Episode 7: The inauguration of a new president

Mihir Bose – former BBC Sports Editor, David Smith – Economics Editor of the Sunday Times and political commentator Nigel Dudley have been friends since they first met while working at Financial Weekly in 1980s. They have kept in touch regularly, setting the world to rights over various lunches and dinners. With coronavirus making that impossible, what do journalists do, deprived of long convivial lunches over a bottle of red wine or several? Why, podcast of course.

This week they discuss the inauguration of President Biden. Being of a certain age themselves, they take heart from the empowerment of a 78 year old man. They are but spring chickens by comparison.

Nonetheless their experience reaches down the years and they fish anecdotes and facts out of their collective memory to discuss the media and politics as it concerns America.

Biden’s campaign was ‘pitch perfect’ says David and he is sure he is already thinking about the Mid-Terms, being a shrewd political operator with fifty years’ experience. He knows he needs to court Trump supporters if he is to have any change of a meaningful and effective presidency.

His presidency has to be capable of being summed up in a short soundbite containing no more than two clear thoughts, says Nigel. “The country was broken and I fixed it” maybe.

Is it true either in the US or in Britain that one party always leaves the economy in a mess while the other always puts it back in good shape before being voted out of power? asks Mihir.

And what was the speech that Biden nicked from Neil Kinnock? Nigel sat through many a Labour Party Conference speech by “the Welsh windbag” and remembers being surprised to hear a purple passage being recycled by an American senator.

The power of political editors … giving a byline to some young hopeful when you don’t want your name on a story … it’s all in this week’s podcast by the Three Old Hacks.


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