Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Observations from the Beltway in His Visit to Pittsburgh, Npr's Politics Editor Provides Shrewd Analysis of the Day's Events Br Style=""

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Observations from the Beltway in His Visit to Pittsburgh, Npr's Politics Editor Provides Shrewd Analysis of the Day's Events Br Style=""

Article excerpt

Domenico Montanaro, National Public Radio's editor for politics and digital audience, visited Pittsburgh last week as a guest of WESA (90.5 FM), our local NPR station. I had the opportunity to sit down with him for an hour to try to put some order into what is happening in Washington at the moment. He also addressed a larger group of Pittsburghers at the Senator John Heinz History Center Tuesday night.

In my view, he is one of the sharpest observers of the Washington scene today, having tracked both the campaign and what has occurred since then very closely. He is, ironically enough, like President Donald J. Trump, from Queens. He studied at the University of Delaware, a faithful "Blue Hen" like one of my sons and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, and the Columbia University School of Journalism. He has since worked for the Asbury Park Press, NBC News, the Public Broadcasting Corporation and NPR.

Mr. Montanaro's comments on a number of sensitive, difficult American political issues - including the Trump team, the state of the Democrats, the Department of State and prospects for American diplomacy - and the issues in the evolution of the American economy were very interesting. I will try to keep separate what he thinks and what I think.

In an effort to put some order into what is happening in Washington, and the personalities involved, he makes a distinction between Washington traditionalists, who are not organized into a "deep state," and the new Trump team. He sees the Trump people as anti-elite, with a chip on their shoulders, and fully disdainful of traditional power centers in government, even in terms of learning from them how the U.S. government works in practice.

For the record, in my view, a veteran of 35 years as a career Foreign Service officer, there is no "deep state." What there is, however, are career civil servants and Foreign Service officers who believe that Americans vote, and that their votes should be respected, but that government in the United States needs to continue to function, with due respect to American principles and to the structure of the country's governments, federal, state and local. …

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