Well, yes and no. Certainly, never expressing an overt opinion can help "maintain one's viability within the political system" (as Bill Clinton once effectively put it). But its downside is that it involves withholding most of one's personality in a way that's inimical to true friendship. Even though I worked with Barack for the better part of the year -- and there were some things about him I liked -- I never felt as though I truly knew him, and I think few others did either. Almost everything about him seemed careful and calculated not to generate any controversy that could trip him up later.
I suspect, however, that there may be people who could testify to what Barack is really like -- I'm just not sure that he wants them in the public eye. Bill Ayers, for example. Or Frank Marshall Davis.
Michael Froman -- former chief of staff to Bob Rubin and described here as an Obama advisor -- was with us on the Review. Strangely, he's been silent. Perhaps Barack was worried at the convention about touting his Harvard Law School friends, lest he again drive home his elitism?
Even if so, it's highly revealing of his views and inexperience that Barack Obama's circle of friendship would be limited to radicals and school friends.