IT'S THE DAY BEFORE THE ELECTION. A YEAR INTO THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, YOU WROTE A PIECE INTHE NEW YORKER ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S FAILURE TO TELL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE A STORY. HE WAS USING FACTS AND FIGURES TO SELL HEALTH CARE REFORM WHILE HIS OPPONENTS WERE TELLING A STORY ABOUT DEATH PANELS. HAS HE LEARNED SINCE THEN? WILL HE EVER? I don't think so. It's not his strength. Part of Obama's problem seems to be beyond narrative. He doesn't like the fight.
Part of him is a very strange figure, a reconciliator, where politics — at least as politics works these days — it's all about conflict, it's all about victory, it's all about cutting off the ring on your opponent. It's all about extracting concessions. Literally, it's fucking war.
He's better at having narrative during his campaign than he is during his administration. We'll see. Anything is possible.
, Rhode Island School of Design, Junot Diaz, INTERVIEW, More