Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Krugman Agrees with Vinny - again

Over the past several days, an awakening of sorts has occurred in Princeton, New Jersey, home of Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman. It is the reality that Barack Obama is no leader. This is a point that Mr. Krugman has begun to make several times of late, most recently in his blog today. This is point that I first made nearly one year ago.

So, as we await yet another speech from the man in the White House, here is what the Nobel Laureate had to say today (link to full commentary provided) and what little old me said one year ago. The rest is history in the making.

from Paul Krugman's blog today today:

"Various reports suggest that in today’s speech Obama will try to position himself as a pragmatist, as opposed to the ideologues of right and (probably) left. We’ll see how that works; as I recall, the last president we had who viewed himself primarily as a manager was … Jimmy Carter."

from this blog, June 9, 2010 (note the year):

The Real Problem with Obama

"Let me cut to the chase: It’s not about Mr. Obama’s capacity to show emotion beyond a clenched jaw that is missing. It’s about his capacity to lead. Just because someone has the title of leader doesn’t mean he/she is a leader.

In his media book tour for “The Promise”, author Jonathan Alter notes how impressed he was with Obama’s ability to manage the job – to synthesize the information and make an informed decision. This is no doubt due to his God given abilities. But it is also no doubt due to his educational training.

Mr. Obama is an excellently trained Harvard business manager. One of the attributes of a good manager is the ability to work for incremental improvements. Another is to be quite pragmatic. Mr. Obama has both qualities, so eloquently combined in Frank Rich’s commentary this past Sunday – incremental pragmatism. And therein lies the rub.

Being an excellent manager means espousing phrases like “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. Stop and think about that phrase for a moment, then ask yourself if that is something that a leader would ever articulate as the centerpiece of his philosophy?

Perhaps a Chicago trained politician might hold such a core view. Certainly a well trained manager would. But a leader?"

Will Mr. Obama surprise us today with a demonstration of spine and vision? Does a leopard change his spots?

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