Remember how Jerry Seinfeld use to greet Newman, the letter carrier? “Hello, Newman.” Jerry always seemed to sneer a bit when he said it. Newman was Jerry’s nemesis of sorts.
In public policy battles in Washington, it’s tempting to view people on the other side of the argument as your very own Newman. One word on that: don’t.
Last night at a happy hour gathering of telecom reporters and PR people here in D.C., I had one person explain it to me succinctly. “The adversarial system of advocacy means we all have jobs.”
I’m just reminded that in Washington, politics shift alliances quickly. Your coalition partner on one issue may be your opponent on the next issue. Since that’s the case, do you really want or need to have a Newman?
As for me, I’d rather have a bunch of folks like George, Kramer and Elaine on my side. (And I’d want Newman to be my friend.)