Friday, January 18, 2008

Is Getting the Vision Thing Enough?

A debate among Democrats is in a rolling boil over at TennViews over comments that Presidential Candidate Barack Obama made concerning bureaucracy and vision:
I'm not an operating officer. Some in this debate around experience seem to think the job of the president is to go in and run some bureaucracy. Well, that's not my job. My job is to set a vision of 'here's where the bureaucracy needs to go.
After 7 years of George W. Bush's inability to do "the vision thing," Senator Obama's comments sound like a breath of fresh air.

However, Henry Adams made the oft-cited observation of a President that she or he "resembles the commander of a ship at sea. He [or she] must have a helm to grasp, a course to steer, a port to seek." On that score, Mr. Obama only seems to claim to have the vision, the port to seek, as his responsibility. There are still the hands-on matters of grasing the helm and steering--eyes on compass and constellations--toward the sought-after port. So, I think that it is natural and appropriate that the Senator's allergies to the more bureaucratic responsibilities of presidential work is causing some to question the wisdom of a constricted approach to leadership.

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