Few leaders have left the top of the . government recently and resisted the lure of corporate money. Former Vice President Al Gore is a director at Apple Inc. and a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the venture capital firm whose chairman, John Doerr, is on the Obama Foundation’s board. Dan Quayle, another ex-vice president, has spent almost two decades with private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP. Trump’s White House has lost officials so quickly that Sean Spicer has already made arrangements to speak to a financial firm this year.
Consider a classic Obama speech structure. There are those who think X, and there are those who think Y. Both X and Y have rich histories and sympathetic spokesmen. But the acrimonies of the past have calcified the X and Y perspectives. No wonder some have sunk into cynicism or despair. We could keep spinning those same wheels. [ Pause. ] Or we could see that now is the moment to reach toward Z, because our story — my story — shows the possibility of change. To embrace Z is not to betray X or Y, but rather to fulfill and pay homage to X and Y even as we transcend them. At our best, we have risen to such heights before. Let me close with an anecdote, small in scale but deep in import, of people reaching across a divide to affirm their common humanity.