries whose desire to be important far outweighs their actual responsibilities. Sources who must request the “senior” designation don’t deserve it. https://t.co/vdpkYbnLAN
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 5, 2018
Lastly, and this is key, the author – and this is pure speculation – has probably worked for the GOP since the McCain presidential campaign. Take a look at the closing passages from the article:
Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.
We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.
There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.
That kind of language screams a campaign communications writer and someone who probably worked closely with the McCain campaign. The wording is a dead giveaway.
That last part is pure speculation and we can’t be sure. But the Trump White House should begin investigating who among senior officials would have that kind of experience. Especially since John McCain and Trump had a sour relationship, and someone who worked for the former probably has bitter feelings about Trump. (RELATED: Upcoming Documentary Shows McCain Joining Hillary Clinton to Warn About President Trump and Russia.)
So here’s what we know currently: the writer is probably a male, has Republican communication experience, is a middle-management type, and probably has ties to the McCain campaign.
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