[Ed. – We’ll see. The Trump effect has a way of turning these longstanding complacencies on their heads. The nearly 50-year-old myth of the Watergate takedown — the heroic epic journalists and politicians are always seeking to reenact — may well be the next shibboleth to fall. Nixon shouldn’t have been complicit in a cover-up for the Watergate break-in, but the fictional narrative that what he was doing was ever any more than that has been an irritant to the body politic long enough.]
“This is all for the serious history, Mr. President,” Bob Woodward implored, pleading for depth and perspective, but all Donald Trump wanted to do was continue prattling on with his familiar self-absorption.
That self-absorbed prattle, ultimately, was what drove the news in Woodward’s latest book sensation, “Rage.”
But even if Trump spurned Woodward’s invitation to think historically, the rest of us can accept the invitation when it comes to Woodward himself.
The most important historical question about Woodward is: How does he do it?
Over nearly a half-century, no other person—including people wielding official power as legislators or prosecutors—has done as much to illuminate the modern presidency and help shape understanding of the nine people to hold the office during his career as Woodward, wielding only a journalist’s unofficial powers of curiosity, notepad, and recorder.