Thursday, September 17, 2009
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee at long last revealed a health care bill yesterday and judging by the sniping from both Republicans and Democrats, it was dead on arrival. Without judging the merits of the plan, it demonstrates just how difficult persuasion can be. Never think that communications are all that are needed to gain support. Persuasion is cajoling as well as threatening and often face-to-face. The White House understands that ringing speeches are not enough, but they apparently haven't yet mastered arm-twisting. When communicators begin to think their job is easy, there are two possibilities. Either they are talking to a friendly audience or they are mistaken. Too often it is the latter.