What Great Leadership Job Looks Like

I think President Obama is doing a great job as president. In spite of all of the blather coming from the ultra right, Obama is a moderate and I like moderates. He is deliberative in his decisions. Those decisions take into consideration different points-of-view, including the most important point-of-view; that of history. He is conservative in changing long-held social norms, even those with which he disagrees.

You can tell Obama is a moderate because the ultra left has taken issue with his approach to “change we can believe in.” In a short opinion piece by Eugene Robinson [1], he indicates that he would like to see a tougher stance on Wall Street, an investigation of the Bush-era abuses and a more bold approach to universal health care, although Robinson goes on to acknowledge the substantive positive things that Obama has accomplished so far in the first year.

I saw an interview with Dan Savage. Dan is a progressive homosexual, who is a vocal advocate of gays rights. He is intelligent and witty, funny as hell, and I agree with most of his opinions. Dan Savage is mad as hell that Obama did not repeal the deeply flawed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule for gays in the military that was enacted during the Clinton Administration. President Obama indicated in an October 10, 2009 speech [3] that he would end the policy. As a moderate, deliberative thinking person, Obama has an appreciation that it’s not a good idea to create discord with the top military brass in the midst of the two wars that he inherited. By signaling that the policy with end, he gives those in the military who are homophobic time to adapt to the eventuality.

Bill Maher has been on a rant, too. I consistently agreed with Bill’s views when Bush was in office, but as our government took a leisurely walk to the left, Bill kept running. I find myself in agreement with his views much less than I used to. In a blog [4] entitled “Is this as Good as It Gets From Obama?” that was posted a few weeks ago, he expresses his profound disappointment with the administration’s policies. He waxes poetic about Roosevelt and the first 100 days of that administration. History suggests that lasting change in government happens with thoughtful, deliberative changes in policy that lead – but aren’t radically out-of-step with – general public opinion. The lunacy of the Bush Administration, like torture and unauthorized wiretapping became a thing of the past before Bush cleared his first pile of brush in Crawford.

Most Americans are upset at the bailout of the Wall Street firms. Me, too. The progressives want to see a wave of regulation and punitive legislation against Wall Street CEOs now. The left has correctly pointed out that financial regulation is essentially the same as it was when this crisis was created during the Bush Administration. I suspect that the President understands that capitalism is the basis of wealth in this country. It would be counter-productive to poke a sharp stick in the side of Wall Street as they struggle to recover. It would, at the very least, slow the recovery. I suspect we will see regulation once the economy stabilizes. A moderate approach will work best here, too. I expect that we will see the regulatory environment close to that at the end of the first Clinton Administration by this end of this administration.

Political capital is the currency in Washington. You choose your battles wisely and do your best to never lose. You spend capital frugally. That’s how to gain more political capital.

Obama seems to understand how to do that. I can’t say that I agree with every decision Obama has made, but I agree with the approach he has taken to every decision he has made.


[1] http://tinyurl.com/y8vogm6

[2] http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove

[3] http://tinyurl.com/yjgdj4x [4] http://tinyurl.com/yzkuafm



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2 Responses to “What Great Leadership Job Looks Like”

  1. lisakbernhard Says:

    I agree and impatient people are never going to like it when someone does their due dilligence in their job. There’s nothing to write about. Boring. Stabilization is what this country needs right now and Obama is just the leader to do it. Thanks.

  2. Kevin Says:

    A year ago, both GM and Chrysler came very close to going out of business. A year ago, we were very close to a complete currency collapse. A year ago, we were perilously close to a complete banking system collapse. In June of 2008, crude oil sold for $150 per barrel. It is half that price today.

    Barrack Obama inherited the biggest mess in our country’s history. I think he has done an excellent job holding things together.

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