One Nation, Under Me

In Monday’s debate on foreign policy, President Barack Obama looked more like a challenger trailing by ten points in the polls than an incumbent who claims to have a solid lead. His juvenile, immature attacks on Governor Mitt Romney were an attempt to bait Romney in to getting in the mud with him:

You mentioned the navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military’s changed.

#ObamaFail. Romney maintained his restraint and strength, and looked presidential. Obama’s attacks on Romney’s desire to keep the military strong demonstrate Obama’s lack of understanding of the concept of deterrence, and his unwillingness to keep the United States as a hegemony on the global stage.

After being attacked by President Obama for his statements, Romney was certainly correct when he said,

Attacking me is not an agenda.

Obama has a history of saying “me,” “my” and “I” far too frequently in his speeches and press conferences, even with a teleprompter. The debate was no different. When speaking about the people of the United States, he eluded to in fact being the nation:

One thing I think Americans should be proud of: when Tunisians began to protest, this nation, me, my administration, stood with them earlier than just about any other country.

Mr. President, you are not the United States of America. You may be its President for a short period of time (hopefully only a few more months), but this is not a “cult of personality” dictatorship where you and only you represent the people of this nation. Leadership is not about claiming “me,” “my” and “I” when something is accomplished, and leading from behind all other times. Leadership is not throwing others under the bus when you fail, and then taking credit for the accomplishments of others (we all know Obama himself pulled the trigger to take out Osama bin Laden, but the Libya failures were Hillary’s fault).

There seems to be a defect in Obama’s understanding of leadership, believing he can claim “me,” “my” and “I” on cue  and bolster his argument or his appearance of leading. Strong, confident leaders know that you must give credit where credit is due, and it’s not ever with yourself. If someone in charge cannot thank or compliment those who really did the heavy lifting, one must question the self-confidence of the “leader” and the necessity to make it all about that person.

“One nation, under me” is not a plan, a leadership technique or a re-election strategy. It’s a narcissistic,  weak philosophy that demonstrates a lack of confidence and the absence of believing in one’s own abilities. On November 7, after Obama has lost his re-election battle, to whom will he point the blame then?

Comments

  1. There’s no misunderstanding as regards Obama’s definition of leadership; he doesn’t claim to be a leader. He believes he is a RULER, and has governed as such since Day One. One of his lackeys back in 2008 actually told a reporter that Obama “would be ready to rule on Day One”. Examining him and his failed presidency through this prism, his constant use of the first-person makes sense, abhorrent as it is.

  2. I don’t disagree with your analysis of what happened in the debate. But I believe it was a conscious choice on the part of both candidates. The debates are TV programs after all! People really want these two to throw food, wrestle in a cage, or duel with paintball guns. If you think TV debates are supposed to be about substance rather than style, where have you been since 1960? In each debate, the person perceived to have “won” was whoever landed the most blows. It’s definitely NOT about “acting Presidential”. Each side thinks their guy “acts Presidential”.

    Ultimately, I don’t think the debates did anything but re-set the race back to where it was after the conventions, while giving us “B” buzzwords; Big Bird / Binders / Benghazi / Bayonets / Battleship. It’s going to be a real squeaker.

    • The poll numbers, the momentum and the campaigns would disagree with you on your last two sentences. The first debate changed everything. If anything, the “reset” is to the day after the first debate.

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