Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Clarence B. Jones: Getting Osama Bin Laden: A 2011 Template for Presidential Leadership?

Clarence B. Jones
Scholar in Residence, Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University

In 1955 then-Senator John F. Kennedy wrote Profiles in Courage, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography describing controversial political positions of leadership and integrity by eight United States senators throughout the Senate's history. The book profiled senators who crossed party lines and/or defied the public opinion of their constituents to do what they felt was right and suffered severe criticism and losses in popularity because of their actions.

JFK wrote:

For without belittling the courage with which men have died, we should not forget those acts of courage with which men -- such as the subjects of this book -- have lived. The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must -- in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures -- and that is the basis of all human mortality. To be courageous, these stories make clear, requires no exceptional qualifications, no magic formula, no special combination of time, place, and circumstance. It is an opportunity that sooner or later is presented to us all.

JFK's book was widely celebrated and became a bestseller.

President Barack Obama's leadership or lack thereof has been described in several contrasting ways by his supporters and opponents. During the 2008 Democratic primaries and in the presidential contest with Senator John McCain, he was described as either "cool," "detached," and "professorial" or "inexperienced" and "untested."

After becoming president, Obama was sometime described as "weak," "without political backbone or spine." In earlier blogs, even I described him, in connection with the healthcare debate, or national incidents of racial controversy, as not exercising sufficient leadership by "drawing a line in the sand" with his opponents, thereby defining his "political integrity and values."

I thought his speech "A More Perfect Union," on March 8, 2008, in Philadelphia, on race relations in America, when he was fighting for the survival of his candidacy as president, was one of the most courageous and finest acts of political leadership. "A Profile in Courage."

However, the after-the-fact narrative description and photographs of Obama's leadership at the White House during the 24-36 hours leading up to the killing of Osama bin Laden, and taking custody of his body by an elite unite of Navy Seals, may have been, and will be, THE defining moment of Obama's "presidential leadership."

We can only imagine the cascade of criticism that would have been directed at President Obama had the mission to get Osama bin Laden failed and there had been a loss of lives of one or more of the Seals sent in to "get" him.

A more important question, then, than "what if" getting bin Laden had failed, is: Why can't the same thoughtful, determined and courageous presidential leadership we witnessed through the television and print media pictures of President Obama in the White House Situation room, leading up to killing and extracting bin Laden, be exercised in confronting our continued high rate of joblessness, the budget deficit, required reductions in government spending, including reducing the cost of Social Security and defense spending, and the unavoidable fiscal necessity of ending tax cuts for wealthiest Americans?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

William Bradley: This administration's Most important Problems Continue to Then lie In another country

Pres. Barack Obama has no general shortage with terrible naysayers in your house, such as the existing gong present termed as a Republican presidential area. Yet irrespective of these people and the fact that was undoubtedly the sloping global financial retrieval, his / her largest challenges however then lie overseas.

Barak contains a multi-dimensional hurdle lessons to take his / her approach by means of in regards to geopolitics. Nonetheless this kind of gets his or her home-based politics trouble if it is in essence -- or perhaps improved placed -- polished in to one word: Oil.

Here is the overall formula upon acrylic: Extra mayhem plus conflict compatible greater costs. Higher acrylic selling prices and better fuel prices compatible fiscal problems in addition to politics difficulty.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Obama Administration Punishes Reporter for utilizing Multimedia

The hip, transparent and social advertising-loving Obama management is showing the analog roots. And perhaps even some hypocrisy highlights.

White Residence officials have banned one of the top political reporters in the nation from the accepted pool of correspondents covering presidential outings to the San francisco bay area for using at this moment-standard multimedia gear to gather what is this great.

The Chronicle's Carla Marinucci -- exactly who, like many modern day reporters, has a telephone with video features on her all the time -- pulled out a compact video camera a week ago and shot several protesters interrupting the Obama fundraiser along at the St. Regis Inn.

She was element of a "print pool" -- a limited variety of journalists at an event who represent their bigger hoard acquaintances -- which White Property press officials nevertheless refer to quaintly as "compose and pad" revealing.