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Understanding the President

Understanding the President

August 13th, 2012 // 11:43 am @

One way to understand current events is to take a long view of the major historical trends at play, and another is to clearly define the systemic forces that influence what is going on.

A third is to learn about the character of the leaders who shape policy and especially those who have the power to make decisions that change society.

This third method may be the least accurate at predicting the years ahead, but it is often the most interesting of the three.

David Maraniss has helped Americans understand the character of our current President in his new book, Barack Obama: The Story.

Maraniss is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, and he tells us several key traits that help us understand our top executive.

For example, according to Maraniss, Barack Obama is loathe to take risks until he has thought through every detail.

As a result, he avoids taking many risks, but often ends up taking a big risk when time runs out and he must act.

Thus his presidency has consisted of few singles or doubles, to use a baseball analogy, but a few well-placed homeruns such as passing health care and executing Osama bin Laden.

This methodology gives his critics evidence of a president lacking in consistent leadership and bungling too many things as the months pass, and it provides his supporters with a list of significant successes that only a truly top achiever could attain.

Thus the critics brush away his homeruns as anomalies, while his supporters see the months where little is accomplished as prelude to great strokes of leadership.


odemille 133x195 custom Egypt, Freedom, & the Cycles of HistoryOliver DeMille is the chairman of the Center for Social Leadership and co-creator of Thomas Jefferson Education.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

Category : Blog &Book Reviews &Current Events &Government &Leadership &Politics

2 Comments → “Understanding the President”

  1. Lenny Henderson

    11 years ago

    I appreciate your efforts to help us understand the man President Obama is. I get so involved in the threats to America he has articulated, that I have rejected him. His home runs are also devastating to America that I see him as a cancer that was started long ago, by others, but is at a critical stage now, because of his administration. These characteristics and behaviors go along with his educational priorities and that of his long missing but idealized father, Barack Sr.. He is the very real presence of what Nikita Khrushchev warned would destroy America more than 60 years ago. You almost seem accepting of this while it has made me be more outspoken about turning to God and the basic principles we must embrace to survive and become the nation we were created to become.

  2. Dave Nelson

    11 years ago

    Hi Oliver,
    Your books are awesome. I’ve read Thomas Jefferson Education and 1913. 1913 was very hard to put down so I read it in one day.
    Pres. Obama is a procrastinator. He does not know US history or the US constitution. He is not a voracious reader. He got where he is because some fat cats were trying to be “good” and gave him, bought him an education. I doubt if he has ever has to earn his daily bread. He gives away the farm and has killed the golden goose. His goal like those before him is to enslave people, build government bigger and become a fat cat himself. Then like bill Clinton he walks around smiling thinking he’s done good. He says look at all the good I did. What a phony. I’m not whining I’m giving you my perspective from peon street.
    He should come down here and find out how tough he’s making it for people.
    Dave Nelson

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