If you’ve not done your father’s day shopping yet, here are a couple of last-minute items you can get dear old Dad.
For the Green Dad Tree Hugger’s Father’s Day Gift Guide offers silly things (suit made from recycled plastic bottles) and cool things like an electric lawn mower, which certainly beats the noise made by the yard guy’s gas powered gears (I just hate those noisy leaf blowers - doesn’t anyone use rakes any more?).
For the Dad who never grew up the Bierstick is a must-have party “accessory.”
For the political dad, venture over to the John McCain store, where you can find Dad for McCain hats and shirts, This dad promises that if our pastor ever says something hateful and divisive like “GD America,” I will gather my wife and small children and leave the church immediately, and not wait until the polls tell us it’s time to leave. Call me a “bitter” and “frustrated” American who clings to guns or religion, I call it being a good father, being a good leader, being a good decision-maker.
My good friend, Matt Mendelsohn, is not only one of Washington, D.C.’s premiere wedding photographers, he’s a great writer. Being a good writer must run in the family, since his brother Daniel wrote a best-seller, that included featured Matt’s photographs.
Matt uses his blog, The Dark Slide, to feature his photography (like I do at my photography blog) and personal anecdotes (like here at www.moseleyworld.com). I wanted to introduce you to Matt’s blog and share a snippet from his latest post in which he dispenses some advice to Barack Obama.
Lastly, I just wanted to get something off my chest regarding the political news of the day. Because I have clients who hail from both sides of the political spectrum, I usually don’t bring up the election and all. Bad for business, some would say.
But my concern over what is happening with Barack Obama’s vice-presidential vetting committee actually is not rooted in partisan politics but rather good old-fashioned leadership.
If you’re not paying attention to what’s going on (and after the primary season we just endured, you can be excused from paying attention), here’s the scoop: Barack Obama sewed up the Democratic presidential nomination last week, something he’s been fighting tooth and nail over for the last sixteen months, not to mention something he’s probably been dreaming about for his whole adult life. It’s everything he wants, right? And picking a vice-presidential running mate is by far the single most important decision on his plate. With this one pick he could potentially win or lose this election.
So what’s the first thing this candidate of youth, this candidate of change, this candidate of business-not-as-usual does towards this end? He appoints a committee of attorneys and insiders with nary a young person nor outside-the-beltway voice to be found to help scutinize his picks. Caroline Kennedy is wonderful and all, but it’s the very notion of needing this kind of committee in the first place that bugs me here. People often wonder when it is exactly that a candidate of hope and change gets mired in the old school ways of the past and I’m guessing that it’s right now. It’s the point at which you turn away from your own instinct–the instinct that has gotten you to this juncture–and instead turn to the old guard, the elders, the well-heeled for advice. Candidates always love to go on and on about that mother with the sick kid who works three jobs in Ohio but, Lord knows, no one ever seeks her out for advice.
Here’s a terrible example: You’re married for 35 years and you and your spouse finally get to take the vacation you’ve always been dreaming about. Now it’s with in reach. So what do you do? You assemble a panel to tell you what countries you should visit. But don’t you think you should do that yourself? Surely you’ve given this much thought in the last few decades, right? This is your moment to choose, not someone else’s. Surely you have your own itinerary in mind.
Another bad analogy: You’re going to climb Mount Everest and you train for years and years. Then, in order to find the person you trust most on this planet — the person who could potentially save your butt on the icy Hillary Step (wrong, Hillary, folks) — you assemble a group of friends to look for a climbing partner. They give you some names to consider. But again, wouldn’t you –and you alone– know better than anyone else who that person should be? Haven’t you been in the climbing game for years and years?
I am not being naive here. I know that vetting committees have done this for candidates since the beginning of politics. The candidate is too busy and doesn’t have time to look into the souls of his potential running mates, let alone look for potential conflicts of interests like, say, getting extra special interest deals on loans during a mortgage crisis. (George Bush famously looked into Vladimir Putin’s soul and found it to be warm and fuzzy. We all know how that turned out.) But Barack Obama is running on a ticket of change and maybe he needs to rethink some of these old business-as-usual practices. He should be vetter-in-chief here. He’s burning the candle at both end: he wants the advice, when he should be more invested personally, and then when things go south, as happened with Jim Johnson, he pulls a Peter, practically denying he ever knew the guy. All of this makes him look not-in-charge and not-so-loyal at the same time.
This choice is his and his alone. He needs to make it all on his own and he needs to make it decisively– not by committee, not by smoke signal, not under outside pressure.
Be sure you read “Getting the Picture,” Matt’s incredible article - a recent cover story in the Washington Post Magazine.