Monday, October 27, 2008

For Those Who Have Been Paying Attention...

...the past few months of the U.S. Presidential Campaign have provided a remarkably clear demonstration of leadership skills.

They have shown Barack Obama to be an accomplished strategist, organizer and leader. At the same time, John McCain has shown himself to be primarily a tactician.

This was evident long ago. As John McCain (in lock-step with George Bush) doggedly focused on the goal of "winning" the war in Iraq, Barack Obama and many other world leaders viewed the Middle East in much broader terms, and argued for enlisting the support of Iraq's neighbors in negotiating a regional solution.

While Obama's campaign has remained rock-steady, making only minor tactical adjustments, the McCain campaign has been, yes - erratic. Other than "win the White House, whatever it takes," the campaign seems to have no clear strategy. John McCain tells us "my friends, I have a plan!" If he does, it is a well-guarded secret.

We have watched McCain's tactics change regularly, often overnight. The choice of running mate Sarah Palin was merely a tactic. Labeling Obama a "socialist" and someone who "pals around with terrorists" such as William Ayers are obvious scare tactics. And finally, this past weekend, yet another tactic: McCain raised the specter of the Democratic Party controlling Washington. "We cannot let that happen!"

This is John McCain's world. A world of skirmishes. He's always fighting battles, but has no overview of the war. He is a foot-soldier - perhaps a very good one - but not a leader.

As I have claimed before, this distinction is very clear to much of the world. It is we Americans, immersed in a swirling media frenzy, who cannot see clearly.

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