Monday, April 11, 2005

Inside Robert Klein

Reporter Carl Hall of the San Francisco Chronicle has produced a nifty profile of Robert Klein. It has interesting details about his background and explores his motivation and determination.

Here is one quote from the article:

"If there's one thing that I would say about Bob, it's that he makes things happen when other people are trying to stop them from happening," said Chris Miller, a New York marketing executive who has been a friend of Klein's since they both worked on John Tunney's successful 1970 Senate campaign.

"When he decides to help you, you get helped," she said.

The piece notes the criticism that has been directed at Klein.

“Some of the attacks seem motivated as much by discomfort with Klein's hard-charging style as they are by unhappiness with the program. Characteristically, none of it seems to faze Klein.

“During two interviews and many briefer encounters since the November election, Klein makes it clear he has no time for distractions, little patience for Prop. 71 opponents and seemingly infinite faith in his own ability to get the job done,” Hall wrote.

The piece also reported that Klein's grandfather supported Upton Sinclair's California gubernatorial campaign during the Depression, which is a fascinating story by itself.

Profiles like Hall's are quite useful and all too rare in newspapers. They help provide insight into what makes public figures tick. Too often there is an excessive but understandable focus on tangible rules, procedures and actions while the real action is more ambiguous and based on relationships and motivations.
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