With the recent death of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela it is a convenient time to compare two very different “leaders.” The stories circulating about President Mandela tell a tale of a great man and leader. The one that touched me most was hearing that he invited his white jailers to his inauguration. Instead of bitterness he chose the path toward healing.
Obama doesn’t contrast well. Actually he pales. As the graphic on the left attests “I” is clearly Obama’s favorite word. On the news of President Mandela’s passing the Obama White House released this photograph of Der Leader sitting thoughtfully in Mandela’s jail cell…
“When Abraham Lincoln came to power in 1861, he found himself in a similar dilemma. The first Republican president elected by a minority of the popular vote, Lincoln was viewed by many as a gawky, second-rate country lawyer ill equipped to handle the chief executive office – his own cabinet considered him nothing more than a figurehead. Ten days before he took the oath of office, the Confederate States of America seceded from the Union, taking all Federal agencies, forts, and arsenals within their territory. The country was so stricken that rumors of a military coup and assassination abounded at the inauguration.”
We recently had the good fortune of attending the graduation ceremony for our oldest as he moves from university life to working life. This is even more gratifying for him as he has secured gainful employment in a field that he loves. Congratulations Kevin!
The ceremony was full of pomp and circumstance befitting the achievements of the now former students. Professors in robes, loud trumpets blared, and around 250 graduated in their blue cap and gowns. Speeches were made and diplomas (really just place holders until the real ones are mailed this week) were handed out. The university is a Catholic school and I would say fairly conservative for a college these days and this was the graduation from only the business school which, in general, is even a little more conservative.
If you love George W. Bush you’ll still love him; If you hate him you’ll still hate him; If you are like me and fit neither extreme you probably won’t be moved from that position either. One thing that he is most proud of was that under his watch we were not attacked after 9/11. I appreciated the speed with which the government moved into “protect” mode after those attacks. Did they go too far with the Patriot Act…probably.
A repeated tome in this blog is the desire for business leaders who are not coddling up to politicians to gain favor and subsequent breaks from government toadies. It seems like General Motors, Chrysler, BP, AIG, Goldman Sachs executive accept the pound of flesh that they have give to political expediency. The dutifully appear before Congress to be berated and belittled, slink off to their boardroom to lick their wounds only to emerge like the Phoenix with even more power and favor from government.
I am seeking Wyatt.