Can Bill Daley “Get Capone?”

Five questions to get Bill Daley started as White House Chief of Staff.

1. Can you think differently about connecting people and jobs? There’s a missing piece in the process right now. Experience, connections, and education are no longer predictors of future success. The job market is not a rational marketplace. No one runs down to the store and picks up a six-pack and a job. Do you know how to start Thinking Differently about Getting Hired? Because pretty much EVERYONE either needs that themselves or knows someone who does.

2. How will you replace consensus with principles? Lets pretend (or “envision” if you went to graduate school) that we just got a news flash from Mars announcing that consensus alone as an end point is not such a good idea after all. Turns out that the Martians (besides having cable companies that don’t rip you off and health insurance as good as Sweden’s) figured out that when everyone steps to the center of an argument, just to end the argument, then everyone loses. What the Martians discovered was that when they took a principle like this one: “We are all connected,” they simply couldn’t put that principle into action by ONLY using consensus. The Martians found out that as brothers and sisters, we are all, personally, anywhere from 1-5 “incidents” away from personal ruin. For example, lets say my 5 incidents were: 1. Job loss, 2. Divorce, 3. Health problem, and 4. House loss and 5. Hunger. That’s 5 incidents. Some folks are 1 incident away. Some 2. So we’re all connected and all just an incident or two away from personal ruin. What do you suppose the odds are or a centrist position helping that situation? And even worse; what if one side of the argument was negotiating in bad faith? So what the Martians did was to say—forget consensus. Forget “the middle.” What’s are the real principles we have in common? And how do we make them real?

3. Can you stop playing “whack a mole?” When you see one problem rising up under the expensive Turkish rug I’m just guessing will be in your office, did you notice that pushing it down just makes it or another problem come up somewhere else? Are you gonna keep whacking? Or will you get rid of the rug?

4. Can you “Get Capone?” This one is the toughest. You’ll need help. So I’d turn first to the Dean of Political Bloggers “Driftglass” who came up with the phrase. Read him quick. What “Getting Capone” means is confronting true evil. Not the pretend evil. Not all that, “I’m not saying he wasn’t born here, I’m just not sure stuff.” Not the smoke screens. I mean real evil. I mean getting Rupert, or the Koch Brothers or names that I don’t even know but you do, on the phone. And saying this stops now.

5. Can you be a cop? Can you keep order? Civility? Can you model what it means as we all try our hardest to weave back the tattered, torn social safety net that now just blows reckless and wild in the winter of these very troubled times?

I remember one day walking past your house. It was summer. You were working on your lawn. You nodded. Seemed like a friendly guy. And then I remember once in Mario’s. You were with some friends. And maybe it was just because it was Mario’s, where everything was simple and good, but I remember thinking, I wonder if you only breathed the rarefied filtered air of those who rule?

Or if you also knew what the garlic, tomato sauce, pasta, cheap wine Friday night at a little corner joint while the winter howled outside, smelled like too?

I wondered if you knew that smell too.

Guess we’ll find out.

And if you need any help? Better yet—if you need the right help.

Stop by Mario’s.

I’m pretty easy to find.

One Response to “Can Bill Daley “Get Capone?””

  1. Ted Schneider Says:


    I like the 5 questions for Bill Daley! I think the # 1 thing you point out for Bill, Obama and our Illinois and local politicians is to think a little differently about the way we are connecting people and jobs – what worked in the past is not working today. It reminds me about the book by Marshall Goldsmith a little, “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There.”

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