June 2010

General McChrystal and the Gift of 20/20 Hindsight

Posted: Thu, 06/24/2010 - 7:37pm

Several of us had a debate going on Wednesday morning.  Would the President fire Stan McChrystal?  Would he leave him in charge because change would be too risky?  Or would he kick the can down the road and replace him at some future point?
 
The debate was good-natured, innocent and kind of silly – especially since most of us, in the end, guessed wrong.
 

Covering the oil disaster

Posted: Thu, 06/17/2010 - 4:50pm

As President Obama struggled to assert control over what is clearly an uncontrollable situation, I had the chance to assess the unspooling oil disaster dilemma this week by talking to folks living with it, and folks watching from afar.

If White House officials listened to either conversation, they will detect that their greatest enemy may be the uncapped well, but the second greatest is despair.

Unconventional Wisdom

Posted: Fri, 06/11/2010 - 8:38am

I am frequently wrong. Now there’s an admission you won’t hear that often from someone who makes a living in Washington.

But this most recent round of primary results reminded me of all of the times I have assumed outcomes and wound up on the wrong end of a prediction. There are sitting members of Congress who still give me the hairy eyeball when we meet because I underestimated them once. This is the real reason I am not a pundit. I hate being wrong, and am so good at it.

The Perils of Ambition

Posted: Thu, 06/03/2010 - 5:46pm

On a hot summer day in 2008, I visited the Civil Rights Institute in downtown Birmingham with the man who thought he was going to be Alabama’s first African American governor.