“key principles of the Obama checklist are: sustainability (avoid commitments that cost too much to stick with); restraint (ask not what America can do but what it should do); precision (wield a scalpel rather than a hammer); patience (give policies the time and effort to work); fallibility (be realistic about the chances of failure and modest about what you can achieve); scepticism (interrogate the issues and beware those peddling easy answers to difficult questions); exceptionalism (the recognition that because of its enormous power and attachment to universal values America has a unique responsibility to provide leadership in the world that cannot be ducked).” – Playing it long

“Failure is one mechanism by which the arts move forward — just as it is in science. Not every artist can make a masterpiece, yet it’s the experiments that quietly stumble forward that lead to them. There’s an altogether more generous view of pretentiousness that understands the gap between expectation and actuality as a productive necessity rather than a flaw.” – Black Berets Unite: In Praise of Pretentiousness – The Millions