Tuesday, October 8, 2013

President Obama's Negotiating Skills...and Ultrarunning

Over at Hecate's blog (seriously, she IS a witch) one often finds novel and interesting things.

Case in point is this post of Hecate's, here,  wherein she takes the President to task for screwing up the budget negotiations with the Republicans.  As a high-stakes negotiator herself, in her "normal" lawyerly life, Hecate offers these tips.  The days are off since this was written but the concepts remain the same:

For most of his presidency, he’s shown a disappointing tendency to engage in a practice that lawyers call “negotiating against” himself. He stakes out a position — generally one that’s already far to the right of what his followers want — and then, without obtaining any concessions in return, simply volunteers to move closer to the Rapeublicans position. More than once. Sometimes, even after he’s won, he’ll change a program to make it more palatable to the other side....With this Congress, Mr. Obama’s negotiating strategies have been disastrous. They simply believe, generally with good reason, that, eventually, he’ll cave to them.)
So, I’m an old woman who didn’t go to HLS and wouldn’t presume to imagine that I could lead the United States. But I’ll still, as someone who’s actually been in the field, practiced law, and successfully negotiated good outcomes for my clients, presume to give Mr. Obama some advice.
If I were sitting today where you sit, Mr. Obama, almost at the confluence of the Anacostia River, the Washington Chanel, and the Potomac River, here’s what I’d do:
I’d announce that, now that the government’s been closed for two days, I’m unwilling to sign anything but a clean bill to fund the government, except that now I also want the Rapeublicans to approve all of my judicial nominees who have been languishing in Congress lo these many years.  
Tomorrow morning, I’d eat breakfast, put on my nice suit, walk out into the Rose Garden (it’s gorgeous in DC this week) and announce that now that I’ve slept on it, I won’t sign anything except a clean bill with approval of all of my judicial nominees and statehood for DC. I’d wave to the reporters, go play golf (include a woman this time, Mr. President), review their homework with my daughters, and get a massage.  
On Friday, after I had lunch at the Palm with my wife (have the crabmeat cocktail and the steak salad, rare), I’d walk up to Dupont Circle and say that I’d been discussing it with Ms. Obama and, now, I’m unwilling to sign anything except a clean bill with approval of all of my judicial appointees, statehood for DC, and a new bill of Elizabeth Warren’s choosing.

Read the rest, here.  It's that good.  You gotta love Hecate's take-no-hostages approach.

Oh, and the link to Ultrarunning, because, see, on this blog I feel obligated to at least occasionally salute in the direction of our hallowed sport even if many or my posts are political in nature?

I often negotiate with myself as I train or race.  If I run, say, the slight uphill to that big oak off to the right of the trail, then I'll allow myself to walk the rest of the hill. 

When I get to to the next aid station--and not before--I'll take of my left shoe and see how bad that sore spot actually looks and whether I need to deal with it or just suck it up until the end.

I'll pass on running today since it's raining but I promise myself I'll run 10 tomorrow.

Tell me why...Is it hard to make arrangements with yourself?

Seems apprpriate.

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