Jan 20, 2009

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Finally A President Who Understands What It Means To Be Mature

       I was not an early supporter of Barack Obama.  But there is no argument, the man has energized the country and possibly the world.  Obama is a masterful orator but what has really won me over is his willingness to cut to the chase and say what needs to be said without apology.

      His speech today resonated with themes of taking a stand for maturity and doing what needs to be done.  But doing it with compassion, integrity and context context context.  Obama did not talk entitlement.  He did not say we deserve what we want because we are great.  Rather he said we will prevail because of the consistency of our core values and the tenacity to which we have adhered to them in the darkest of times.

      This was not the speach of man looking to make friends.  It was the speach of a father telling his chidlren it was time to grow up and wake up.

          For me the boldest line was (and I paraphrase)   “we will not compromise our values in the face of fear.  We will not allow concerns for safety to justify an expediency that compromises our values.”  In other words by adhering to our core values we will weather the storm.  No short cuts.  No justification for doing the wrong thing in the name of protecting our safety.  The best protection we have is not our missles, not our wealth but our fabric of tolerance and willingness to rise together.  Obama challenged fundamentalists by saying leaders are remembered “by what they build not by what they destroy.”  I suspect that unlike his predecessor, Obama will lead from a place of “what I am for” rather than what we are against.

  His message was clear, stop being a back seat driver.  Don’t critcize unless you are prepared to offer a solution.  If you want something, don’t just ask for it…. demand it and be clear about what you are prepared to do to attain your goal.

Hard logic to find fault with.

Even his battle over his right to keep his blackberry speaks volumes about how we can expect him to lead.  He is not one to do things because “it is how it has always been done.”  Instead he will take a flyer based on instinct, even something as potentially wrong headed as having a homophobic, reactionary preacher give the invocation at his innauguration.  It speaks of playing for the long term.  Building credibilty slowly wiith his opposition while be willing to risk losing some favor with his core base of support. 

He honors his adversaries rather than isolating them.  Hllary being named as Secretary of State and Obama making a point of acknowleding John McCain at his innaugural podium.

Here’s to a very productive eight years under the tutelage of a man who despite his youth clearly gets the concept of leading from the mantle of a mature king.

        Abundance is only of value if you can share it

           and the best leaders act for the long haul.

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