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Diane Levin and Jim Melamed on Presidential Negotiation Styles

There is no golden age, nor any “right” candidate (I’m still hoping for a Clinton-Obama ticket and no I don’t care whose name is above the title; I’m for marrying vision with experience instead of wasting everyone’s considerable contributions on a Democratic firing squad — a CIRCLE).

Still, it’s good to hear mediators talking about the Presidential race, particularly  Diane Levin and Jim Melamed, the latter who published Obama’s Message – Mediation’s Political Triumph — at mediate.com and the former who warns us all against One Trick Ponies here.

Melamed’s citation of Obama’s “mediative” debating points below:

  • “ . . . it is important for the United States to not just to talk to its friends but also to talk to its enemies. In fact, that’s where diplomacy makes the biggest difference.”
  • “I recall what John F. Kennedy once said, that we should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate. And this moment, this opportunity when Fidel Castro has finally stepped down, I think is one that we should try to take advantage of.”
  • “But I do think it is important, precisely because the Bush administration has done so much damage to American foreign relations, that the president take a more active role in diplomacy than might have been true 20 or 30 years ago. I think that it’s important for us, in undoing the damage that has been done over the last seven years, for the president to be willing to take that extra step.”
  • “We are a nation of laws and we are a nation of immigrants, and we can reconcile those two things.”
  • “And the Bush administration is not real good at listening. That’s not what they do well. (Laughter.) And so I will reverse that policy.”
  • “. . . And what they see is that if we don’t bring the country together, stop the endless bickering, actually focus on solutions and reduce the special interests that have dominated Washington, then we will not get anything done. And the reason that this campaign has done so well — (applause) — the reason that this campaign has done so well is because people understand that it is not just a matter of putting forward policy positions.
  • Senator Clinton and I share a lot of policy positions. But if we can’t inspire the American people to get involved in their government, and if we can’t inspire them to go beyond the racial divisions and the religious divisions and the regional divisions, that have plagued our politics for so long, then we will continue to see the kind of gridlock and non-performance in Washington that is resulting in families suffering in very real ways.”
  • “And I’ve said that I’m going to do things differently. I think we have to open up the process, everybody has to have a seat the table, and most importantly, the American people have to be involved and educated about how this change is going to be brought about.”
                        author

Victoria Pynchon

Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all… MORE >

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