The crowd is amazing. There are city patricians, upscale travelers, romantics celebrating anniversaries, cads with escort-service friends, priests drinking Burgundy and spooning soup past their dog collars. There is jewelry everywhere, evidence of plastic surgery.I think I need to go.
There are Thackeray characters come to life in a modern age. Some have spent too much time in the sun, doing nothing much more than turning the pages of a book. Others, eyes darting back and forth, examine the restaurant and chart customers as handicappers do horses at Belmont: Are the flowers less resplendent than in years past? Perhaps, ever so slightly, yes. Is the carpet threadbare? Not in the least, though those waiters may qualify! Is that a daughter or lover in the corner with that old lion? Oh, please. Have the Montrachet to start?
Obama, like so many Democrats in Congress, has fallen prey to the conventional Democratic strategic wisdom: that the way to win the center is to tack to the center.The essay goes into a little more detail about the specific shortcomings of our current president's style and hits the nail pretty squarely on the head. If you are a political junkie, it's worth five minutes of your time.
But it doesn't work that way.
You want to win the center? Emanate strength. Emanate conviction. Lead like you know where you're going (and hopefully know what you're talking about).
People in the center will follow if you speak to their values, address their ambivalence (because by definition, on a wide range of issues, they're torn between the right and left), and act on what you believe. FDR did it. LBJ did it. Reagan did it. Even George W. Bush did it, although I wish he hadn't.
But you have to believe something.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Boston restaurateur Jae Chung's venture into North County is coming to a halt on Sunday as Jae's Inn closes its doors.Crap.
In a surprise setback for Democratic leaders, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, said on Sunday that he would vote against the health care legislation in its current form.Seriously. If he insists on making the healthcare debate "all about what Joe wants" he needs to find a new political home. It's time for him to lose his chairmanship.