You hear a lot from political candidates about the need to negotiate with other countries. And, it seems to me, President Bush provided an object lesson the other day.
There he was on television begging the Saudi princes to give him a break and increase oil production. Ouch!
The Saudis looked down their long noses and said no way.
A president who knows how to negotiate might have said something like, “You guys want to buy our weapons and ammunition? No deal unless you agree to boost oil production.”
Or: “If you guys don’t boost oil production, I am going to open the spigot on our petroleum reserves and flood the market, bringing down oil prices in a hurry. And how do you like them apples?”
I think the ancient Romans called that quid pro quo. Kids call it tit-for-tat.
Political candidates might call it negotiating.