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Likability or leadership?

Voters should decide which is most important in their next president

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When Hillary Clinton was asked at a 2008 presidential primary debate about Barack Obama being more likable, she gave a diplomatic answer: sweet, and every bit as chewable as meringue.

Too bad. As we noted at the time, she had the opportunity to help change how Americans view presidential candidates – if only she would’ve taken the chance.

Here are a couple of things we wished she’d said:

“You think the president who straightens out the entitlement mess and tells the American people that they’re stealing from their children is going to be given parades? As if!

“Hey, you want Sally Field, get Sally Field. I don’t care whether you like me, and you shouldn’t (care) either. You don’t need likable, you need tough and determined and courageous and principled.

“This isn’t a popularity contest. It’s a test of leadership. More than ever, we need a leader.”

It’s even truer today.

In their never-ending quest to trivialize the presidential election, pundits and pollsters are talking again about “the likability question.” In this case, Obama beats Mitt Romney 2-1.

Sadly enough, likability probably does matter in presidential elections. And Mr. Obama has ridden his easy-going, hip, joke-cracking, big-smile persona like a champion. Yet, again, likability is one of the least-important characteristics we need in a president.

Twenty-somethings, for instance, can be all agog at this president’s savoir-faire – but the fact is, his unprecedented spending is shackling them and
future generations with unbearable debt.

Professed empathy is a vastly overrated quality in politicians, too – and they use it to great effect. But ask yourself: Do you want a leader who makes you feel good or who creates the kind of economic, business and political climate in which you can flourish?

If we were electing the student council president, likability might jump to the head of the class. We’re not. We’re looking for a leader. Whether he is square, stiff or even gruff, the main thing is: What will he do to improve and strengthen America?

As we wish Mrs. Clinton had said in 2008:

“Likability? Good grief! That’s the last thing you’ll need in your next president!”

It’s even truer today.

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Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 05/19/12 - 11:14 am
5
6
ACES writes: "You don’t need

ACES writes: "You don’t need likable, you need tough and determined and courageous and principled."

Methinks what really sticks in the craw of our Oracles on Broad is the FACT that with our President, Barrack Hussien Obama, we get all of that in the same package. Maybe we don't need the likable part,but are they saying that it's the Presidents fault for being so? Sounds like a bit of childish, petulant jealousy to this avid reader.

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/19/12 - 09:16 am
4
5
real courage

Obama is indeed principled. It's just that his principles run contrary to those of mainstream America, the faith he claims to follow, and (in terms of the increasing national debt) even logic itself.

Obama is indeed courageous. It's takes a lot of guts to ignore the U.S. Constitution after you swore to "preserve, protect, and defend" that document. It takes courage to flip-flop on important issues and offend so many of your most staunch supporters (black pastors and churches) just so you can better surf the tides of voters' opinions and garner campaign contributions from the wealthy, left-wing elite.

Maybe most telling: it takes a lot of principles and guts (and hubris) to ask the U.S. people to give you another 4 years in office when you've accomplished so few positive things with the 4 years you've already been given.

America: Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago? I'd like to see Obama have enough courage to ask us that question, and then have enough principles to bow out if the answer is NO.

justus4
99
Points
justus4 05/19/12 - 09:14 am
0
0
This president WILL be
Unpublished

This president WILL be reelected. His leadership have been soundly proven given the conditions he was handed. But don't expect the "haters" to comprehend his brilliance due to their own personal demons. Yes, he's likable. Yes he's smart. Yes he's playing the opposition like a flute while they are betting against America with their constant negativity and exaggerated doom. And once he's reelected, watch how the opposition turn on the voters. They will question the voting age, then the voter's intelligence, then author opinions about changing something about voting. Yep, being "likable" is important because most Americans vote with their hearts - not their heads.

harley_52
22211
Points
harley_52 05/19/12 - 09:16 am
9
5
I Guess I Just Don't Uderstand.....

.....some posters on these boards. We have one who describes himself as an "avid reader" of the Augusta Chronicle by his own admission, but he goes on to characterize the Chronicle's assessment of Obama as one that "sounds like a bit of childish, putulant jealousy."

