Daily Archives: April 2, 2009

Jay-Z. Brooklyn (Go Hard)….

…is brilliant. Brilliant song. Brilliant video. And it supports (RED)WIRE. What is smarter than this, indeed. Watch this.

Michelle Obama is smart. Period.

People are tying themselves in knots with regards to Michelle Obama. On one hand, they want to talk about how smart she is in terms of intellect. On the other hand, they want to talk about how smart she is in terms of fashion and a sense of style. The mistake they make is assuming that these two things are mutually exclusive.

Michelle Obama shows how intelligent she is in any number of ways: what she says, how she acts, and how she dresses. Not only does she have a great sense of style, but she has a way of knowing what to wear, when.

Here she is wearing a cardigan by Japanese designer Junya Watanabe.  A cardigan with an argyle pattern is a very traditional thing to wear, especially in England. But this design is also very innovative and bold. Perfect for whom she was meeting at the time.

Like I said: smart.

(For lots more on Michelle Obama at the G20, see here or here.) Heck, you can go on pretty well any major online newspaper and see pictures of her. You can even see pictures of her husband….what’s his name again? 🙂

LBJ and Obama, or how to govern

LBJ knew how to govern. In fact, the way he managed other politicians, either with carrots or sticks, was famously known as the Johnson Treatment (illustrated quite nicely here).

LBJ giving someone the Johnson Treatment

The NYTimes.com has a good article (Can Obama Be a Majority of One? – 100 Days Blog – NYTimes.com) covering the ways that LBJ governed and what Obama could learn from him. Indeed, anyone responsible for the governing of anything from a country to a small town should read this as a primer on how to win political battles and influence other politicians.

There is one obvious error in the article, however. It says: “Unlike L.B.J., he lacks long-time ties to Congressional leaders, which may be one reason his stimulus plan barely made it out of the Senate”. If Obama lacks those Washington ties, his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, has them in spades. As does his Vice President, Joe Biden. I think it is less the case of ties and more the case that the U.S. Senate is difficult to manage at the best of times. LBJ was “Master of the Senate”: any president is going to come up short compared to him.