Former UN Ambassador, Atlanta Mayor and Civil Rights Leader Andrew Young says he wants Barack
Obama to be president, but not until 2016. Young believes Obama is too much of an outsider and has not built the infrastructure necessary to be a successful chief administrator. As Young put it, ‘you can’t run a government all by yourself.’
I agree. In fact, I tell would-be entrepreneurs the same thing when I lecture at colleges and universities. To be successful in business, one has to build an infrastructure of contacts, content and experience. In most instances, entrepreneurial success is dependent upon who you know, who can open doors for you and who can pave the way. Sure, the blood, sweat and tears are all yours but, in our case, we knew the key agencies, the key media and the key influencers. And they all helped when our turn came.
Obama is a Beltway novice. If he should gain the oval office, I believe he’ll be so stressed in building first-time bridges that he won’t be able to accomplish much of anything. America needs someone who knows the ropes, has an infrastructure in place and can effect change. I’m not saying Hillary’s that person. But, I agree with Andy Young that it sure isn’t Obama.
I see your point Repman. Obviously LBJ’s experience as Senate Majority Leader helped him to push through those giant domestic programs. As a counter though I’ll cite Eisenhower. He had little Washington experience, but years of executive authority running a military, and once he entered office, he was smart to run the White House the same way. He surrounded himself with people who knew how to get the job done – his staff was a standard military hierarchy. Surrounding yourself with people who have the correct contacts is certainly a lesson that Bush, and Clinton in his later years, took to the White House and effectively implemented.
I agree with you, Repman. I was just telling this same thing to someone the other day. It’s taken me more than two years to figure out how to be a CEO and not a PR person. And I’ve done it through my own relationships, my own network, and on my own dime. As much as I love Obama, he’s not ready for the White House. If he goes, he’ll spend the first two or three years figuring out how to be presidential. And then he’ll be able to run the country. Why get the experience on our dime? Let him get the experience through serving the country in a Senate post for a few more years and then run for president.
Great to hear from you, former summer intern, Doug. I understand what you’re saying, but think you’re missing the point. Had he not chosen to escalate the war in Vietnam, LBJ might have gone down as a great president. Why? Because he was a Beltway insider who knew the system and how to get things done. His Great Society program may have had its flaws, but the man made tremendous strides in finally bringing civil rights to minorities. Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, ran an Obama-like campaign and presented himself as a fresh face with no Beltway ties. Sadly, he was so fresh he didn’t learn the system until it was too late and will be remembered as one of our weakest presidents. Obama’s smooth and smart, but he lacks another critical ‘s’ word: seasoning. We don’t need another inept president in the Oval Office. W is a dope. Obama seems brilliant, but inexperienced. I just wish we had a happy medium from which to choose.
I don’t think you are making the right comparison here, Repman. Unlike in business, when it comes to running the country, it is not about who you know or what connections you have. On the contrary, the fact that Obama is relatively new to D.C. politics should be his selling point and main contrast to Clinton. The common stereotype of Washington these days is that it has been overcome with special interests and partisan politics, so Obama’s fresh face should be his appeal.
Obama’s real flaw, and the correct business comparison, is that he lacks executive experience. He has spent his whole career in the legislature and never run a government. Similarly, in business, no CEO rises to the top without some experience managing people below him, setting an agenda or other various executive tasks. The last elected president (excludes Ford) to lack executive experience was JFK – and this is exactly what Hillary has been selling about herself in comparison to Obama.