In this week's New Yorker, Larissa MacFarquhar has done a goodly bit of fine sifting, identifying the ingredients to Barack Obama's approach to communicating with voters: "He tends to underplay his knowledge, acting less informed than he is. He rarely accuses, preferring to talk about problems in the passive voice, as things that are amiss with us rather than as wrongs that have been perpetrated by them. And the solutions he offers generally sound small and local rather than deep-reaching and systemic." Her conclusion? Obama is "The Conciliator." Matt Taibbi fans will be tickled by how quickly someone pulls out the ol' "Adlai Stevenson" label. We're just tickled that New Yorker readers will have to do something they rarely do: sit through about nine grafs on the ins and outs of ethanol farming.
Elsewhere, in this week's New Yorker: