Has Obama Adopted the Bush Media Doctrine?

President-elect Barack Obama's close advisers "tend to shudder at any parallels to George W. Bush," writes Mark Leibovich, "but many reporters and rivals have noted the 'Bush-like' tendencies the Obama campaign demonstrated in its ability to control information. The comparison is generally meant as a compliment (albeit a grudging one) by members of the press and expressed enviously by veterans of other campaigns. Plouffe himself admitted to me that the Obama campaign subscribed to the 'Bush model' of communications discipline. Asked if Obama himself spoke of the 'Bush model,' Plouffe told me he did." Like Bush's election campaigns, the Obama campaign's "brain trust was unusually small and close-knit. ... This enabled the Obama team to maintain tight control of its information. They prided themselves on never leaking. ... Obama’s operatives spoke with a single voice and a precise message and only when they wanted to." And, "Like the Bush model, the Obama model also clearly allowed for combat with the press, sometimes extending to punishment." One difference, however, is that Obama plans to maintain a close advisory relationship with his press secretary, Robert Gibbs. Bush, by contrast, kept his press secretaries including Ari Fleischer, Scott McClellan and Tony Snow at arm's length and out of the decision-making loop.


He's not even in office yet. Wait to see what he does. That being said, the Bush approach accomplished its goals, did it not?