Admittedly, I don't know what "putulant" means, but I must admit I'm not at all fond of the NYT nor the AJC so I make it a point not to waste my time reading either of them (except on rare occasions) and certainly wouldn't describe myself an "avid reader" of either. I'm not a big believer in self-flagellation.

In my opinion, the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency was the single greatest mistake ever made by the citizens of the United States. We knew almost nothing about him, but everything we did know was bad. We elected him anyway.

I have very little confidence we can ever recover from the damage he and his collection of left-wing, radical, socialistic/communistic, anti-American, divisive, big spending, corrupt soul mates have already done to this Country. I'm pretty sure we can't survive another four years.

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/19/12 - 09:39 am
6
3
Harley

I think Obama's election was more a statement to the world that, "Hey, we're not a racist country. Look at us!" Electing a minority president was simply more important than the issues. Although, I have to admit that John McCain was not exactly an exciting alternative.

Obama had no real qualifications. He was a community organizer from a state known for political corruption. He was not a leader in the Senate. He had a very unclear background (intentionally so), but was linked with communist and anarchist groups. His socialist agenda has undermined over 200 years economic success. His "spiritual advisor" preached crazy things, so much so that Obama felt compelled to distance himself from those teachings. He had no executive experience whatsoever.

With this resume, how in the world could this man even be nominated for the "leadership of the free world"? It made no sense. Then, even before he'd done ANYTHING as president, he's given the Nobel Peace Prize. What a joke!

Obama's election was nothing more than a feel-good symbol for so many that, yes, anyone can become president (apparently, regardless of qualifications). I think it was the great culmination of the civil rights era, and proved to the world that America, as a whole, is not a racist nation. And, that's not a bad thing at all.

This is a neat story and would make a nice Hollywood script. However, the leadership of the free world is not a movie. It's deadly serious. We elected an unqualified man as President simply because it made us feel good. Well, the time for feeling good is over, and we need some common sense, real leadership in the White House now. Our future is in peril because of the mounting national debt. Obama has mortgaged our future and sacrificed the welfare of future generations to he can "look good" now. This has to stop.

The nice experiment is over. It's time to get back to reality and tackle our problems head-on.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 05/19/12 - 09:43 am
4
3
Lack of substance

Our society as it stands today values style over substance in most every part of life. This is true from the Kardashians to the Presidency. I chuckle every time I hear some of my more rabid anti-Obama friends rail against the lack of substance in Obama and then run home to watch Dancing with the Stars or American Idol etc.

dichotomy
30750
Points
dichotomy 05/19/12 - 09:46 am
5
3
Package or sack?

"with our President, Barrack Hussien Obama, we get all of that in the same package"

It's not a package....it's a sack. And after 3 1/2 years we can smell what's in it.

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/19/12 - 09:50 am
4
3
Never seen Dancing with the

Never seen Dancing with the Stars or American Idol. Never will, either.

If you read "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", you'll find that one of the main things that lead to the destruction of the world's greatest society was "bread and circuses". That is, keep the people happy and entertained, and you can divert them from reality.

If you look at the entertainment industry and the "quality" of television today -- along with the worship of anything and anyone associated with sports -- it's easy to see scary parallels between Rome and the U.S.A.

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it. We could learn a lot from Rome and what caused its demise. But, you'll not get your average American to study history or learn from the past because they are far more concerned about Facebooking about who will be the next American Idol or who has the most talent.

Like lambs lead to the slaughter, oblivious to their impending fate....

Bizkit
29293
Points
Bizkit 05/19/12 - 09:56 am
2
1
Obama is the Hip, Cool,

Obama is the Hip, Cool, Culture president (it's all about cultural resources)-he is "everyman-and women and etc., etc.. The perfect Universalist (that believes in everything and nothing for a given interest group)but really just another slick politician. You can't help but like him, but Bush had a similar problem with people liking him personally and hating his policies. How's that doin' for em. This should be an interesting election because we will see if the issue of jobs and the economy trumps culture and more superficial issues. If the later is true I expect Kim Kardashian as President in 2016 or Paris Hilton.

