George Will: Wife’s work on Rick Perry’s campaign doesn’t pose problem

PoliticoABC News
Asked about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s election chances on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, syndicated columnist George Will disclosed that his wife has joined the campaign, then proceeded to say that candidates can recover from gaffes like the ones that have plagued Perry. Will’s wife Mari Maseng, who’s worked in politics for 30 years, is advising the Perry campaign on messaging and debate preparation. Will said on the show that some staffers for Mitt Romney had tried to make an issue about it. Politico’s Dylan Byers notes that Will has used his column to criticize Romney, including an Oct. 28 column headlined, “The pretzel candidate.” Earlier this month, NPR’s Michele Norris said she would step down as host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” because her husband had taken a job with the Obama re-election campaign. “So why is it that in identical situations, Norris felt she needed to disclose and step away from her position to protect her organization from conflict of interest, yet Will didn’t feel the same action was necessary in his case?” asks Robin Marty of Care2. || Related: Chelsea Clinton to become special correspondent for NBC News (The New York Times)

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IMLR4GKWKVS3HXENVKWTCQYSEE Loel L. Lund

    This is “Disclosure ABC Style.”  George Will prepped Ronald Reagan for the debate with Walter Mondale.  The following Sunday Will was on ABC telling us  what a smashing victory it was for RR–I do not recall his revealing his role in the debate. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BDVBJFCDH7LEWBUN3HMUQFVOKU Renfield

    …and Mr. Will has been in the tank for one Republican or another since he helped prepare Saint Ron for the 1980 debates, which is the last time he had anything interesting to say.

  • Mark Kellner

    Uncomfortable, perhaps, but not unethical. Mr. Will has a very long record of punditry, and a Pulitzer to boot. His work can be judged against his record spanning several decades. I imagine Ms. Maseng has encountered similar situations before, and I’m sure that she and her husband have navigated this successfully.

    Besides, doesn’t Gov. Perry have much larger issues to worry about?

  • Anonymous

    That’s true, Mark, but it’s still a bit uncomfortable because of the possibility that his opinion is influenced by his wife’s job. Think of it from the other side–  the Perry campaign will be unlikely to fire Maseng just because it cares what Will writes.

  • Anonymous

    The question is simply idiotic. How can Robin Marty say the situtations are identical? (Now, if Marty is saying that Michele Norris’s political leanings have always been barely veiled, that’s another story.)

  • Anonymous

    Why? Because Will doesn’t have a news organization, obviously, he is a syndicated columnist. Wash Post and others will have to decide if he’s got a conflict.

  • Mark Kellner

    QUOTE: “So why is it that in identical situations, Norris felt she needed to disclose and step away from her position to protect her organization from conflict of interest, yet Will didn’t feel the same action was necessary in his case?” asks Robin Marty of Care2.
    Because they are not identical. Ms. Norris is an anchor on a hard-news radio program paid for, in part, by taxpayer funding. Mr. Will is a commentator and opinion columnist, both of which are not hard news responsibilities.