Mitt Romney’s quick criticism of the Obama administration’s response to this week’s attacks in Libya an Egypt inspired an interesting piece by the Sun-Sentinel’s Chan Lowe – interesting especially to those jazz fans among us. He reminded readers of the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s saxophonist, Paul Desmond, who wrote and performed what may be the most well-known jazz tune ever (“Take Five”), and a musician whose silence could be as powerful as the notes he improvised. Lowe explained:
There is a time, if the context is conducive, when silence can be the most appropriate and effective way to communicate. Great leaders, as well as great musicians, know when silence is called for. Less skilled, less able practitioners—let’s call them amateurs or wannabes—think that filling the air with more noise furthers one’s objective, when in fact, the opposite is true.
To sum up, there’s a time to shut up and realize that there are issues of global importance weightier than one’s immediate aspirations, and that creating chatter at the wrong time can be extremely unhelpful to the professionals who are trying to guide unstable events through treacherous waters to the nation’s best advantage.
In other words, Mitt Romney is no Paul Desmond.