Obama Dines With Will, Kristol, Krauthammer, and Brooks
The hottest story at memeorandum today is a remake of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” with Barack Obama in the Sidney Poitier role and George Will as Spencer Tracy. Or something like that, anyway. Obama had supper at Will’s Chevy Chase manse and Bill Kristol and David Brooks were on the guest list. As John Kennedy might have observed, this was the greatest assembly of political minds since Jefferson dined alone. The menu and details of the conversation were not disclosed.
Most commenters are not surprised and some, like Dan Riehl, is surprised that anyone’s surprised. As Marc Ambinder observes, “establishment opinion matters to the Obama communications team.” As well he should. He’s never going to get good press from Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh but Will, Kristol, Krauthammer, Brooks and others who make their living as quasi-academic pundits can be counted on to give him a fair hearing. And, besides, it’s harder to write mean things about people you’ve actually met and like. And, as Steven Taylor notes, the tone the chattering classes take “is really going to matter in the coming weeks and months as the stimulus package is constructed and sold to the public.”
Sam Stein, debunking rumors that Limbaugh was in attendance, observes, “Obama has pledged to be a uniter once in office. He’s also said he is willing to take policy suggestions from any source, regardless of ideological affiliation, as long as they work. So far, he’s living up to his word.”
Riehl’s, right, too that, “If you believe Right versus Left down here on the Potomac is at each other’s throats the way the base sometimes is, you probably think professional wrestling is real, too.” Dan thinks that’s why nothing ever changes, which is perhaps true. But it’s also the only way anything gets done. The Framers devised a system precisely aimed at making it very hard to do much of anything without consensus.
Indeed, even kos himself is fine with it.
Why wouldn’t he talk to conservative writers? It’s not as if he shied away from the other side during the campaign, even going on Bill O’Reilly to get yelled at by that old gasbag. Let him try to work his charm with that crowd. There’s little downside.
If highly educated elites can’t even have a civil dinner conversation across the political divide, we’ve got a problem.
Photo: Think Progress.