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Richard Ben Cramer: Displayed Humanity Toward Politicians

Richard Ben Cramer “excelled at the finely drawn profile, from baseball stars to Irish revolutionaries to American politicians”.

Cramer died on January 7, aged 62.

His 1992 book, What It Takes: The Way to the White House, is simply a joy to read.

In this discussion from the PBS NewsHour, Gwen Ifill talks to Joe Klein and Chris Cillizza about Cramer.

Joe Klein on what he learned from Cramer:

“Well, one of the things I have learned is that cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre, that if we are going to do this fairly — we have gotten to the point where writing a positive story about a politician is a very tough thing to do, especially for young reporters.

“And we need to be more humane and balanced and respectful of the people who seek to lead us.”