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Dinner With The Nobel Laureates

Well, this is encouraging, both as a window onto Obama's style, and because these guys have a lot of smart things to say. From Newsweek's Evan Thomas:

Mindful of his predecessor, Barack Obama seems to be trying harder to make sure he hears all sides. On the night of April 27, for instance, the president invited to the White House some of his administration's sharpest critics on the economy, including New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz. Over a roast-beef dinner, Obama listened and questioned while Krugman and Stiglitz, both Nobel Prize winners, pushed for more aggressive government intervention in the banking system.

Thomas goes on to argue that, even with such meetings, Obama isn't like to escape the intellectual isolation of the presidential bubble. Maybe. But the point isn't that Obama needs to change his thinking on a long list of issues. Just that he, like any president, should have his assumptions challenged from time to time. And I think it would be hard to have dinner with Stiglitz and Krugman without accomplishing that.

(Via Ben Smith.)

--Noam Scheiber