The problem with being quoted is that you have to remind yourself that no one will ever understand just why you said what you said. I was quoted last Thursday by Bill Hamilton in an article for the NY Times regarding the Winter Antiques Show. “It’s the worst show I’ve ever had.” was how I was quoted and that is true. What I might have said was that it was a beautiful show, a great crowd of people and that I had a lot of great conversations with potential clients. That is true as well.
The crux of what I wanted to make clear to Mr. Hamilton was that markets are cyclical (which he mentioned in the article) and that I cannot make people see what they don’t wish to see. If someone is buying modernist now, you can bet that at some point in their life, they will be switching to buy something else, perhaps even English antique furniture. If that is the case, I hope they will remember who I am and come to me. That is why dealers do shows. They also would like to sell, but that doesn’t always come to pass.
Having said that context is everything, I started to read the comments by five conservative Republicans about how they would attempt to reorganize health care in this country. The first thing that Bill Frist, the former senator and a doctor, said was that it was not in the DNA of any Democrat to understand markets and that they should not be fiddling with them. A Democrat might respond that Republicans don’t understand regulation and that they are solely responsible for the financial meltdown. Neither of these statements are true, they are grandstanding.
My comment to Mr. Hamilton may have been impolitic, at least from the point of view of public relations. But I have never been much for PR and to that end, I guess I am a good interviewee. Politicians are different as they play games that are designed to win the hearts and minds of the people. One would think that the best way to win those hearts and minds was to work for the people, show them what you can think up to make a situation better, not be a smartass. Politicians who like clever lines are wasting everyone’s time.