One Man’s “Talking Points” Might be Another Man’s Point

At yesterday’s “Health Care Summit,” President Obama frequently expressed opposition to the use of talking points during the conversation.

In our biz, that is to say, the non-political public policy arena of the think-tank world, “talking points” are simply a succinct version of one’s remarks, distilled in such a way as to present information in an orderly an efficient manner. I assume the same goes for the use of the term in business settings.

As it is likely President Obama is not opposed to succinct presentations, his definition of “talking point” must be something else.

Might that “something else” be “speech uttered for political gain”?

My sense in watching the summit was that that President continuously assumed speakers who disagreed with him were engaging in political rather than policy-oriented speech. He could not, or would not, not see that disagreement with his proposed methods could be based on principle.

This says something, I think, about the insular world he inhabits.

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