S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Today's to-do's: TGIF for Our Current President

At the beginning of the day some of us look at a "To Do" list. Among other things, it is a way to exercise more productive leadership.

Josh Bolten is the Chief of Staff for our current president (OCP). Having previously read today's newspapers, he realizes that the list for OCP and his immediate staff is long and full of high priorities. (Hat tip to Andrew Rice at Slate Magazine for several of the links) :

GWB - Today's to-do's
  1. Get the Congressional Liasson's shop to shore up today's House Republican Representatives' votes against the Supplemental Appropriation for the war in Iraq. Get out the list headed "shaky/wrong-headed/" for extra carrots and sticks. [See Online NewsHour (3/22/07) transcript - "House Opens Debate Over War Funding, Troop Withdrawal"]
  2. Remind Fred Fielding to give no quarter to Senator Leahy. Decide when and how to negotiate. [See LA Times (3/23/07) "Subpoenas Force Talks for Testimony Deal."] Make arrangements for Karl and Harriet to avoid being served with a subpoenas. [See WaPo (3/23/07) - "E-Mails Show Machinations to Replace Prosecutor"]
  3. Contact Sec'y Gates and see whether he will agree to quit recommending that more sunshine be applied to the military health care crisis. It does not make us look good. Remind him that Guantanamo will remain open for business. [See (3/23/07) NYT - "New to Job, Gates Argued for Closing Guantanamo"]
Lower priority list items might include these:
  1. Have OCP sign a quick note to UN's Ban Ki-moon apologizing for the little scare in Baghdad. [See (3/23/07) LA Times - "Rocket blast shakes up U.N. chief in Baghdad visit"]
  2. Ask Karl to help Tony prepare talking points about today's Griles guilty plea in the Abramoff thing. No OCP note nec'y; TGIF! [See (3/23/07) LA Times - "Ex-Deputy to Plead Guilty in Lobbyist Case"]

The To-Do list of OCP would look very different if he were a better leader. To conclude today's post I highly recommend a recent "ideas" article by Warren Bennis and Thomas Z. Freedman from Politico titled, "Campaign 2008: The Anatomy of a Great Leader." To quote,
Amid the horse-race-like coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign and its focus on topics such as electability and likability, it's worth considering which candidate would make the best leader and president. At the end of the day, voters won't be having a beer with the next president, but we will depend on him or her to be a great leader and deal with the daunting challenges of globalization and terrorism.

The authors explore the concepts of qualities associated with good leadership, i.e., "The Crucible, Willingness to Experiment, Optimism, Timeliness, and Political Savvy." It is a great piece, upon which I rest my case.

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