Street Fight

Following the Contrarian’s recommendations — nay, exhortations! — I watched Street Fight tonight. It’s a great film, highly recommended.

One thing that struck me, watching the film, is the kind of person it takes to succeed in politics… and governance. We’re about to elect a sitting U.S. Senator to the White House for the first time in almost 50 years. I’ve always been sympathetic to the argument that you need a good manager, a good executive, in the office. But I’m not sure that’s right. You also need an evangelist.

Booker, like most insurgent reformers, is a little insane. Irrationally optimistic. You have to be to do what these guys do, get up every day and push, push, push. Could you have woken up every day for 3 months in Hillary Clinton’s position, going through the rituals of 3 or 4 campaign stops a day, hours and hours in makeup, for what you had to know was a totally doomed effort? I couldn’t.

Good executives know when to quit. I’m not sure the same is true of good politicians.