Obama and McCain

Turns out our guy isn’t a sore winner.

No surprise, but impressive nonetheless. Turns out our guy isn’t a sore winner.

Obama’s capacity to make nice to Straight Talk Speak With Forked Tongue must reflect some combination of three factors:

1. He actually has the capacity to love his enemies. Some Christians do, you know, weird as it seems to those of us who aren’t Christians.

2. He’s cynical enough, or capable of being cynical enough, to regard all that campaign stuff as a game and not take it personally.

3. He hates and despises McCain as much as you and I do, but has much greater powers of self-command and dissimulation, and is willing to use them to seduce the eminently flatterable McCain into helping him, or at least not hurting him, succeed.

[And yes, I’m ruling out the notion that Obama actually wants McCain’s advice.]

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com