Thursday, November 04, 2004

Lehrer New Hour was excellent

I've mentioned before that I only get to watch half the program each night in deference to others who want to watch Seinfeld. I did not mind as it is usually gets my BP up within a half an hour. But tonight I fought off the channel changers to finish watching a fabulous hour long program. The line up of commentors: Linda Chavez, Warren Rudman, Vin Weber, Harold Myerson, and Willie Brown (via link). I was late getting to post something (dishes duty) and I knew Silent Running had posted on LNH before so I stopped there first. Wind Rider did indeed have a summary and agrees that it is very much worth seeing in its entirety. Be sure to read his post and watch the video when it shows up.

A few of my thoughts on the show. My first impression was "Finally, a 3-2 discussion." and I was eager for seeing a win on LNH for the first time that I can remember. But the tenor and seriousness of the discussion that made this different was apparent in only a few minutes. Criticism and praise abounded but it was professional, statesmanlike and courteous. What every last one of the panelists had to say was worth listening to carefully. There was a tiny exception but I won't dwell on it because even he caught on eventually and changed to keep this a high quality discussion.

A word about Willie Brown. I know bits and pieces about him. I understand he basically ran the CA legislature for years, pretty much ruled over it and nothing was done there except if he approved of it. I did not know how he did it. Now I know, at least in part. He is a fantastic judge of people and knows how to get people to agree. He is also keenly perceptive and can see to the core of an issue. He is amazing in his ability to communicate what is needed.

I do not want to slight any of the others, they were great, too. Linda Chavez should have gotten her cabinet position. She is that good. I remember Warren Rudman and Vin Weber but now only vaguely as I have not seen or heard from them lately (and I am sure that is the fault of the circles I keep.) I do not know anything at all about Harold Myerson though the name is familiar.

Let me go back to Willie Brown one last time. I do not know his place in the political spectrum but if he dovetailed with what was needed for a position in Bush's second administration, if I were Bush, I would consider him. Again, I say that only from this one occasion of seeing him in this great discussion. But he was part of it and a significant contributor to it being so good.

A last note. They had an extended excerpt of Bush's press conference. Since 2000, I have been hard on his ability to communicate. That it always seemed hard for him to say what he wanted or needed to say is not a revelation for anyone. But during the 2004 race, I saw a lot of early Bush and it was not the same Bush. I have this feeling that for four years he held back, watching his every word and being almost too careful. It may have been something his father or Laura told him, it may have been an awareness of the dangers of mistakes like "Read my lips ...." topped off by a concern for not going down in the books as a one termer just like his father. If true, that worry is gone now. I think we will see a much different Bush in the next four years. If true, it will be a very exciting next four years.


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