The Anatomy of Obama’s Leadership Failures
The American Interest’s Walter Russell Mead is one of the nation’s most consistently insightful pundits. He’s also an Obama voter and a Democrat, albeit one of unusual intellectual independence. That’s just one of the reasons that it must be so bracing for denizens of the White House to read Mead’s most recent entry at his Via Meadia blog at AI. In an essay rife with criticism’s of President Obama’s leadership style, Mead distills it all down to one scathing two-paragraph passage:
Here is the paradox we face: The President is a consensus-seeker whose decision making style rewards polarization and a conciliator who loses friends without winning over enemies.
The President’s problem is not, I think, that he seeks compromise. It is that the type of compromise he chooses is so ineffective. Splitting the difference is not leadership; leadership is looking at the positions of two sides and finding creative new directions that give something to all sides — but move the ball down the field.
Forget the liberal base or the intellectually capricious swing voter. If Obama can’t secure the allegiance of a left-leaning mind as sharp as Mead’s, he has serious problems going into 2012.