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Frank Luntz tells Americans what they really want

What do Americans want?

Frank Luntz, a political advisor, pollster and author of several books, thinks he has the answers. Dozens of curious Americans convened at the Milken Institute in Santa Monica recently to find out.

Luntz paced around the Frank luntzroom, animatedly referring to his slides, as he broke down the data and observations he accrued in numerous public opinion polls. Much of that info is condensed in his new book, called "What Americans Really Want...Really."

It took almost an hour, but he eventually landed on a summation of the greater tone he observed:

"All we want is to improve our economy," Luntz said. "It's not about healthcare or nuclear weapons. It's about jobs."

Healthcare may not be the No. 1 priority, but Luntz still has his own tips for how President Obama should have tackled the immense issue.

"The first thing I would have done is look at the Republicans and say, 'No' is not an answer,'" Luntz said. And to the Democrats, "You can't get it all in one year."

Obama isn't the only one that Luntz had advice for. He criticized the American people for their obsession with blabbing about their daily lives, which fills the air on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. Perhaps we should take a note from Luntz, a noted observer.

"I think we would be a happier, healthier society if we focused on how we take information in, rather than how we put it out," Luntz said.

-- Mark Milian

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Photo credit: Mark Milian / Los Angeles Times

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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