Jewish World Review July 25, 2003 / 25 Tamuz 5763

Paul Greenberg

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Consumer Reports

General indecision: Wesley Clark orders breakfast | "Good morning, Hon. You want breakfast or lunch?"

I haven't ruled anything out.

"It's a little late for breakfast."

It might be, but then again, it might not be.

"You want a booth or a table?"

I haven't crossed that bridge yet.

"Would you like to see our breakfast or lunch menu?"

I've never been partisan.

"Well, if you don't want breakfast and you don't want lunch, how about brunch?"

I don't want to characterize it that way. I try to keep everything in balance and proportion. One of the key qualities you try to develop in leadership is judgment. When I led the campaign in Kosovo, or rather over Kosovo . .

"Uh huh. Well, how about some eggs --- over easy, medium, well done, hard-boiled?"

I want to discuss ideas, not processes. I'll have to do an assessment and then give you an after-action report, the way we did at NATO . .

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"These other fellers with you, Hon?"

I've no use for image managers.

"Then what are these fellas doin' handing out those press releases? You runnin' for president or not, fishin' or cuttin' bait?"

I just haven't addressed that issue.

"You boys know our buffet is still open. It's a bargain, if you're short of cash."

I'd rather say we're in the Keynesian-liquidity trap range. We've gone about a far as we can go with monetary policy. Think of it as needing access to information and capital, so we can obtain increased labor-market mobility. What we need is a rationalization of economic production because corporations lack pricing power due to outsourcing . .

"That bad, huh?"

We're going to need a whole plethora of economic measure to get back on track.

"OK. One plethora coming up. Or should we make it two? Something tells me you're not exactly a big tipper. Sounds like you're more of a big talker."

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but there are an awful lot of people talking to me.

"So what are you tellin' 'em - sunny-side up or once over easy?"

I'm sort of being forced to think seriously about it. What's forced me to face the issue is this draft movement. People have been asking me questions. I owe it to those young people to tell them yes or nay at some point . .

"I'd kind of appreciate a straight answer myself."

Right now I'm just trying to create a dialogue . .

"Well, if you need a job, I hear Joe's Radiator Shop around the corner could use some help."

I just haven't addressed that issue. I think it's not a question about process. It is a question about what you believe, and what you think your contribution can be. You'll find me a pragmatic problem-solver who believes in strong ideas well presented. I still think this is more about ideas than about money.

"Around here the idea is money. Anyway, you want fries with that? Grits? Hash Browns? An all-American burger?"

I envision more of an America that's like a park in Switzerland, only grander. We should rejoice in the beauty of this country, the clean air, the beautiful water, the forests, the open range land. When there are no safaris left for the African veldt, people are going to come here to see thousands of buffalo on the open prairie - maybe. All of us will participate as members of an informed, educated, democratically engaged citizenry.

"Beautiful water, did you say? All we got is tap, but it's good. Especially if you're thirsty. Anything else you lookin' for?"

This is a country desperately seeking leadership. I can see that when I travel around the country.

"Uh huh. Hon, you know what? I think I've got just what you'd like - how about a waffle?"

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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