Conservative Man
5305
Points
Conservative Man 05/19/12 - 10:09 am
5
2
HIs likability factor means

HIs likability factor means absolutely nothing to me.....If he is re-elected he will continue to "fundamentally change" this country into something it was never meant to be. And he will be aided by a compliant fawning media, who gets a "shiver up their leg" every time he speaks and also aided by a populace that knows more about the afore mentioned Kardashians than they know about the United States Constitution.

harley_52
22211
Points
harley_52 05/19/12 - 10:27 am
6
2
Great posts this morning,

Great posts this morning, howcanweknow....
Obama was elected by blacks who voted for him because of his race and by whites who thought it would prove how NOT racist we were by electing a black President. People didn't care about his background or his qualifications. They ate up his false promises and ignored their brains in favor of voting with their emotions. You are dead right about it.

I think democrats were willing to elect anybody they could find. Many had never gotten over the impeachment of Clinton and the "theft of the Presidency" from Gore by the Supreme Court. Bush was punished and hated because of what happened to Clinton and Gore and the democrats were desperate to elect ANYBODY. That they found Obama and could introduce the race card into the equation was a bonus from their perspective.

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/19/12 - 10:28 am
2
1
"I don't know what "putulant"

"I don't know what "putulant" means"

Don't worry, Harley. It's not a real word.

harley_52
22211
Points
harley_52 05/19/12 - 10:40 am
4
3
"Don't worry, Harley. It's

"Don't worry, Harley. It's not a real word."

Thanks. At first I thought he might have meant "petulant," but the "e" key is a long way from the "u" key. I was thinking it might be a code word amongst the ultra-left. You know, kinda like "invest" when they really mean "tax."

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/19/12 - 10:51 am
4
2
agreement

Maybe one thing we can all agree upon is that there appear to be few, if any, truly great leaders poised to right the ship that is America today. More often than not, we tend to elect the "lesser of two evils".

We are divided by ideology, race, and economic views. Politicians know this, and stoke the fires simply to get votes. The political parties are playing the game of "getting elected" -- they'll do and say whatever it takes to garner votes, with little regard for the overall health of the nation. Election to office means pride, power, and wealth for them. They can gain control, "serve" for a while, and then retire in style. They get a great life at the expense of the American people. Again, I believe BOTH parties are culpable here.

Problem is that the average American can indeed be swayed by glitz and glamor, and either is so apathetic (or uninformed) that they allow themselves to be hoodwinked by these artful, creative spinmasters who promise everything to everyone -- but deliver little. (Obama and his handlers being a prime example)

Modern pop culture worships those who can sing, act, talk a good game, throw a ball, or run fast. In contrast, intelligence, thoughtfulness, and patriotism are degraded as being old-fashioned. The Christian principles upon which our nation was founded (and has prospered under) are being constantly undermined by liberalism, hedonism, and narcissism.

I don't see any quick fix for our situation, if there is a fix. Rome did not fall because of external pressure. That great nation fell because of internal corruption and loss of the principles than made them great. I fear we are following that very same path. This November we have an opportunity to try and get back on course. If we blow it this time, I don't know how many more chances we'll have.

harley_52
22211
Points
harley_52 05/19/12 - 11:16 am
2
1
You're right again,

You're right again, howcanweknow.

In my opinion, the last real charismatic leader the Republicans found was Sarah Palin. She was harassed, hounded, and attacked so viciously by the left that most weak-kneed Republicans ended up believing the hatred spewed by the left and have become pretty lukewarm in supporting her.

Democrats are still scared to death of her and Republicans desperately want her support, but they don't want to be seen with her when anybody in the Press is around.

faithson
4838
Points
faithson 05/19/12 - 11:28 am
3
5
new wine in old wine sacks

Society is on the move. The ship of social change has left port. You can't put the cork back in the bottle, get used to it. Pine all to your heart's desire about what WAS, mourn the stability of the recent past, we are heading into unsettled waters. One can fight the streams of change with all their efforts, but it will come to no avail. The republicans think they can mount an effort to turn back the tide of change in America and thus the world, NOT. The best medicine for the times ahead will be tolerance, a unifying understanding that as individuals we may not get our way, that WE is more important than I in determining what lies ahead.

