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What, you may ask, is Bob Lighthizer like?
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Spicer, at 45 years of age, is no neophyte. He has served as press secretary to four Republican Congressmen. In short, he should know better. At a minimum, he should have known that he'd have about as much chance controlling his own destiny in a twitter-mad Trump White House as did those monkeys the Americans used to send into space to test the Mercury space capsules. Meaning none.
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The ability to communicate effectively to groups is a key requirement for any business executive. As someone who has written speeches for various politicians and business executives for decades, I often get asked if there are any "tricks" that might make the ordeal more palatable. Inevitably, people eventually get around to asking about humour. Should they start a speech with a joke? My emphatic answer to this question is "maybe." And it is based on actual experience.
Until recently, some of my American friends continued to urge me to return "home'. They said I must find it boring to be in Canada. Or that I must get tired of the cold; or the high taxes; or the dipsy-doodle currency we affectionately call the loonie. The truth is, I am home. And it feels pretty good.
When Bob Dole subsequently offered me the job as his press secretary, I at first resisted. What I subsequently came to learn over the next several years was that Bob Dole was at heart a centralist, a pragmatist, a problem-solver. Unlike some of his colleagues, he understood and enjoyed the machinery of the Senate.
The reluctance of the United States to be involved even peripherally in an almost open-ended series of concurrent Middle Eastern conflicts is understandable. But Syria is aflame. Its regime has been a notorious terrorist exporter for decades, and is the chief conduit for Iran into the Arab world, the principal supporter of Hezbollah and Hamas.