I have to admit, I was one of the people in the late eighties that was in middle school, listening to the Beastie Boys and trying to get away with not showering in gym class. I don’t remember Charles Keating. I watch the news today and have no recollection of a time when this was front page news, and can only go along with the parallels to the Great Depression, although I recognize that with a Dow over 10,000 points, the percentages of loss and gain are not as high as they were in the late eighties and in the Great Crash. Still – it sucks to lose a bunch of money, and I think that we are experiencing a climate of crisis that does resemble the atmosphere of the days when major economic doubt and fear reigned in the public psyche. So, in many ways it is very much like the economic crises of the past. So, how do we evaluate our potential leaders based on their participation in these previous events?
Admittedly, it is hard to evaluate Barack. He is not all that much older than me, so he may have had the same Beastie Boys tape, though I think he was one of those kids that showered in gym class. It is hard to evaluate what someone might do in the future anyway, regardless of hoe they have performed or conducted themselves in teh past. People change and, hopefully, grow from their experiences and mistakes. I think that in the case of choosing a president, it is more important to look at the people that a candidate surrounds themselves with. No one runs the country on their own.
George Bush, for example, has the strength as a leader to surround himself with people that are smarter than him. Arguably, you could do that with a seventh grade spelling bee, but that doesn’t change the fact that the President is not afraid to include in his staff people that will outperform him. That is what they are supposed to do. They are the experts. If you need someone to talk to foreign nations about complicated policy issues, then you get someone that is good at it and has a lot of experience, even though that may be admitting that you are not that good at it. That is the characteristic of a great leader. “That is not my area, let’s learn more about it and get the right person for the job.”
Obama has chosen some great people to surround himself with, during his career and during this campaign. I challenge him to evaluate that closely. I can’t say that I like some of the people that McCain has chosen to surround himself with. One of the people that has come up recently is Charles Keating.
If you don’t know who that is or can’t remember the details, you can check out a documentary that airs October 6th at noon, “Keating Economics.” You will notice that it is part of the Barack Obama website. This writer noticed that and thought that it was appropriate considering that these campaigns are all about pointing out the inadequacies of the other campaign. So what, watch the video.
Here is a trailer:
This is an important piece of the campaign puzzle. The people that we associate with, that we include in our circle, tell a lot about the way that we will live our lives and how we will lead. Let us take some time to evaluate that, and remember that it does matter who your campaign manager and your running mate are.