During a Passover Seder, the youngest person at the table traditionally asks four questions about “why is this night different from all other nights?” These questions are asked and answered in an elaborate ceremony.
I have four different questions to ask. These are the questions I ask people when they tell me that they want to get involved in politics. They are:
A. Who is the Speaker of the House?
B. Who is the White House Chief of Staff?
C. Who is the Senate Minority Leader?
D. What state is Vice President Dick Cheney from?
Only 1% of DC elites do NOT know the answer to all four questions.
My other guess:
Only 1% of business elites actually know the answers to all four.
These are inside the beltway trivia — so even people in DC don’t expect the outside world to know the answers to these questions. But they won’t take you seriously UNLESS you know them.
It is like trying to do business in Silicon Valley and not knowing what Moore’s Law is … Or not knowing who John Doerr is …
Or doing business on Wall Street and not knowing what a “put” or a “call” or an “option” is …
They can understand outsiders not knowing the terms … But they will be wary of doing business with you.
To affect policy change, you need to speak the DC lingo … And you need to brush up on your four questions (answers below).
(A: Dennis Hastert (R-IL), B: Andy Card, C: Tom Daschle (D-SD), D: Wyoming)