Electing a Leader For President
The election of a president is a very, very complex phenomenon. It involves raising money, pulling together of resources, raising money, building a campaign team, raising money, developing positions on issues, raising money, building support from different demographic groups (like Huckabee has done with evangelicals) and did I mention raising money?
But when it's all over, we want to have someone in the White House who is a strong, principled leader.
What are the criteria, the skills, abiltiies, talents, the behaviors that make a good leader?
Has Bush been a good leader?
Who among the current crop of candidates-- democrat and republican-- have shown that they are strong leaders and how have they shown it?
Which candidates are found lacking in a track record as a leader?
Here are some of my thoughts.
McCain's claim to fame is being a prisoner of war. Other presidents have described the presidency as being a prison like experience. But I don't see surviving being a prisoner an indicator of leadership ability. He also brags of being stubborn. That hasn't made Bush a good leader.
Obama has been a legislator. That doesn't make him a leader. He has experience, but as a legislator.
Hillary has seven years of experience in the senate. That makes her a legislator, one step beyond a junior legislator. Oh, and she was first lady. I just don't see how that makes her a leader. Give her some credit for diplomacy-- maybe a lot, what with Bill's carrying on. But leadership? Sorry.
Kucinich has been mayor of a city. That's leadership. He takes stands and introduces highly creative, high visibility legislation. That's leadership.
Richardson is a governor. That's leadership. But does he have what it takes to lead the nation?
Edwards was a senator and he's had experience litigating against big business. Though I like Edwards a lot, where's the leadership? I guess running a big case does involve supervising a team, even involves doing battle with big corporations.
Chris Dodd is a highly experienced legislator. He takes principled stands and has been willing to buck the senate leadership. That's a good sign of independence, but he really doesn't have leadership experience outside of congress, does he?
Joe Biden has been a legislator more than half his life. He understands diplomacy, international relations-- but as a legislator. He has no leadership experience.
Giuliani ran NYC. He demonstrated authoritarian leadership. HE's shown a proclivity for secrecy. As head of a consulting company, he's done business with groups and individuals who were associated with terrorism. As mayor some of his decisions, like not replacing radios for firefighters, placing the emergency operations center in the WTC-- clear signs of incompetent, bad leadership. Add to that his persona life history and Giuliani ought to be the dream candidate for Democrats. He'll surely inspire the evangelical base to stay home.