In a Transactional Town, You Need Real Relationships
Huffington Blog Post
January 6, 2015
"Why did Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, win another term in the House on the first ballot Tuesday? It all comes down to one word: relationships.
"If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." That line, misattributed to President Harry Truman, has been taken as gospel by scores of politicians, staffers, and operators in our nation's capital. People, including "Give 'Em Hell Harry," would have you believe that politics is nothing more than "you scratch my back and I will scratch yours."
While tradeoffs are an essential ingredient to reconciling conflicting positions, the transactional view in some ways puts the cart ahead of the horse. In reality, genuine personal relationships are essential to create any hope of bridging differences and finding common ground."
Why 2015 Should be the Year of Trade
Foreign Policy Opinion Piece
Photo: New York
January 5, 2015
"Wen surveying the global landscape, there are many reasons for concern. At least two countries — China and Russia — show signs of seeking regional hegemony. Whether your foreign policy goals are to balance power, strengthen global institutions, or advance our ideals, the emergence of an authoritarian regional hegemon should be highly disturbing. At the same time, America's key allies — Europe and Japan — struggle with anemic economies.
Pending trade agreements in both the Pacific and Europe offer the opportunity to strengthen each region's commitment to the global order and boost our allies economic prospects, all while also enhancing America's economic growth and job creation. That is why advancing trade agreements should be the United States' top geopolitical priority in 2015."
Advocating in the United Kingdom
Photo: With Lord Borwick on balcony of Westminster Palace
December 12, 2014
It was wonderful to lead a course in London on Advocating in the United Kingdom. The course included visits to the U.S. Embassy, lectures at the London School of Economics and Oxford University, a Member of the House of Lords, a Shadow Minister from the House of Commons, panels with corporate public affairs executives, NGO representatives, journalists, and visits with public affairs firms.
The Promise and Peril of Falling Oil Prices
Foreign Policy - Opinion Piece
Photo (© Kennedy) - San Sebastian, Spain
December 5, 2014
"The 40 percent fall in oil prices since June will significantly reduce the coffers of oil producing states and oil companies while boosting other countries and corporate bottom lines. That is clear on its face, but they're not the only ones with something to lose or gain from the oil market.
Many shapeholders — the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors that may have little or no stake in an organization's success, but nevertheless shape, constrain or expand its opportunities and risks have seen a shift in their opportunities. One of these actors, OPEC, contributed to falling oil prices by deciding to keep production constant. Let's briefly review the changes impact on three other shapeholders."