Episode 159, with guests Michael Shear and Stephen Grand

Michael Shear and Stephen Grand are our guests this week.
Show produced by Katherine Caperton.
Original Air Date: July 12, 2014 on SiriusXM “POTUS” Channel 124.
PoliOptics airs on POTUS on Saturdays at 8 am & 6 pm, Sundays at 4 am & 5 pm and Mondays at 2 am.
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Show also available for download on Apple iTunes and other streaming services.

President Obama and Texas Gov. Rick Perry

This week saw a real polioptical kerfuffle break out. (That is likely the first time those words, one of them a neologism, have ever appeared in a sentence.) Republicans (and one Democrat) attacked President Obama for his failure to take part in a photo-op. In particular, they were exercised over the White House decision not to send the President to see the crisis in unaccompanied children crossing the border as part of his trip to Texas. All kinds of fulminating ensued.

 We talk about this question that goes to the heart of polioptics with Mike Shear, a longtime political reporter who is now a White House correspondent for the New York Times. Before arriving at the Grey Lady, Mike was at the Washington Post for many years, covering Obama, the 2008 Republicans (Remember them? They were a hoot.), and Virginia politics. Mike got to cover then-Senator George Allen’s own polioptical catastrophe – the infamous “Maccacca Moment.”


Our second guest is Stephen Grand, an academic, think tank denizen, Hill staffer, book author, and all-around expert on things relating both to the Arab world and to emerging democracies.

Steve’s new book offers a fascinating look at the often messy process when democracies are born at what that might mean in the wake of the Arab Spring (and now, alas, the Arab Winter).



We cap off the show with a visit from founder, guiding light, and host Josh King with a special announcement about the future of Polioptics.

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