Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nobody wants a 'Perfect' leader

A little humility goes a long way in our leaders but it appears that Obama lacks this virtue. A great article in yesterday's NY Times shows his arrogance in cringe-inducing detail.

Some of his claims:
  1. He cooks “a really mean chili.”
  2. He has impressive musical pitch, he told an Iowa audience.
  3. He is “a surprisingly good pool player,” he informed an interviewer
  4. not to mention (though he does) a doodler of unusual skill
  5. All in all, he joked at a recent New York fund-raiser with several famous basketball players in attendance, “it is very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person.”
  6. His idea of birthday relaxation is competing in an Olympic-style athletic tournament with friends, keeping close score.
  7. “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political director,
  8. In 2010, he began by announcing that he would perform “the best rendition ever” of “Green Eggs and Ham,” ripping into his Sam-I-Ams with unusual conviction. 
At  least he agrees with the rest of the world that he isn't the best president the US has ever had. Though he only goes as far down as # 4 in his book:
This superiority complex comes from a long way back and was evident when he played high school basketball:

What is it like for the children having such a competitive father?
“When you all have kids, it’s important to let them win,” he said with a smile. “Until they’re a year old. Then start winning.”

Wow! I must be a loser for still letting my kids win sometimes.
Mr. Dowd, the former Bush adviser, said he admired Mr. Obama, but added, “Nobody likes to be in the room with someone who thinks they’re the smartest person in the room.”

And nobody likes to follow someone who thinks he's the absolute everything. There is nothing wrong with self-confidence: it's a must for any successful leader but who needs someone who is constantly grading everyone's effort and with a different scale than he himself uses. That kind of leader sets himself up for people watching for him to fail...and loving it.

Oh, and before 'Em' and the rest of my liberal readers jerk their knees too hard, I'll be reviewing Romney's deficits on Friday.


  1. I had to laugh reading this post, I totally agree. He is VERY confident, which is good, but he shouldn't be so public.

    It would be refreshing to see a humble politician. If you haven't seen, rent "Man from the Plains" - Jimmy Carter, he's my guy!

    1. I do admire Carter. But he was too humble to lead this country out of the doldrums of the 70's. Reagan was what we needed at the time to lead the economic and military revival of the nation.

      But thanks for the book tip. I'll pick it up.
      Carter has made a much better ex-President than President.

  2. i think all this talk of presidential is personality part of what's wrong with our political process. why are we so focused on anything besides ability? i don't want to have a beer with our president, i want him to be respected by other countries' leaders and get the job done.

    i think obama is doing quite well. our country is currently much better off than it was 4 years ago in every aspect. while i might have wanted to have a beer with bush, he was a complete failure as a president. reagan was a great leader (aka actor), and a poor president. in my opinion, only bill clinton was both a great leader and great president, though he sure did mess up with monica.

    1. Anonymous,

      While you may find your opinion among the majority in your East Coast liberal enclave, you might find a lot of other Americans disagree with your assessment. Naming Clinton as the best president among a group including Reagan means you are using a particular brand of rose-colored glasses.

      So, what you are saying is that reviving a lagging economy, reducing double-digit interest rates, reducing tax rates of up to 70% and ending the cold war don't rate as important presidential accomplishments. But being entertained by an intern in the White House during the tech boom of the 1990s is.

      I don't know what Obama has done for you but a lot of my friends are still out of work and I cannot refinance my house since it is magically worth $200,000 less than when he entered office.

      And if you think what matters is experience, Obama, the 'social organizer', shouldn't have come nearer the White House than a protest on the great lawn.

  3. I almost lost my house because of the pathetic Bush presidency. 9/11, the illegal war in Iraq, huge deficits, screwed up economy, privacy rights under attack, Guantanamo, need I go on? Oh, but we just want to fantasize about Reagan, I get it.

    Reagan did a good job on the cold war, but hurt the economy with his irresponsible tax cuts. I could go on about the failings of Reagan... but that's old history.

    Clinton rescued our economy, decreased the deficit, etc. Even Republicans are now lauding him as a great president.

    Obama has improved our economy, and it's getting better. Plus, Obamacare is a great start (just like Romneycare in MA!) I liked dumping "don't ask don't tell," ending the war in Iraq on time, rescuing the banks and car companies, protecting women's reproductive rights, keeping up the war on terror, even when the liberals think the drone attacks are murder, etc., all the things you'd think I'd like about Obama. Plus he didn't start a war with Iraq, like the Republicans wanted - that's terrific!

    I think he did pretty good considering that for 2 years the Republicans' project objective was getting rid of Obama, rather than governing! What a lack of patriotism!

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    There are plenty of blogs and websites out there who welcome partisan politics and would love to hear and argue with or against your opinions. This blog is not the place. It is dedicated to Project Management and Leadership.

    I thought I did a pretty even-handed critique of both leaders vying for this presidential election. You commented purely on one side and I chose to defend the other side, maintaining the neutrality of the post. But we'll leave it there. I'm not likely to change your politics and you're unlike to change mine.

  5. Agreed. There's a great article, "Must great leaders be gregarious?" by Susan Cain in today's NY Times Sunday Review section... what do you think of that?

    1. I just caught up with my Sunday paper last night and I liked the article. Makes for a great blog post for today. Thanks.