What Were You Thinking?
Before the US Presidential election I wrote a latter to the Editor of the New York Times as follows:
I note with interest your endorsement of Senator Obama for President.
Senator Obama is a very attractive man. He has a lovely voice. These are bonuses in a public figure, but they are not qualifications.
Character and policies are important. These are the factors on which a voting decision should be made. In both these factors there are differences between the two candidates.
But before these things are considered, before a candidate is even proposed, he or she must have shown the ability both to manage and to lead.
To manage is to use available resources effectively and efficiently to bring about a desired result.
Senator Obama has never managed a state or an organisation of any scale. He has never even run a corner store.
On what basis could anyone believe him capable of managing the financial, personal and organisational complexities of the presidency?
To lead is to have a vision which is shared with others by consistent example. To do this one must clear about one’s own beliefs, and stand for them unswervingly.
A leader cannot simply say, when asked to make a difference, “Present.” That may be an option in the Illinois Senate, It is not an option for the President.
Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.
Senator Obama has not shown any ability to manage. He has shown no ability to lead.
There is nothing in Senator Obama’s history to encourage confidence that he would make a wise, courageous and capable president.
He has done nothing since the election to make me change my mind.
As Joe Biden said “The presidency is not the place for on-the-job training.”
America, what were you thinking?