4 items tagged "obama"

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Inauguration Day and the True Deplorables

Category: Blog
Created on Jan 18 2017


     On January 20, 2017, the United States of America will celebrate one of its most treasured values in a grand public ceremony. A new president will place his hand on the Bible and take the oath of office.  It is a solemn, sacred and significant moment that is not really about the person being sworn in. The inauguration ceremony is actually about the most fundamental, non-negotiable value of this republic; the peaceful transfer of power subject to the will of the electorate according to a constitutionally established process.

     In the more than two centuries of this nation's history every transfer of power came by ballots not bullets. No president ever seized power. No dictator ever came by the gun. Never in our history has some army colonel taken over the radio station and proclaimed himself "president for life." We have had our share of contentious elections but we have never had a coup d'etat.

The Flag at Half-Staff: Leadership and the Power of Symbolism

Category: Blog
Created on Jul 22 2015

The Flag at Half-staff 

    Will Rogers said, "I don't make jokes… I just watch the government and report the facts."

    Indeed, watch the goings on in Washington and you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Politicians so often do such goofy things that it almost seems merciless to laugh. Furthermore, when you try to make a point by using a particularly unexplainable leadership mistake by some politician or another, it sounds partisan no matter how you frame it. In addition to that, the current President is such a favorite fall guy of my crowd, that anything I say will just sound like piling on. If I shine a light on Obama's goofy missteps too often it just sounds like the same old Republican porch swing squeaking away.

     Having said that, however, when a leader who aught to know better does something so poorly that it hands you the perfect teaching moment, you just cannot pass that up. Did I say poorly? Nix that. Poorly is far too effete a word for the most recent failed performance of Team Obama.

     Less than a week ago in Chattanooga, Tennessee, one Mohammad Abdulazeez shot and killed four Marines and a Navy petty officer. I am absolutely certain the President was as shocked and outraged as the rest of us. I do not agree with any suggestion to the contrary. He is the commander-in-chief and five of his best from two branches had been mercilessly slain by a disturbed Islamic terrorist. I know the President must have been deeply saddened. It's not how he felt that caused the flap. It's what he did, or, more precisely didn't do. Or even more precisely didn't do, then did do, but way too late.

Leadership Lessons from Losing Politics

Category: Blog
Created on Nov 12 2014

Capitol Bldg

     I waited a week to comment on the mid-term elections because I wanted the emotional dust to settle a bit. The election was a tidal wave which swept in a Republican Senate, an increase in the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, stunning Republican gubernatorial victories in some surprising states and huge Republican gains in many state houses. Republican. Republican. Republican. Why?  Of course, some of it, perhaps much of it was political. Perhaps the Republicans ran better candidates who ran better campaigns than their Democrat opponents. Perhaps the Republican ground game was more effective than the Democrats. In other words, maybe the Republicans just got out the vote and the Democrats failed to. Many in America did not vote. Maybe those non-voters were Democrats.

     Let me be clear. I am a Republican and I was pleased beyond words with all those results. Having said that, however, I hasten to add this post is not about the politics in the election but the leadership behind the story. In other words, whether one cheers the results of the election or grieves over them, the question remains, are there clear and presiding leadership lessons in the election which transcends partisanship?

Fantasy Baseball, Obama's Foreign Policy and Leadership

Category: Blog
Created on Apr 23 2014

Fantasy Baseball, Obama's Foreign Policy and Leadership

     I do not play fantasy baseball, nor do I play fantasy football, nor any other fantasy sports that may be lurking out there. When I say what I am about to say, those who do participate in these "sports," and there are plenty in my own family and office, will quickly respond that I simply do not understand the thrill. Frankly, I do not understand the thrill. I just do not get it.

     Perhaps it's the word FANTASY that throws me off. Perhaps it's the techno-non-participatory-“geek-ness” factor that does it. The even more likely culprit is my inner resistance to fads. There is something in me that clings to the beach when all the other surfers are paddling madly out for the Big Wave. What this last causes, of course, is that I often miss really fun, exciting waves. I admit it. I may very well be missing the thrill of a lifetime just because everyone else is doing it, while I, the Perennial Fad Curmudgeon, hunker down in my office waiting for Hula Hoops to make their big comeback. In my own defense, however, I also wish to point out that I just cannot get excited about picking, cheering for and subsequently claiming some level of personal victory in a universe of total fantasy. I doubt my ability to take much pride in