Update: Video of Hillary remarks on Bloomberg news this afternoon posted at end – below.
They want a president who they believe gets up every single day and works for them, that requires a president who is hands-on. Who after you set the goals and give the speeches, you go back to the White House and you start holding people accountable and you want to know what they’ve done today to help the American people.
You’ve got to take on this government, you’ve got to to run this government, you can’t leave it to others.
“Let Them Eat Words” – that appears to be the Obama government style.
Our latter day Mario Antoinette appears to believe in the George W. Bush management style. The Bush and Obama idea is that the job of chief executive is one of cheerleading not accountability. With Obama/Bush a great flowery speech is the beginning and the end of the job.
The Bush management style is exemplified in disaster after disaster. What the Pentagon needs is not cheerleading but leadership. What the Gulf Coast needed when Katrina struck was not cheerleading, not speeches, but a functioning Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A president not only has to give orders to the bureaucracy but then make sure her orders are being implemented. It’s called follow-up, management, leadership.
Hillary understands America and the world does not need more Bush/Obama management style:
It seems odd that Barack Obama went out of his way in Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate to describe his management style in ways that are bound to remind voters of George W. Bush’s above-it-all detachment.
“Being president is not making sure that schedules are being run properly or the paperwork is being shuffled effectively,” Obama said in the Las Vegas debate. “It involves having a vision for where the country needs to go.”
Those sentiments echoed the Illinois senator’s earlier comments to a Nevada newspaper’s editorial board.
“I’m not an operating officer,” Obama told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “Some in this debate around experience seem to think the job of the president is to go in and run some bureaucracy. Well, that’s not my job. My job is to set a vision of ‘Here’s where the bureaucracy needs to go.’”
Hillary Rodham Clinton took issue in the debate with Obama’s notion of how a president should operate, seizing an opportunity to portray him as a Democratic Bush. Their differing philosophies will likely play out in many ways as they compete for the party’s nomination.
“I think you have to be able to manage and run the bureaucracy – we’ve seen the results of a President who frankly failed at that,” Clinton said, referring to Bush. “He went into office saying he was going to have this kind of Harvard Business School CEO model, where he’d set the tone, he’d set the goals, and then everybody else would have to implement it.”
Voters tend to look for characteristics in a new president that are different from the last one. Look for Clinton to continue pressing the case that, while Obama is running on the hope and promise for change, his self-described management style sounds like more of the same.
Obama does not seem to understand that a speech is part of a process. Part of the job of president is giving speeches. However, the big part of being president is CHIEF EXECUTIVE. This means managing the bureaucracy. A speech is a TOOL with which to manage the bureaucracy. A speech can either initiate action or summarize an action. But a speech is words. What matters is the action.
When John F. Kennedy gave a wonderful speech declaring he wanted a man on the moon in ten years it was a speech he implemented by creating a bureaucracy and making sure NASA carried out his orders. When Harry Truman issued an executive order integrating the armed forces Truman had to make sure the bureaucracy implemented his order. When Lyndon B. Johnson, Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy issued orders to enforce civil rights they all had to make sure the bureaucracy followed their orders.
The great Abraham Lincoln gave brilliant and important speeches. But Lincoln struggled for years to try to get the bureaucracy to bend to his will. For years Lincoln struggled with his generals and the federal bureaucracy to implement his ideas. Kings, presidents, prime ministers, corporate cheiftains, tribal leaders all know that one of the first jobs is to master and control the multi-headed Kafka beast called bureaucracy.
Barack Obama does not seem to even understand what the job of president is. David Axelrod needs to get Obama a job description quick. The president is the CHEIF EXECUTIVE of the Executive branch of government. The vice president can attend funerals and give speeches all day, but the President runs the government. Perhaps Obama intends to run with Dick Cheney as Vice President and let him run the day to day government.
Little wonder that the Las Vegas Review-Journal has endorsed Barack Obama. This is the assessment not of his detractors, but of his supporters:
Is Barack Obama, then, the ideal Democratic candidate for president? Hardly. His policy recommendations — when he can be convinced to get any more specific than “I represent change” — are the opposite of “change.” They’re old-line, welfare-state solutions that haven’t spent enough time in the microwave to appear even superficially appetizing.
Sen. Obama is a relatively young man with relatively little of the kind of real-world experience that prepares a candidate to stand firm against urgent advice to, say, bomb some remote population of defenseless civilians to “send a message,” or plunge the economy into a dark night of unforeseen consequences by crippling the free market in the name of “fighting greed.”
The President has to run the government or the government will run him. With Hillary we won’t have that problem. Hillary understands that after she appoints the best qualified people to their jobs she has to make sure they are actually doing their jobs. Hillary understands that if those she hires are not doing the job she expects from them they have to be fired. Obama seems to think that he can traipse around the the country with a thesaurus and ignore the “killer of ideas” – the federal bureaucracy.
The most powerful country in the world needs a functioning government. We no longer need a president who does not know, or pretends not to know, what is going on. We need a president who does not blame the staff but takes personal responsibility.