SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

October 6, 2012

Shribman: Rosy scenarios

(Continued)

This goes a long way in Washington, D.C., as former President George H.W. Bush could tell him. But Romney enters the White House with a burden different from the one that weighed down Obama four years ago.

Romney is more manager than politician — that was evident in his awkward mien and his uncanny inability in recent months to master fundamental political arts, such as the artful dodge and the tactful feint — and it is as a manager rather than as a politician that he proceeds, and perhaps succeeds, in the White House.

America’s political problem today is at base a management challenge — how to adjudicate between polarized parties and among passionate politicians who see compromise as an indication of powerlessness rather than an act of patriotism. The new president trims some of his jagged political edges — all presidents do so, even Reagan — but holds fast to his core principle, which is that the United States government is poorly managed and that its current condition is insupportable and irresponsible. From that assessment, all things are visible and, perhaps, possible.

Analysis

The choice from behind rose-colored glasses remains one between two men of good faith and honor, one with a gift for the inspiring speech, another with a gift for the detailed spreadsheet. Both abjure compromise, but both will have to compromise; the logic of Stein’s Law is too great and the political landscape too complicated to avoid compromise. Both have plausible ways forward but narrow openings to succeed.

In the end, the choice is between two dramatically different conceptions of government — and two dramatically different ways of moving forward.

---

Pulitzer Prize-winner and North Shore native David M. Shribman is executive editor of the Post-Gazette.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium