Thursday, October 27, 2011

Yes, We Can

As we approach the one year marker until the next Presidential election, I think it's appropriate to have just a little reminder from the last Presidential election cycle of what made Obama such an inspiring choice to lead this country as its President:

We've had a lot of ups and downs, successes and disappointments, moments of inspiration and deflated dreams from President Obama over the last three years.  But it behooves us to remember that he never promised us an easy road and that there is, still, nothing false about hope.

When I look at the circus that is the current crop of GOP presidential hopefuls, Barack Obama is by far and above the best hope this country has.  My hope for this country still resides firmly and unwaveringly in Barack Obama.


Eric said...

I really hope the Supreme Court rules on Obamacare before the election gets into full swing. If they don't the entire election is going to be a repeat of the healthcare debate we had in this country in 2009. We have bigger fish to fry right now. I give Obama some credit for asking them to speed the process up.

The GOP field is a mess, but I think any one of them could compete with Obama in terms of ideas and leadership (and most of them could compete in terms of electability). We have some money set back for campaign contributions and at this point it is between Ron Paul and Herman Cain, will need to make a decision pretty soon. I started out dismissive of Herman Cain but am growing to like him, especially as I learn more about his biography and resume (referring to him as a "pizza salesman", as the media often does, is insultingly neglectful of his achievements).

I think it would be very interesting to see Cain and Obama go head to head. What I can't figure out is how Cain's lack of political experience would effect his (proven) leadership abilities. He has executive experience galore, but we just haven't seen a modern case of private sector executive experience applied towards government (Bush had some private sector executive experience, but honestly his business roles seemed to be more around using his name to attract investment into the business, as opposed to strategic leadership).

Anyway, my overwhelming feeling about the 2012 election: we are mostly rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic at this point, no matter who wins. Our political dysfunction and institutional failures are not going to be solved by one Presidential election.

Anonymous said...

Huck, I'll see your and raise you some real (and appropriately titled) hip-hop:

Huck said...

Eric - I don't think politics in general is very compatible with private sector executive leadership experience. One can't run the government like a corporation. This makes Cain really seem out of his depths and much too reliant on hierarchical chain-of-command authoritarian leadership. His political ads reveal this naivete. On the other hand, I kinda relish having Cain go up against Obama just to see how conservatives will handle their own medicine by facing the inevitable (albeit ludicrous) claim from table-turning liberal that the only reason they would be voting for him is because of his race. As someone having regularly been subject to this outlandish charge at RWN because of my vote for Obama, just that prospect alone of a Cain candidacy is enough to make me want to see him get the nomination, though I honestly don't think he has a real shot.

I find your comments about the Pizza Salesman charge interesting. Seems to me that Obama faced a similarly insulting reference in conservative media to his history as a "community organizer." Frankly, I don't know what's inherently so insulting about either job title -- pizza salesman or community organizer. If anything, what makes it insulting is not the work itself but the elitist dismissiveness and condescension that perhaps is conveyed in discussing it. And that is something that both the right and the left share.

Huck said...

ProfMondo - Thanks for visiting and commenting. Whatever "hype" there was 3-4 years ago has long dissipated. And even still, I personally never put much stock in the hype, though I did see in Obama, and still do, this country's best hope.

Eric said...

"I don't think politics in general is very compatible with private sector executive leadership experience."

In some ways it is not, but in other ways there are some interesting inroads from the latter to the former. What intrigues me about Cain is his history as a systemic thinker: from his degree in mathmatics, to his Navy work as a ballistics engineer, to his career as a computer systems analyst, to his managerial accomplishments at Burger King and Godfathers, and later as Board Member of the Federal Reserve... the vast majority of Cain's carreer is built around improving the management and efficiency of complex systems. It would be interesting to see the leadership that could be applied from this perspective at the Executive level. However, no President from either party is going to get much accomplished without a legislative mandate in the form of an ideological sympathetic House and Senate... so I tend to agree with you that Cain's leadership style will largely be ineffective in the D.C. envirnonment, but that could change dramatically if Republicans hold the House and win back the Senate. (Likewise, should Obama win a 2nd term while Republicans hold the House, his "hierarchical chain-of-command authoritarian leadership" style will be as useless as Cain's.)

"I kinda relish having Cain go up against Obama just to see how conservatives will handle their own medicine..."

I see it a bit differently... Cain vs. Obama takes the race issue completely off the table. We can have a discussion about the merits of the two candidates without either side giving *any* deference on account of their race, which is how it should be. You can't accuse Republicans of voting for the black guy based on his race when his opponent is another black guy. I suppose you could make that argument about the primary, but if you're still making it during the General Election, what's the point?

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