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Saturday, August 25, 2012

My momma always told me

My Momma always told me that if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all*.  Notice the difference

“You definitely don’t want to draw attention to differences [in opinion] at all. You’re not helping the candidate,” said Alan Blinder, who was an economic adviser to Al Gore and John Kerry in the 2000 and 2004 campaigns. “[The candidate] should know that you think he’s wrong on this or that, but you shouldn’t go blasting that to the media.”
“The candidate takes the policy position and you as an individual or economist might have some different ideas but you support the policies the candidate’s chosen,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Sen. John McCain’s economic adviser in the 2008 campaign. “Once the decision’s made, you’re done.”

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Blinder said that one should blast disagreement to the media, Holtz-Eakin said you "support the policy the candidate's chosen."  Blinder's position is consistent with keeping one's mouth shut unless specifically asked (and maybe refusing to answer if asked or even maybe maybe dodging the question if asked).

Holtz-Eakin clearly feels obliged to say things he doesn't believe.  I mean it isn't clear from the quoted passage, but it is clear from his general record.

* (and you can just imagine how frustrating it could be to try to tell that to me -- I don't recall her ever losing her temper over the issue -- my momma is a saint)

1 comment:

Bob Athay said...

Unfortunately, it's not just political hacks who don't understand the difference between a consultant / advisor and an advocate(/ cheerleader). The former provides his best professional judgment to his client, but the client decides whether to accept it or not.The latter makes the best argument he can in favor of his client's position. It's the difference between reason and sophistry.