Monday, January 21, 2013

The Intersection of Writing, Blogging, Speechmaking and Compromising: Why Today's Inauguration Does Not Bode Well for Mr. Obama

Once again, it is the Disease Management Care Blog's pleasure to wish our President the best for his coming second term.  Not like he needs any help, of course. Mr. Obama certainly started things off with a bang with today's soaring and forceful inauguration speech.

Which naturally worries the contrarian DMCB.

In Bob Woodward's tell-all book The Price of Politics, Mr. Obama reportedly  reassured a skeptical Speaker Boehner by saying  "John, I've got great confidence in my ability to sway the American people." 

That was certainly evident today.  He really thinks speeches can win hearts and minds.

Contrast Mr. Obama's oratory self-assurance with his predecessor, Ronald Reagan.  In the book, Reagan, A Life In Letters, it seems our 40th President used the written word to not only hone his communication skills but to internally develop and refine his thinking on the great issues of the day. Armed with that kind of self-clarity, Mr. Reagan speeches were secondary to his far more important skill of compromising without giving up on his principles.

Über academic Pat Thomson says it best: "Binge writing" allows authors to become immersed in a topic "to make sense of it."  Fifty Shades of Gray author, E.L. James, may have expressed it best: “Write for yourself,” she said. "That’s it. And write every day."

The modest DMCB agrees. Its bloggery (just over 1500 posts and counting) helps it better fashion real-world business plans that involve inevitable trade-offs between what the scientific evidence says what should be with what clients have already decided what will be.

The DMCB will never give a speech on the Washington Mall, thank goodness, and it's not like Presidents will ever seek its counsel.  But it knows that philosophic certitude is better tasked to navigating inevitable compromises in the real world, not convincing skeptical listeners to give in.

Let the games continue!