Friday, November 7, 2008
Get Back to Work, You
For about 48 hours, including election day (before any of us knew what would actually happen) people in DC were relational. I'm talking about eye contact between strangers, happy smiles, interactions that you wouldn't ordinarily see on the streets of this tightly wound city.
It reminded me of the days following the Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco. Even though San Franciscans tend to be extremely relational anyway, there was so much more of it following that big earthshake.
Here in DC, we tend to put our noses to the grindstone sooner rather than later. Except here on Capitol Hill where we live in a culture of friendliness, the city has returned to its hard-working, keep your business to yourself mode. In fact I overheard quite a bit of grumbling Wednesday when I was walking around the White House - for good reason. A whole bunch of people are about to lose their jobs. For those who have been out of work for eight years, the feeding frenzy for the jobs opening up will be fierce.
In the midst of all this, I heard someone on TV say that instead of thinking about bi-partisanship, diversity or a balanced ratio of conservatives to liberals as selection criteria for members of his staff, advisors and cabinet, what Obama is looking for is excellence. Excellence. Oh yeah! I'm still smiling.