Magazine article Politics Magazine

Revealing Voices

Magazine article Politics Magazine

Revealing Voices

Article excerpt

In every issue, we're determined to bring you compelling voices--people whose perspectives and insights can broaden your understanding of today's politics. This month, we're unusually rich in these voices.

One of them belongs to a city mayor. It's odd, on the face of it, that the leader of a mid-size city in Virginia could open a rare window onto the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama. But the mayor of Richmond does. And that's because earlier in his career, Douglas Wilder, the grandson of slaves, became the first African-American governor of any state. In conservative Virginia, no less.

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What advice does the man who broke this barrier (and made a brief run for president in 1992) have for Obama? I'm guessing you'll find wisdom in his counsel not just for the Illinois senator, but for every candidate appealing to voters this fall.

Another of the voices this month belongs to a high-profile woman who is doing all she can to help the cause of the Republican nominee for president. Carly Fiorina broke a barrier herself when she became arguably the most powerful female in American business as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Her tenure had its share of controversy, but no one questions her keen intelligence and relentless drive. She's now in the service of Sen. John McCain, for reasons that Fiorina spells out in her conversation with Politics magazine. As for whether she'd like to serve in a McCain administration, or run for office herself, turn to Movers & Shakers to see how wide open she's left those doors.

Since everyone's focus is on the 2008 contest, we thought it would be interesting to hear from someone who sees this as a change election in a very different sort of way. As Dana Perino, President Bush's press secretary, tells us in her story this month, "I can do press conferences. I can prepare the president for an interview. But I've never closed down a presidency before."

What goes through the mind of someone who has devoted virtually every waking hour for several years to a presidency that will soon be over? We asked Perino to tell us about the emotions that she and her colleagues are feeling as they experience "a series of lasts"--her evocative phrase--and face the prospect of leaving the utterly unique bubble that is the White House. …

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