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/19/12 - 11:36 am
6
3
It's the Media, stupid!

Yep. Unfortunately, people believe what they are told. He who controls the media controls the national mindset, to a large degree. There is no doubt that the mainstream liberal media work overtime to promote their agenda and degrade anyone whom they dislike. It's difficult to cut through their cloud, but we have to do so.

As an aside, isn't it interesting that the Bible characterizes Satan as the "Prince of the Power of the Air"? I believe the Bible is correct. I see Satan ruling the power of the airwaves today like never before. Hollywood, the entertainment industry, liberal press, etc. all espouse non-Christian values -- even anti-Christian most of the time. It's a not-too-hidden agenda, really.

Anyone who stands for traditional, Christian, family values is vilified by the popular media -- Gov. Palin being a great example of this practice. Bill Maher's dehumanization of Michelle Bachman and Palin is so illustrative of the hatred the Left exhibits for anything remotely patriotic or Christian. Maher gets a pass because it's all just "comedy", right? But, let a Conservative criticize anyone on the Left and it's "hatred".

Thinly-veiled double-standards are the rule of law for the Left.

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/19/12 - 11:39 am
5
2
Define CHANGE?

Faithson, are you telling us you LIKE the "change" of uncontrolled deficits, a staggering economy, increased unemployment, greater trade imbalance, socialism with increased handouts and welfare, and no future for our children?

Are you serious?

Is this the change you are lauding here?

Are you so taken with the "coolness" of Obama that you are blinded to the facts of the direction we are headed?

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/19/12 - 12:38 pm
2
2
We've seen the "tolerance" of

We've seen the "tolerance" of the Left. NOT!

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 05/19/12 - 03:41 pm
3
0
Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin may be "charismatic" but she is not the brightest bulb in the lamp.

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/19/12 - 03:47 pm
1
3
Experience over Charisma any day

I agree that Palin may or may not not be presidential material. However, she does have established executive experience as a state governor. Therefore, I believe she was far more qualified for President than Obama, a Senator and community organizer.

But, that probably says more about Obama than Palin....

harley_52
22211
Points
harley_52 05/19/12 - 04:30 pm
3
3
Bruno said "Sarah Palin may

Bruno said "Sarah Palin may be "charismatic" but she is not the brightest bulb in the lamp."

So goes the image presented by the media and the rest of the American left.

I'd put my money on Palin in a debate with Obama, Biden, or any other of the leading democrats of the day. She doesn't possess the ivy league pedigree many of the leftwing snobs demand, but she's got a lot more common sense, ability to reason, and knowledge of how to actually get things done (as opposed to talking about them) than all the democrats combined. Another big difference between her and the Obama democrats is that she wants to save our Constitutional government and our Economy......they want to destroy it.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 05/19/12 - 09:37 pm
1
0
Palin has proven time and

Palin has proven time and again that she is of at best average intellect. It isn't the media at fault on that but rather her opening her mouth. Obama, as much as it pains me to say it, would clean her clock in a debate. Biden is even money.

harley_52
22211
Points
harley_52 05/19/12 - 10:33 pm
1
0
If she's proven it "time and

If she's proven it "time and time again" perhaps you can give an example.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 05/19/12 - 10:57 pm
0
0
But Bruno! If only Barack

But Bruno! If only Barack restricted his lack of substance to his choice of TV programming, we'd all still be better off. Your cooment was good until you threw that in.

twolane
191
Points
twolane 05/20/12 - 12:30 am
0
0
brightest bulb
Unpublished

brightest bulb bruno.....obama told a story about his uncle who doesnt exist......his mother had no brothers.......that liberated auschwitz.....russians liberated that......plus the selma bs story......you are just a liberal parrot......

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 05/20/12 - 02:11 am
0
0
Palin vs. Obama

I will see your dull bulb and raise you a blazing liar.

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