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Barack Obama: The Asymmetrical President

May 14, 2011

obama in the mirrorThe President of the United States has clearly proven that he is much smarter that the average Washington insider by the long-time pundits who observe politics and executive leadership through the myopic lens of traditionalist political science and history.  Not only is President Obama brilliant, he appears intellectually agile and fearless in his judgments.  There is nothing less that might be expected from President Obama except that he will use whatever acceptable means available to govern on behalf of the people of this nation.  Only a fool would waste their time trying to figure out what he might do or accomplish next!  There is a very good chance that you won’t see it coming.

The demise of Osama bin Laden was simply the most high profile indicator of this President’s intelligence, cunning, intense focus and courage.  This is only one of the major victories that our President has quietly seized upon.  His historic record of performance is somewhat obscured through the negative political overcast that much of the media continues to feed.  Yet through it all, this President continues to mow down the opposition and find paths to success where those before him failed.  All this while he politely dismisses the attacks from those who seem to believe that slander and misinformation are their best hope in efforts to gain political points with their dwindling constituency.

President Obama is not like Presidents of the past, certainly not like those in recent years or even recent generations.  He understands political capital and the limitations of governing in a Washington D.C. that is mired in the partisan influences of powerful special interests.  He understands that there is a growing gap between the wealthy and powerful in America, and that the government has some measure of responsibility to protect and provide for its citizens when they cannot do so for themselves.  As the President goes about the business of doing these things, it is a marvel to watch.

I admit there have been times when I thought this President might disappoint me, particularly when it has appeared that his administration was faltering in the gamesmanship of political messaging.  Then, just when I was just about to give up, I would learn that he has cut a deal or turned a corner that would be a benefit to some or all of his dedicated constituency as well the population at large.  Like me, no doubt his political opponents had no clue what his agenda was, or that they had given the President and his team exactly what they were bargaining for (and even more).  Like me, they never even saw it coming.  There are also meaningless opponents like Trump, Cheney and McCain and the right wing pundits who simply get buffeted bloody in President Obama’s wake when he takes political and operational military leaps and turns them into historic successes that they scarcely understand and might only dream about.  In the end they were all left looking like inept fools.

economic tsunamiThe road back from the disastrous economic storm that has pummeled this nation continues to be tremendously challenging.  It would not take much beyond that to cause any president to fail in his bid for re-election in these times.  The media says that there are some encouraging signs as many average working people remain unemployed while families across the nation struggle.

You might recall that many in the media characterized the 2010 mid-term election successes for the republicans as a referendum on President Obama.  I predict that we will soon see that this was not only inaccurate, but also quite foolish.  If the republican representation in the House of Representatives does not pull a positive economic coup very soon, there is a very strong possibility that the elections of 2012 will yield a dramatic swing back to the left.  As it stands there remains far too much focus on culture war, pettiness and pleasing special interests in Washington while displaying a lack of focus on jobs and economic solutions.  The problem is that so many Americans are suffering and refuse to abide anymore political theatre.  They need jobs and action.  A lot of people in Washington are in jeopardy of losing their seats because they are attuned to politics and not the people.  The President may be among them, but not because he does not appreciate the fragile and dangerous economic landscape and associated hazards.

President Obama understands the asymmetrical threat and he has shown himself more than capable of putting together an asymmetrical assault to combat and vanquish such threats.  Where politics, geopolitical affairs and matters of national defense are concerned this President is among the most effective, intellectually gifted and dynamic leaders the world has ever seen.

Those among us who are guided by the better angles of truth and goodness could never argue otherwise.

Leon A. Walker

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