Monday, May 11, 2009

Leadership On Display

There has been far less comment about the firing, on May 1, of the Director of the White House Military Office, Louis Caldera, than there was over the $328,835 photo shoot taken under Caldera's auspices.

It was, however, worth waiting for the comment from Bloomberg News' Margaret Carlson, who told Keith Olbermann on Countdown on May 8 (video below):

What‘s interesting, if we were still in the Bush administration, there would have been no firing. It would have been, “Louis, what a heck of a job.” Instead, there is responsibility at the top. He did something really horrendous. There‘s no excuse, and he was let go.

And that is the amazing difference. I hope this continues, the difference between the Bush administration and the Obama administration.... know, Obama took the ultimate responsibility. People never want to let go of the people that they‘ve hired or that are in charge. They don‘t like to do it. And he did it. That‘s the best way to do it.

Keith evidently had a problem with the failure of Caldera to take full responsibility for the public relations disaster. But as Carlson explained

And no one in Washington ever says, “I‘m—

I apologize.” They say, “If you were offended,” or, “if you determine I did anything wrong.” In other words, “If you‘re so sensitive and such a wussy person that you found this wrong, then I‘m going to say to you, you sensitive person, I‘m sorry.”

Of course, few really care about Louis Caldera, who was appointed to the office in early December by the President-elect. The real issue is the Chief Executive, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (when they are called into actual service). And Barack Obama, fewer than four months into his presidency, has done what George W. Bush could not muster the backbone to do in eight years: fire someone of significance for cause.

Eight years of failure domestically, internationally, and economically, and rarely did anyone ever accept responsibility for anything. Oh, sure, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigned under pressure: after playing a prominent role in a disastrous war effort- and then only after public revulsion at conduct of the Iraq war played a major role in rejection of the GOP in the mid-term elections.

This recent incident pales in significance next to the extraordinary challenges facing our current president after the dismal failure of the last. Still, given the media and public furor over the flyover- which Obama soon after the incident said would not be repeated- accountability had to be assumed, responsibility assigned. And President Obama stepped up and displayed the leadership lacking in the Oval Office the last several years.

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