Thursday, April 24, 2008

The way politics works: a Gail Collins reminder

Gail Collins, who's definitely growing on me, provides a voice of reality in the midst of the endless primary:

Hillary’s Smackdown - New York Times

... Although Obama has seemed way off his game lately, the odds are still really, really good that he’ll get the nomination. The superdelegates are just waiting for him to win something so they can rally. And once the fighting is over, there’s no question that Hillary would rally her supporters behind him. (This is a woman who sat down for a chat with arch-conservative-right-wing-conspirator Richard Mellon Scaife just to wrest an endorsement from his little fringe newspaper in Pittsburgh.) And within a couple of weeks, Bill Clinton would be treating Barack like a surrogate son and forcing him to play golf...

These people are lawyers.

A lawyer is someone who can spend years as a prosecutor, then switch sides with equal zeal. A lawyer is someone who can fight to the death in a courtroom, then go for coffee with the opposing attorney when the trial is done. A lawyer is someone who can rend a surgeon's reputation, then be genuinely puzzled when the surgeon avoids them in the supermarket.

Lawyers are conflict professionals, like salesmen, professional ball players, or genuine military mercenaries. Lots of ranting and screaming and even shooting, but really, it's just part of the job.

Lawyers who are politicians running for the presidency are the consummate conflict professionals.

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