Is Nobody Home?

I’ve pointed out before how Republican presidents tend to favor Eisenhower’s staff approach to the presidency in which very strong cabinet officers are granted substantial freedom of action while Democratic presidents prefer a more White-House centered approach with lots of micro-management from the top.

I think that President George W. Bush made a major error in handling such a staff administration by pitting his cabinet officers against one another. That’s something weak managers do.

President Obama seems to have opened a new chapter in the history of the presidency. Neither he nor his appointees seem particularly interested in the actual functioning of government. Nobody gets out in front of an issue. They’re always taken by surprise.

The Will Rogers presidency. I don’t know nothing but what I read in the newspaper.

2 comments… add one
  • steve

    Can you get out in front anymore? Please define.


  • jan

    Getting out in front means “leading.’ And, if you’re going to lead then you can’t be too scattered, too isolated from reality, or ‘all over the map’ in your focus. In normal layman life one leads by prioritization — listing what needs your attention first and foremost. Even the many tasks delegated must have oversight and follow-up in order to get done expeditiously, along with some semblance of satisfying the intended need or goal.

    I don’t see much of the above skills and foresight applied in the Obama Administration. Most of his implementations seem symbolic, for affectation purposes, or simply politically motivated. There is really no long term substance imbued in his leadership or legislation. Nor is there an embrace, or seemingly even an overt awareness, of everyones’ POV or plight in creating policy. Instead the democratic agenda is mainly chopped up into constituency favoritism, ideological transformation processes, with little updating or reevaluation of the POTUS’s team or cabinet members job performances.

    Consequently President Obama simply chugs on, undeterred by the scandals piling up in his midst, the economic missteps and foreign policy embarrassments during his presidency. Rather, he stays comfortably detached, encapsulated in a closely guarded WH bubble who selectively inform him of the various travails swirling around his kingdom, outside of DC. He has basically become protected by constructing an impermeable, self-imposed wall of ignorance around his presidency, which both allows and excuses events to steadily unravel and fall apart. All the while President obama continues to indulge in what he enjoys and does best — campaign and entertain.

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