Obama’s leadership failures and the low information voter

John Mariotti is an experienced author and former senior executive, and is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @johnentgrp

John Mariotti is an experienced author and former senior executive, and is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @johnentgrp

Sign up for The Brenner Brief newsletter! Free subscription; unsubscribe any time. Connect with conservative, alternative media — we are “rendering the mainstream media useless” at TheBrennerBrief.com!

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 55 percent of “likely U.S. voters” consider Barack Obama a good or excellent leader, the highest such result since May 2009. This is up three percentage points from last month, and was the first time the finding passed the 50 percent mark since June 2009.  This is ironic considering that in our (John Mariotti and D.M. Lukas) recent book, Hope Is Not A Strategy: Leadership Lessons from the Obama Presidency, we wrote 32 chapters, each of which illustrated leadership deficiencies of the Obama presidency.

Consider a few of the more prominent tests of leadership Obama fails:

1.  Leaders take less than their share of credit for successes and more than their share of blame for failures. If this sounds diametrically opposite of how Barack Obama behaves, then you too must be surprised to find that 55 percent of Americans think he is a good leader.

2. Leaders walk their talk, saying what they plan to accomplish and then accomplishing what they said they would do. Somehow, this also fails to describe Obama. More often, he practices revisionism in which he redefines the goals to match whatever he accomplished, or changes them to something else entirely.

3. Two chapters from our book are combined in this one; “Noble intentions don’t justify screwing up” and “All spending is not investment.”  It seems that everything from Obamacare to the Orwellian named American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 had noble intentions, but the results have been the exact opposite of their intentions. Obamacare is causing healthcare to go up in cost by an average of $2500 or more per family when Obama said would be reduced by $2000. The Tax Payer Relief Act has, in fact, offered no relief at all. It hit the middle class the hardest by keeping the income tax rates the same, but raising their total taxes by 2 percent for social security back to the 6.2 percent where it was a couple of years ago, before the payroll tax holiday. What have both healthcare and the tax act accomplished? Americans now have less money to spend from their paychecks, their healthcare costs are higher, and their taxes will go up further as Obamacare begins to be implemented.  In addition, the U.S. deficit is going to go even higher as there are no meaningful spending cuts, and that is even with increased tax revenues expected.  This is not what is needed to fix an already anemic economic recovery.  It is a clear example of a leader who chose to put his agenda ahead of the people he was chosen to represent as a leader.

4. Finally, leaders take groups of people whose ideas and perspectives are different and help them come together in a consensus for the greater good of everyone — each giving some for what they get.

Unless you have been observing some alternate reality those are four benchmarks in a row that are not indicative of leadership excellence.

By sending in VP Biden to pull the fiscal cliff deal together, Obama wasn’t using delegation. He was guilty of abdication in the face of likely failure.  This is a near rerun of the last August’s debt ceiling negotiation in which president Obama, after failing to lead the group to any positive conclusion, left abruptly.  In doing so, he once again abdicated his leadership responsibility and stayed away while Congressional leaders worked out a resolution.  A real leader would have fixed the fiscal cliff months ago instead of taking it to the wire and even letting it become “the cliff.”

Unfortunately, the 55 percent of Americans who believe president Obama is a good leader are reacting to his speechifying and campaign skills, and some good scripts by campaign staff.  Barack Obama knows how to play to an audience, especially if it is a sympathetic and friendly audience, and most especially if he has his teleprompter nearby. Obama also has the massive support of the mainstream media who buries or excuses his mistakes and misspeaks and plays up anything positive that he does, regardless of whether it was his doing.

D.M. Lukas is an author, entrepreneur and contributor to The Brenner Brief.

D.M. Lukas is an author and entrepreneur. He contributed to writing section of this column.

Imagery and illusions are powerful shapers of public opinion.  Never before has the USA had a president who was so skillful at this manipulation.  Never before has the USA had a president who was so enamored with himself, thus his constant use of “I” and “me” in his pronouncements, even at funerals.  Never before has the USA had a chief executive so adept at taking money from every possible source — taxes on earned wealth, borrowings of every kind, and financial manipulations by the fed — and redistributing it to such a carefully chosen set of voting constituents.  And, never before has a president presided over a country that is so deeply in debt, and proclaimed this as “progress” in the face of ever-rising deficits.

The ultimate test of a leader is that a leader tells the truth — telling it like it is — to the people he is supposed to be leading.  It is in this test that Barack Hussein Obama fails most miserably of all.  He is the master of parsing the phrases to bury most of the easily detectable lies.  He is unusually skillful at telling half-truths and untruths over and over with such conviction that eventually they become accepted as the new truth.

It is in this respect that he should meet his ultimate undoing, but not until after millions of Americans will have suffered from his true lack of leadership in every respect.

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Comments

  1. John, it’s truly amazing Obama has such a high approval rating. Like it or not we have to realize class warfare is the name of Team Obama’s game. There’s not enough money from taxing the rich. Middle class is next and will bear the brunt. Austerity ahead.

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