The AP finds a similar refrain throughout President Obama’s five TV interviews yesterday. Regarding his handling of the Daschle nomination: :

President Barack Obama to CBS: “I screwed up.”


Obama to CNN: “I think I screwed up, and I take responsibility for it.”

Obama to NBC: “Did I screw up in this situation? Absolutely. And I’m willing to take my lumps.”…

Obama to Fox: “I take responsibility for this mistake.” He vowed his best effort to “make sure we’re not screwing up again.”

Obama to ABC: “This is a self-induced injury that I’m angry about, and we’re going to make sure we get it fixed.”

The mistake, he said repeatedly in interviews with Charles Gibson of ABC, Brian Williams of NBC, Anderson Cooper of CNN, Chris Wallace of Fox and Katie Couric of CBS, was in seeming to give credence to the notion that one set of rules exists for VIPs and another for average Americans.

More:

The audacity of acknowledging - even emphasizing - poor judgment came in marked contrast to his predecessor. George W. Bush pronounced himself stumped when asked, midway through his presidency, to name mistakes he’d made. Much later, he thought of some.
If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.