It's going to be a long campaign for Republicans, if the Times covers the rest of the general election the way it covered the beginning. "After Grueling Battle, Obama Claims Nomination," Jeff Zeleny's lead story on Barack Obama clinching the Democratic nomination, opened:
Senator Barack Obama claimed the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday evening, prevailing through an epic battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in a primary campaign that inspired millions of voters from every corner of America to demand change in Washington.
Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?
Zeleny's colleague Michael Powell did gather (one day after it would have made any difference) some criticisms of the Democratic nominee's style and (lack of?) substance that have never appeared previously in a single place in the Times. Powell twice called Barack a liberal, albeit one "whose instincts are accomodationist." Also, Obama has "an ambition that runs swift and powerful" and has no doubt imbibed his Machiavelli. Powell's previous coverage has been as laudatory as any Times' staffer, but some of his Wednesday reflections on the concluded primary campaign were considerably less hagiographic:
Mr. Obama's autobiography...is less a straightforward chronicle than a carefully framed coming-of-age narrative. He describes himself as a young man adrift, although few friends recall thinking him so lost. And he just might have overstated his youthful experimentation with marijuana.