Yesterday, we looked at my views on the good and bad you get with Mitt Romney. Today we’ll do the same for our current President.

Bad:

  •  Strength is not a strength: Voters were convinced in 2008 that Obama was going to go to Washington and shake things up. As it turns out, he just bent over and took it from Washington. He brought in a bunch of insider and played by Washington’s rules. He’s been way too politically correct when criticizing a Republican party that has expressly shown disrespect for the office and refusing to negotiate. Grow a pair dude.
  • Misguided focus: The President was rightfully distracted by a financial crisis for the first couple of years. But he refuses to give up on growing jobs because someone convinced him that was the only way to get reelected. He’ll admit there’s not much he can do about it, but will keep wasting everyone’s time trying. Obama missed out on the chance to get a lot done, even with this Congress.
  • Transparency: In Obama’s original campaign he promised transparency. And we got it with things like Recovery.gov. But these days it’s just business as usual in Washington. The President quickly became just another guy in the White House. He was supposed to bring about change and part of that was given the people a better view into what’s going on.

Good:

  •  The right reasons: Obama is a guy who wants to be president because he believes he can help make the country better. He believes in the system, respects his role and the role of others, and approaches policy in a thoughtful way. The impacts of his plans are well considered even if his politics are open for discussion. But this is a guy whose motivation seems pretty clear and is difficult to question.
  • Good in moderation: The President is actually a lot like Romney. They are both moderates who have had to play to more extreme views of their parties to garner support. Obama is open to negotiation and willing to compromise in order to accomplish his vision for the country. He’s been held back by an unwilling Congress but as mentioned in the bad, he’s been weak in this area as well. A moderate doesn’t mean a pushover. If Obama wins the election expect even more moderate policies in order to achieve his vision for the future (especially since he won’t have to worry about running again).
  • This guy knows what he’s doing: Obama is one of the most intellectual presidents of the last 100 years. He’s handled foreign policy and diplomatic relations like a pro, despite the criticisms John McCain tried to throw about his lack of experience in 2008. He’s less of a commanding leader than Romney is, but it’s also clear who is in charge. He makes smart decisions that are less driven on a political ideology and more on what makes the most sense at a given time. Given the size of our population, it’s not surprising a vocal minority will object to every decision. But if reelected, Obama is a very competent leader and won’t run the country into the ground.

Despite what most pundits and political nuts will say, both candidates are competent and capable leaders. In a vacuum, these two guys would make the same decision 95% of the time. But campaigns don’t paint that picture and many voters would never believe it. The fact is we’re pretty lucky with the options we got this time around and extremely lucky we live in a country that gets to pick who leads us.

Image: U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

categories: government