Real Leaders Lead In A Crisis; Others Do An Obama
I didn’t vote for George Bush in 2000. During his first few months in office I thought he was a joke — a bad joke. After he invaded Iraq and in tandem with a Republican congress pushed the country hard to the right, his policies made me angry. But I have to give the man credit, too. When 9/11 struck and America was in shock, he stepped up big-time.
I remember the night shortly after that tragedy when he addressed a joint session of congress. Like virtually all Americans and much of the word, I was glued to my television and was frankly scared. I was afraid he would fail. Afraid he would come across either as a loud mouth blowhard, or a squeaky wimp trying to play the hard man. But he didn’t.
He played the part of our country’s leader just right that night. And whatever my overall judgment of his tenure in office, he understood what had to be done at that moment and did it well, for which I honor him.
And now we come to the present occupant of the Oval Office. Someone whose own performance in the presidency has been a massive disappointment to me and so many others who elected him. So many of us who saw in him as a man uniquely qualified for greatness at a time when greatness was so very much needed at the top.
What he did in the past before this debt ceiling crisis was…well..past. The present crisis is his economic 911. And whatever way it pans out in the next few days, one thing has become abundantly and unmistakably clear: this president has not defined the issues in a way that united the country and achieved the result desired by most Americans and respected by the world. Indeed, he’s been a largely passive commentator, someone who when he acts at all, does so in ways that allow the loudest chorus of other voices to dictate the outcome.
Barack Obama is a pleader, not a leader. He doesn’t even have a game plan of his own for his 2012 reelection campaign. Rather, he is desperately hoping to “triangulate” in the manner of Bill Clinton, depending on liberals in his own party to hold their noses and vote for him because of a less palatable alternative, joined by independents who admire the way he talks back to both the right and the left.
That’s his approach to leadership generally. As foolish and empty as his actions in this crisis itself. The approach of a pleader, not a leader.
There’s an attractive job opportunity opening up for a real leader of this great country in 2012. Someone who represents the center-left in deeds as well as election year mouthings. Apply soon, very soon, on the Jon Stewart show.
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