In the wake of President Obama’s admission that the United States doesn’t have a strategy yet when it comes to dealing with ISIS in Syria, it is a good opportunity to look at the President’s leadership style. On radio this morning, KFMB’s Mike Slater filled in for Glenn and looked at a few of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s leadership standards in relation to Obama’s habits.
Since the declaration of the caliphate, many have pointed to Obama’s comments in a January 2014 New Yorker article in which he referred to ISIS as a “jayvee team,” but there was another quote in that article that Mike was struck by that speaks to his opinion of leadership.
“One of the things that I’ve learned to appreciate more as president is you are essentially a relay swimmer in a river full of rapids, and that river is history,” Obama said. “You don’t start with a clean slate, and the things you start may not come to full fruition on your timetable.”
“Right there, ladies and gentlemen is the president not only looking but begging for someone to blame,” Mike said. “He’s merely a relay swimmer in a river full of rapids. How dare you be critical of him for not having a plan with ISIS. He’s been pretty busy these past few weeks with his tee times. Rudy [Giuliani] has a few standards for leadership. I want to run by a few of them and ask you if the President follows these rules or not.”
Rule 1: First things first
“Honest question. Has anything in these last six years, has anything been dealt with at all – let alone first things first? There’s a new PR strategy in the White House. It’s very simple: Wait. The old PR strategy used to be: Try to get in front of things and spin it. Now it is just wait.
Think about it. Has anything in the last six years been resolved? Go right down the line. Fast and Furious. The VA. Anything really resolved? Anything changed… The news cycle moves so fast, they wait a day or two. It blows over.
Let me ask you this one: The southern border. It was only a few weeks ago when that was the biggest news story of the year, right? And now that we are not paying attention to it, now that we have been distracted by something else, you think the immigrants have suddenly stopped flooding across our border… No. That’s all still happening… but the White House has successfully waited it out.
Our national attention span, it’s like that of a gnat. So far, from Rudy’s rule of ‘first things first,’ this president’s rule is nothing ever.”
Rule 2: Promise little and deliver much
“It’s a great standard… We were just talking about our foreign policy. The president… just the other day said ISIS is a cancer. How can you say it’s a cancer that needs to be removed, then say you don’t have a strategy? He’s making this up. Yeah, this red line, that red line, but there’s no delivery. That makes us a laughing stock. That makes us a paper tiger. It’s far from promise little and deliver much. It’s quite to the opposite with this president.”
Rule 3: Everyone is accountable
“This one is my favorite. Rudy tells the story of his first day as mayor of New York City. He walks into his beautiful new office building… you can just imagine how grand this office would be. And Rudy walks in and looks out his window onto the streets of New York City, takes a deep breath, as he begins his first tenure as mayor. He sits down at his desk and he sees something on the end of it. He calls his secretary [in] and says, ‘Ma’am, What’s this?’ ‘Oh, that’s your name plate, sir, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.’ ‘No, no. That’s not right.’ ‘What do you mean? That’s your name. This is your office.’ He says, ‘I know, but I want my name plate here on my desk to read something different.’
So they changed it. And throughout his tenure as mayor, Rudy’s nameplate on his desk read: ‘I am responsible.
That is leadership. Rudy’s third principle: Everyone is accountable all the time. But our president today, he’s just a relay swimmer in a river of rapids. Wow.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP