Thursday, March 08, 2007

What's Important In A Leader?

I'm devoting this post to the two men who are, to date, the strongest contenders for the Democratic and Republican Presidential nominations. What are their strengths and liabilities?


(AP photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta.)

Barack Obama. My God, look at him. He's magnificent. He's bright, articulate (sorry to keep using that word to refer to him, but after six years of a President who can't string two words together, it's real noticeable), handsome, and a devoted family man, who doesn't make a vulgar, pseudo-sentimental spectacle of his family. I get the feeling that he's very respectful of their privacy in a way that George Bush hasn't been with his Twin Towers of Terror (of course, those crazy bitches practically throw themselves at paparazzi, so whattya gonna do?).

However, we now have a question of some investments--companies run by, or affiliated with, his campaign contributors, we're told. Tricky stuff. This is the kind of thing that had Martha Stewart weaving raffia baskets at Camp Cupcake. There's also that land deal thing (but the Clintons had something similar, and even the Republicans' creepy clone lawyer, Kenneth Starr, couldn't find anything illegal).

Then there is the matter of some unpaid parking tickets while he was at Harvard. He never paid them, apparently. There were 17 tickets in all. Over the course of two or three years, however, in a place like Cambridge, MA, that's not very many (I once got two within a week here). And he's now paid them off in full. Sure, he should have paid them at the time, but I'll bet a law student spends most of his money on tuition and textbooks and doesn't have a lot left over. Whatever his reasons for not paying, isn't it strange that it never came up during his Senate run? (Or could it be that nobody wanted Alan Keyes, so they were willing to overlook it?)

Also, he smokes. Well so do I sometimes (less than before, thankfully), and so do many of my friends. But we're not running for President. Apparently, Presidential hopefuls are not allowed to have any bad habits at all--well, except stupidity, apparently. (Although I understand that Laura Bush still secretly smokes sometimes. And she's a moocher--the worst kind of ex-smoker. Not enough for them to reproach you with their newly-found good health, they cost you money, too. At least Obama smokes his own.)


(Photo swiped from AOL main page. Almost not worth it, I'd say.)

Well, we've had a leader who IS a joke...we've had several who could TELL it time for one who can PARTICIPATE in the joke (as something other than the butt, that is)?

Frankly, I think leadership skills are important. And Rudy is certainly commanding as a leader. However, leadership skills are important all the time. NOT just directly after a major crisis, when it's time to sling rhetoric and reassure the citizens with a pleasing stream of verbal urine. And leadership skills are more than just having the proverbial cojones. It's important in a leader that they are open to all ideas, even those that they may not agree with, and not be so stubborn that they refuse to switch course when they sense that the current one will lead to disaster. Not that we'd know what that's like, of course...

Everything I've seen and read about Giuliani leads me to think he'd be a frightening President...temperamental, egotistical, unyielding and, yes, stubborn. And what can you think of a man who dumps his wife by press conference? And whose children won't speak to him? (Either of them.)

With so many potentially problematic character issues, Rudy's an absolute SHOO-in for the Republican nomination. He is decisive, to be sure. He shops well for his dentures, loves his city (let's hope he loves ALL cities, since he'd be governing them all, and fairness is important), and manages to get people on his side.

And apparently, he could stand in for Gwen Stefani, should she ever become dangerously involved in a case of international intrigue and espionage, placing her life at risk and requiring a body double.

I'll bet he does a mean Carol Channing, too.


Anonymous Ed said...

After checking both candidates Blogs I can say that Gay issues are the farthest thing from their minds. I would like to see a candidate that wasn't afraid to come out for gay issues. Is there one? Yes, John Edwards. He supports gay issues on his blog and calls for the elimination of "Don't ask Don't tell" he says our gay men should be able to serve with pride. What a man!

10:33 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Well, what I forgot to mention here is that Giuliani's an asshole and Barack Obama's all "churchy," so we won't be hearing anything about gay issues from either of them. I figure the best we can hope for is someone who won't get in the way of our progress and who won't collect more enemies for the U.S. And Giuliani ain't it.

10:36 AM  

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