During his weekly online chat  with liberal editorial-page editor turned liberal columnist Gail Collins, "conservative" Times columnist David Brooks praised Dick Darman, director of the Office of Management and Budget for the first President Bush, who angered conservatives with the 1990 budget deal that raised taxes.
For that and other confessions of affection for the good things the federal government does, Collins gave him high praise indeed:
David Brooks: So though I'm skeptical of many of the things government does, I still try to defend the craft of governance. After all, Haiti has 10,000 N.G.O.s, all doing the Lord's work. But unless there is good government, you are struggling against the wind.
Gail Collins: This is why Barack Obama likes you so much. (Admit it, when you're around he ignores every other journalist in the room.) It's because he sees you as the kind of sane Republican he was planning to be bipartisan with.