Dept of Doing it Back Asswards…
So this is how haggling is supposed to work: you’ve got a sheep herder named Akhbar, wants to sell one of his sheep. You’ve got a farmer named Muhamed who wants to buy a sheep. Akhbar knows that the going rate for sheep is 35 Kubokis, and he doesn’t want to sell his for any less. So he starts the haggling process by offering Muhamed a great deal on a fine, strong, young buck at 60 Kubokis. Muhamed also knows the going rate for sheep is 35 Kubokis and he refuses to pay a dime more, so he answers that the scrawny, sickly, old specimen before him isn’t worth more than 20 Kubokis. Akhbar is insulted by the paltry offer, but will give it to you for 50 Kubokis because he just wants to go home and doesn’t want the hassle of bringing the sheep with him. Muhammed doesn’t really even need a sheep, he just wants to buy a pet for his boy and he thought a sheep would do better than a dog, so he offers Akhbar 25 Kubokis. This back and forth continues until the two men settle on 35 Kubokis, which means Akhbar’s children will go hungry tonight and Mohamed’s wife will scold him all week for having wasted so much money on a worm ridden beast that will probably die within a week. Both men go home happy knowing that they got what they wanted.
Now here’s how Barack Obama would buy the same sheep: knowing that it is worth 35 Kubokis, and before the negotiations even begin, he would offer 40 Kubokis in the hope that Akhbar will reciprocate this act of good will by lowering his asking price to 35 Kubokis. Akhbar, meanwhile, raises his hands, looks skyward and quietly praises Allah for sending a sucker to his sheep store.
When you give the other side everything it wants before the haggling even begins, don’t be surprised if they suddenly discover a bunch of new things they hadn’t thought of before but now realize they also want. To meet a guy half way, you’ve either got to start out as far back as he does, or walk very slowly.