Since Mitt Romney has developed verbal diarrhea with this phrase, claiming that a “Washington insider” can’t change Washington, it’s gotten me thinking. What is wrong with a president who knows the innermost workings of the Washington machine inside and out?
Think of it like this: Would a newspaper be best served by hiring a news-outsider as its editor? Or would it work better to have someone with experience, news judgment and libel knowledge, someone who knows how to work with reporters and publishers, someone who knows proper newspaper design and composing and can edit a page one story on the fly… well, you get the picture. You could bring in someone who, like Romney touts himself, is a good manager — but they’d have to not only learn the business, but make the industry-wide connections that will enable them to be competitive, craft their dream newsroom team, etc.
So say that a “Washington outsider” is elected president. How much of his first term will be spent learning the intricate inner workings of D.C.? A year? Two? Will he know whom to trust, and who’s bad news? Will he lean too much on advisers to get him through the days?
Because the much-hailed notion of Washington reform brings many a maverick to Capitol Hill — where they learn how the town works before learning how to best fix the problems. Should such a newbie really start out in the Oval Office?
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