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Ecclesiastes-Based Real Estate Advice
Thursday, October 11, 2012 Leather Up
Joe Klein gets this impression from "close Obama associates":
They said he hates doing things that he considers transparently political. He hates the idea of inviting a bunch of pols over to the White House for a drink or a movie, because they'd see it as an obvious bribe. He'd have to fake small talk; they'd try to Holbrooke him. He hates press conferences because the gotcha questions are calibrated to generate heat rather than light. He hates the notion of launching precooked zingers in debates. He hates debates, period, with their false air of portent and stage-managed aggression. These are inconvenient prejudices if you want to be re-elected. Such ceremonies are the price of admission if you want to be a politician.
They're not just the price of admission; they're the way things get done. They are methods of persuasion, tools of governing. People don't mind it when you're transparently political; they like to be bribed a little. If questions are calibrated to generate heat rather than light, then bring some heat. You don't have to be great at all of these things, but you have to give it a shot.
When I reviewed Caro's latest volume on LBJ, this was a contrast that struck me:
No one is exempt from the rules. There's doubtless a sort of audience for this anti-small-talk tendency, but it does not typically include John Q. Swingvoter. I'll be watching next week to see if the President is more dialed-in. If we wants to defend and promote the values he explains so eloquently, he'd better be.posted by Benjamin Dueholm | 12:09 PM
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