Monday, January 16, 2012

Post / Pro Publica Not Quite Right on Obama

In a recent editorial by the Washington Post(here) that was quoted at ProPublica (here), it is observed that:
Mr. Obama is on track to underperform President George W. Bush, who issued a measly 189 pardons during his two terms in office — the stingiest record of any two-term president since World War II.
We beg to differ with this dramatic observation, for several reasons. Today is day 1,091 in the Obama administration. And, to date, the President has granted 22 pardons and one commutation of sentence. Although it is true that George W. Bush granted 189 by the time he left office (after eight complete years), he had actually only granted 11 pardons by this point (the 1,091 th day) of his administration.

As a result, President Obama is actually ahead of George W. Bush's rather sorry pace.

Second, there is no apparent reason for clipping the context of presidential pardons "since World War II." We now know that George W. Bush was the most stingy two-term president since Thomas Jefferson (that would be president number three).

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