Suggestion of the day. Encourage top officials to undertake some basic training in what to say and write in public. Specifically, try and avoid insulting and tactless remarks in print, on camera, in public or in front of journalists.
Alan Simpson, the Republican co-chairman of the president’s deficit commission, has a reputation for blunt speaking, but obviously was not paying much attention when Gen. Stanley McChrystal lost his job earlier this year. Simpson has already apologized for his email, to the executive director of the Older Women’s League, in which he compared the handing out of government retirement benefits to “milking a cow with 310 million tits.”
“When I make a mistake,” Simpson said, “it’s a doozy.” Which at least got me consulting the online dictionary. Nevertheless, there have already been calls for him to fall on his sword.
So much for the Washington scuttlebutt today. More significant perhaps, yet another sign today that the economy might just be heading for a “double-dip” slide back into recession. New single-family home sales fell to their slowest pace on record in July, and durable goods orders were also soft. Lest he seem out of touch on his vacation in the charming resort of Vineyard Haven, President Barack Obama brought his top economic advisers onto a conference call to discuss the latest grim economic data. ”The president is doing everything that we think is appropriate to continue moving the economy in the right direction,” spokesman Bill Burton told reporters.
Finally today, another in our series of Reuters/Ipsos polls, this time from Colorado. Republican Ken Buck, who has harnessed some of the energy and anger of the Tea Party movement, is leading Democrat incumbent Michael Bennet by an eight-point margin. But it’s a different story in the race for the governor’s mansion, where a conservative former Republican has split the right-wing vote and could hand the race to Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. Once again the emergence of the Tea Party is proving something of a double-edged sword for Republicans.