One Year Later: Is The Obama Presidency a Bust?

Posted on November 4, 2009

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Once again, my good friend Dr. John Tantillo of Fox New’s The Strategy Room has written a piece for Fox News that inspires discussion and serious contemplation relative to whether the Obama Presidency is in fact a bust.

Titled “Will Obama Ever Become President,” he asks the all important question “when will candidate Obama show up, and replace President Obama?”

As always, I could not help but throw my hat into the ring so to speak and provide my own take on the effectiveness of the Obama Administration one year later. Borrowing the title from the old Buffalo Springfield classic, here it is “For what its worth:

Once again John you ignite the issues that need to be heard through a clear-eyed perspective that challenges versus criticizes, motivates action versus self-pitying discontent, and asks the tough questions which unites versus divides.

The first thing that came to my mind was the hype and promise of a top draft pick in pro sports who fails to deliver. There are of course multiple reasons for this ranging from the fact that at the pro (or White House) level the game is faster and tougher than in the college ranks (re campaign trail) thus the adjustment can prove challenging.

There are also questions surrounding the top draft pick’s actual abilities, and the belief that the hype and hope for a true star somehow clouded the reality of the player’s real capabilities.

Finally, there is the ever-present, incredibly ominous level of our expectations setting both an unrealistic and unattainable level of performance that would cause even the most capable athlete (or President-elect) to falter. In this latter instance in particular, the people and the President must bear equal responsibility for any shortcomings.

Why the people? Perhaps our eagerness to escape the challenges that we face in the world have led us to collectively abandon both common sense and responsibility by abdicating our own need to take action and instead pin our hopes on a single, fallible man with a vision. Why Barrack Obama? Quite simply, his willingness to accept the job and responsibility of the Presidency under such unrealistic expectations in the first place!

True leaders are inherently flawed, and the call to leadership is not one that is necessarily pursued but one that is acted upon out of a deeper need to serve the greater good.

I just wrote a piece about Winston Churchill that after considering President Obama’s actual performance versus our expectations provides an interesting lens through which the current administration might be better viewed. (By the way, here is the link to the Churchill Blog post)

In the end, a true leader motivates others to take action versus carrying the burden alone. In this light I am reminded of another great, but flawed leader’s words. In his Inaugural address on January 20th, 1961 President-elect John F. Kennedy challenged the American people with this memorable call to personal action, “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

Along these lines, and in tandem with the questions we ask of the Obama Administration, we must also ask of ourselves.

New Book Now Available

My new book “Your Show Will Go Live in 5 Seconds” is now available as an eBook.  The hard copy version will be released at the end of November.

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Click on the Book Cover above to access an excerpt as well as purchase Your Show Will Go Live in 5 Seconds (Confession of a Blog Talk Radio Host).

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