"What Does Independent Mean, Anyway?"

Read between the lines of Andy Rotherham's latest post and I think you'll see two things: furious backpedalling and a belated attempt at self-preservation.


First, Rotherham tries to backpedal away from arguments about Jennings spinning the report that haven't stood up to scrutiny (and about which no one else -- including Jenning's main critic -- concurs).
I guess I was just blogging too fast, but that's why all of a sudden he's arguing the negative coverage is not Jennings or CEP's fault but rather "sloppy consumption" of research. What happened to the hinky press release?

The second half of the post hints at the belated realization that many of the same arguments and concerns Rotherham has been raising about Jennings could just as easily be turned on himself. After all, Rotherham is not just "a Democrat" like he says. He's scant months away from working for an arm of the Democratic party and currently an appointee of Democratic Governor Mark Warner.
That's where the throat-clearing, self-protective "honest broker" rhetoric, and Clintonesque hair-splitting about "What does independent mean, anyway?" comes from.

Of course, this doesn't mean Rotherham can't do good work -- it just means that he probably shouldn't be first out of the gate to raise questions about Jennings' background, ideology, or research standards. Rotherham still can't quite stop himself from trying to make it seem like he's any different from Jennings, but there's little wind in those sails.


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