OPINION: MacArthur’s “note taker” slur against Andy Kim demonstrates his disgust for all non-millionaires

ABOVE: Derived (cropped) from multifacetedgirl on Pixabay (license)

A letter to the editor by Ciarrai Campbell, Mt. Holly

In a May 15th article in the Burlington County Times, Rep. Tom MacArthur nit-picks challenger Andy Kim’s public service record and attempts to denigrate Mr. Kim as nothing more than a “note taker.”

The fact that Rep. Tom MacArthur uses “note taker” as a slur against Congressional challenger Andy Kim shows just how little regard MacArthur has for executive assistants or anyone else who is not a millionaire. As an executive assistant for 2 CEOS and a CFO, I can tell you that note-taking in high-level meetings is not just a matter of copying spoken words verbatim. It requires the ability to take meaningful notes. In high-level military or diplomatic meetings, a “note taker” is a position with a great deal of responsibility—especially when you are also an advisor on issues discussed in that meeting, as Mr. Kim was.

A note taker at high-level military and diplomatic meetings must possess:

  • high-level security clearance
  • an intimate knowledge of the nuances of the situation
  • an understanding of the jargon used
  • the intelligence to put seemingly unconnected bits of information together
  • an open mind to receive new data and adjust strategy accordingly

In other words, a note taker, on a military or diplomatic level, is someone important enough to actually attend a very high level meeting. For example, in an interview, Michael McFaul, the former American ambassador to Russia, spoke about being the only other American in the room when President Obama met with the Russian president Medvedev. McFaul described his role as “note taker” because his lifetime expertise in Russian matters could serve him in developing meaningful records of the meeting.

Is Mr. MacArthur now going to question Mr. McFaul’s credentials because he was “just” a note taker in this meeting?

Mr. Kim’s was designated note taker because he possessed the high-level qualifications to fill that spot at that time, and he now possesses the best qualifications to represent Congressional District NJ-3 in 2018.


Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.

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