Simply read the titles and not the content?
You brought up the issue of emotions as the way to equate leadership here...
I like what Obama said. It's something I can put my hands around to watch the results.Obama + leadership = fail. Imagine that.. they guy with no executive experience at all can no more run a country than he can give a decent speech w/o reating it from his master.. the teleprompter.
Obama fails the test of leadership
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted to the world recently that President Barack Obama had on his night table “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt,” Edmund Morris’s rip-roaring, Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the formative years of America’s most colorful president.
Presumably, Gibbs was implying that the great man now occupying the White House was taking pointers from the great man who preceded him.
Politicians just love to see themselves as leaders like Teddy Roosevelt or Winston Churchill — giants who trampled over obstacles with unyielding doggedness and even a kind of childlike insouciance.
As Obama underachieves his way through the Gulf of Mexico oil spill crisis, Gibbs’s effort to link the president to Roosevelt makes the opposite point intended: Great leaders are a very rare thing, and the man in the White House today ain’t one of them — at least not yet.
Obama’s detached performance with respect to this massive and growing crisis — the ripple effects of which could still be with us on Election Day 2012 — is generally portrayed as a PR meltdown and a simple failure to step up by an understandably beleaguered Obama.
“It’s impossible not to feel sorry for President Obama,” writes Maureen Dowd in The New York Times, “pummeled by the cascading disasters, at home and abroad.”
Well, it’s possible.
Obama’s failure to convey any hint of genuine emotion, to rouse the American people to turn their hearts toward the Gulf and to assure them that their world — still built on the plentiful supply of fossil fuels — is not falling apart, is a profound failure of leadership.
Instead of offering reassurance, the president is using the crisis to promote his political agenda, hankering for alternative energy and climate change legislation in Congress — though there won’t be any significant replacement of carbon-based power sources for years to come.
Instead of an uplifting message of unity rallying the country to confront the horror and assuring all Americans that we will deal successfully, one way or another, with its disastrous effects, the nation is treated to petty lecturing of BP — even a refusal to let BP evildoers sully the stage the administration uses to discuss the latest failures.
The very company the administration needs to work with to stop the bleeding is vilified and threatened with criminal prosecution.
This separates Obama from the “bad guys.” But it also likely harms the stoppage effort by creating a climate of suspicion and forcing BP to focus on PR and legal CYA operations while trying to plug the well.
The spill is becoming one of the great catastrophes the country has faced. Think of how other presidents have risen to the occasion under similar circumstances.
Who can forget that moment when, touring the ruins of the World Trade Center, former President George W. Bush — with a spontaneity hard to imagine from Obama — grabbed a bullhorn and declared to the workers at ground zero that revenge was coming:
“I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon! The nation — the nation sends its love and compassion — to everybody who is here.”
Or remember President Bill Clinton’s emotional meeting in April 1995, a few days after the Oklahoma City tragedy, with the families of those killed in the truck-bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and his moving speech at the memorial service afterward.
That moment helped the country work through its grief and began Clinton’s political rebirth after the massive GOP sweep of November 1994.
And what do we get from Obama?
A bloodless news conference at which even his description of his daughter beseeching him as to whether the crisis was solved was given with all the emotion of, say, Michael Dukakis.