07 March, 2015
Five Reflections on my last day at the White House — Medium
Five Reflections on my last day at the White House — Medium: Working in politics generally, and the White House in particular, is largely about trying to separate the signal from the noise — to understand which things really matter and which are distractions that suck up valuable time and energy. One of the things holding back progress in Washington is so much focus on the noise. The political cable-internet machine reduces the entire discussion to questions of optics, tactics and horserace politics. Those things sometimes matter a great deal, but they are usually a distraction from both what people outside of Washington are talking about around the kitchen table (or in their social media feeds) and what actually affects political outcomes. Elections are won, bills are passed, cliffs are avoided almost always because of the big macro-factors about the economy, public opinion, demographics and the individual political interests of all the players. Our politics works better when more people know how to listen for the signal.