Friedman and Dowd

Today’s paper carries two of the most famous columnists in the Times’ stable:  Thomas Friedman and Maureen Dowd.  Introduce yourself to their distinctive comments in today’s excellent pieces, particularly if you are not already familiar.  Dowd has been a guest speaker with the School of Journalism, with a gift for biting humor (latest book:  Are men really necessary?).  Friedman (Lexus and the Olive Tree, The World is Flat, etc.) is perhaps the most influential columnist in the world–with his most recent analysis based on the importance of the environmental movement to the country’s economic growth.

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6 Responses to “Friedman and Dowd”

  1. Bethany McNeely Says:

    There is something to be said for the wordiness of Obama and his democrats. When asked a question, Biden and Obama seem to almost dance around the answer. Although their policy answers and aims are clear, I think that they would benefit from straight answers like McCain and Palin seem to deliver so boldly and confidently, hence part of their appeal. Freidman gets in right as he worries about the gut reactions of Obama’s voters and potential voters. Where is the democrats rallying cry? What can we count on them for? I don’t think anyone doubts their ability to ‘change’ what is ill in this country, but doubts and hesitation breed from these ‘gut feelings’ that Freidman speaks of. Obama cannot expect to rely on his ability to be a politician and deliver words eloquently and passionately, but he must quickly find a way to put some substance behind his words and raise in people a boil. We need something that we can wrap our hands around and believe in. Drop the public a line or two and put something behind it please.

  2. W. Anderson Says:

    Both campaigns use a highly-practiced type of lingo to get their messages across. That Obama is “wordier” than his opponent is mostly a remnant of bad press given the man.

    I mean, look at Palin’s VP speech; “the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull is lipstick,” doesn’t really harp on any key political points. What are “small town values” anyways?

  3. Nicole Says:

    If anyone is interested, there is a similar article in Newsweek by George F. Will. It is a very different take on our need to connect with politicians.

    Politicians generally run and win with a persona. John McCain has created this image of maverick and a former POV. Obama originally represented someone outside the typical politician and the change slogan went along with it. Now, Palin and time have diluted Obama’s symbol of change. However, the idea of change is still popular, considering how (oddly) the Republicans have adopted it. I think Obama just needs to back his change argument with economic policies and substance rather than create a new slogan.

  4. Nicole Says:

    Correction: John McCain was a POW.

  5. Rachael Abrams Says:

    Friedman was GREAT! I am a big fan of his writing, despite his liberal point of views. I thought it was really interesting to hear what he had to say about Obama. I think most would concur to what he is saying- Obama better step it up or he will lose. McCains decision in choosing Palin is really the one who will bring “hope” and “change” to this country. Friedman is right on!!!

  6. Melissa Macaya Says:

    I really enjoyed reading these two pieces which presented a sarcastic and comical, yet ironically reflective account of the political mayhem we are currently living. I agree with Friedman, Obama has swept the country with inspiring words of “change” adding to an immense momentum. This momentum, however is slowing down and something is missing. Behind that change more actions need to be presented. Charisma and passion can’t be all in filling the vaccum. Like the author mentions, the “gut feeling” came and is passing. Obama needs to hit hard on the topics that really matter and show America that by presenting these important issues the “gut feeling” can still persist. As for Palin, when is society going to stop worrying about what the lady likes to do as a hobby and start really testing her opinions and capabilities to help lead this country? This is an interesting and unexpected race. While I thought Obama’s victory would’ve been a sure thing by this point in time, everything is now up for grabs. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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