Episode 123, with guest Ron Fournier and Brad Stone

Ron Fournier and Brad Stone are our guests this week.
Show produced by Katherine Caperton.
Original Air Date: October 19, 2013 on SiriusXM “POTUS” Channel 124.
PoliOptics airs regularly on POTUS on Saturdays at 6 am, 12 noon and 6 pm.
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Show also available for download on Apple iTunes by clicking here

As  Ben White headlined this week on Morning Money, “Our Short National Nightmare is over!”

I’ve tried to give buoy room to the shutdown showdown on this program. The outcome was so predictable, after all. Nevertheless, Jeff Smith spent much of Episode 121 talking about it, and during Episode 122 last week, Matt Mackowiak, Bob Costa and I hashed on it too.

Now we scavenge the leftovers with my old friend Ron Fournier of the National Journal, asking, I think, the more important question: Obama Wins. Big Whoop. Can He Lead?

I’ve wanted to have Ron on the show for a long time. We’ve known each other since he covered Governor Clinton for the Associated Press based in Little Rock. Reading his articles and following his tweets, I feel him — without being partisan but maybe being a wizened observer — imploring the White House, both president and staff, to play the long game and think about their place in history rather than trying to “win the day.” Sometimes you don’t think they hear a thing. Ron has also shown himself over the last few years to be a compelling long-form writer in addition to his AP training of “who, what, when, where, why and how.” His piece on his relationship with son, Tyler — “How Two Presidents Helped Me Deal With Love, Guilt and Fatherhood” — is now being turned into a book. And his pieces on his hometown, Detroit, and his country, called “In Nothing We Trust,” are also must-reads.

Then, it’s The Everything StoreAmazon started out as books and now is the place to go for everything, from replacement label tape to first run dramatic television. As an Amazon Prime subscriber, I ran out of label tape for my Brother p-touch this weekend and, instead of jumping in the car to my nearest Staples, I pulled out my iPhone and ordered up quick replenishment – no gas and no time expended. Brad Stone is the author of the hot new book about how Jeff Bezos is transforming global commerce and doing in a Polioptic way.

Some might think that this book is about technology, startups, the retail business, finance or mergers & acquisitions. It’s about all of these things, but I find it revolves around the idea of communications: how leaders of businesses talk to their colleagues, customers, business partners and even members of their own family…or not. Jeff Bezos looks like a warm, approachable guy. He doesn’t give off the bravado of a Larry Ellison or a too-cool-for-school Steve Jobs. And yet, when you read Brad Stone’s book, he’s every bit as ruthless and unsparing when it comes to unvarnished communication.

Brad joins us at about halfway through the hour.


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