An Easy Way to Tell if You're Good at Politicking

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 9 2010 4:51 PM

An Easy Way to Tell if You're Good at Politicking

A hint: If you tell people you are , you're doing it wrong. I have no idea why President Obama would say this to Republicans.

Now we've got three months to go so we've decided, well, we canpolitick. They've forgot I know how to politick pretty good.

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Oh, sure, he gets to lead the news on a drowsy Monday in August -- we won't hear much about Aqua Buddha for a few hours. In the process he alley-oops the GOP's argument about whether Obama and the Democrats care more about the economy or about their political agenda. Here it is, asked and answered.

Generally, I think the first black president with the middle name Hussein is good at politicking. But ever since the 2004 race against Alan Keyes, with a pause during the 2008 primaries, he's shown an amazing willingness to be baited into unwinnable news cycle spats. This sounds like something George W. Bush would say, only days after the "Welcome to the Recovery" Geithner column, which also sounded like something George W. Bush would say.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.