Political Wire – In today’s must-read piece, Bob Woodward, who wrote four books on the Bush presidency, offers ten lessons that President-elect Obama and his team should take away from the last eight years.
1. Presidents set the tone. Don’t be passive or tolerate virulent divisions.
2. The president must insist that everyone speak out loud in front of the others, even — or especially — when there are vehement disagreements.
3. A president must do the homework to master the fundamental ideas and concepts behind his policies.
4. Presidents need to draw people out and make sure bad news makes it to the Oval Office.
5. Presidents need to foster a culture of skepticism and doubt.
6. Presidents get contradictory data, and they need a rigorous way to sort it out.
7. Presidents must tell the hard truth to the public, even if that means delivering very bad news.
8. Righteous motives are not enough for effective policy.
9. Presidents must insist on strategic thinking.
10. The president should embrace transparency. Some version of the behind-the-scenes story of what happened in his White House will always make it out to the public — and everyone will be better off if that version is as accurate as possible.