I learned a long time ago that picking brilliant people as partners was a good way to win at tennis doubles, sailing, high school chemistry classes and physics labs. Dr. George Edwards, pictured below at my home, would have been my first round draft pick of all time:

I left my old insurance defense law firm in 1985 because I thought that as a policyholder attorney I could be much freer to participate in the “affairs of the day.” I used this phrase when telling Paul Butler why I was leaving his law firm. It is the same reason George Edwards is relevant to me today. If you want to know a little about me leaving and what I think about my first legal mentor, Paul Butler, read a five year old post, Butler Pappas–A Familiar Foe, and a quote which I still believe today:

I was very fortunate to have Paul Butler as a mentor early in my career. Indeed, I may have been blessed. Without Paul teaching me this line of legal work, I would never have become an attorney for policyholders. It is interesting how one thing leads to another in life’s journey.

George Edwards is a brilliant mind who is taking part in the “affairs of the day.” I was fortunate to be able to sponsor him with the Poynter Institute this week. Here is another picture of Dr. Edwards with yours truly after his speech:

I referred to George as a “nerd” when introducing him. After all, he looks that way and anybody who has a 27 page CV, has written 25 books, and is on the faculty at Oxford, is not exactly page one GQ material. Yet, Dr. Edwards won two state gold medals in track while in high school. He also read a book a day for almost 20 years as a professor—a very disciplined soul. He also has a courageous premise which I will state in my terms—Americans fantasize about the leadership abilities of Presidents to change things.

In my line of work, you do not have to be pretty. You just have to win cases. Smart people who are really disciplined and passionate about what they do, beat insurance companies and their attorneys.

I like the Dr. George Edwardses of the world because they are humble and make a difference because of their passion, intellect, courage and dedication. I love America and the opportunity it provides us and strongly encourage everybody to read a little of what George Edwards has researched. You will be a better American for it.

The Poyntner Institute is:

[A] school dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders. It promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft and in the practical leadership of successful businesses. It stands for a journalism that informs citizens and enlightens public discourse. It carries forward Nelson Poynter’s belief in the value of independent journalism in the public interest.

Very humbly, I was able to help provide a platform to inform my fellow Americans and enlighten public discourse about the very important lessons from one our best and brightest, Dr. George Edwards. Here is a very short quote from his speech posted in 4 Factors the Media Should Consider When Predicting Presidential Success:

The president did not transform American politics, and his failure to do so was not because he lacked the eloquence or bargaining skills or the determination to succeed. . . .Instead, I’m going to argue to you, that the context of his presidency was such that he had little chance of transformational success.

And with that, how about this for the Thought of The Day:

“After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box.”
        – Italian Proverb

It is Friday, close to Christmas and I will be in New Jersey as you read this today, so how about a little Bruce Springsteen Christmas from the Garden State which my friends in Dixie will love as well: