We may be asking the wrong question. Who is fit to lead (better), John McCain or Barack Obama. This seems to be one of the weighty questions of the day. I would submit, however, that the question is far more complex than what the TV sound bites would suggest.
Let’s go to our “Gold Standard”, the current President, George W Bush. Would you consider him “fit” to lead? If you do, I must ask where have you been for the last 8 years? If you do not, the question is “why”?
George W Bush has established such a low standard in terms of outcomes… that is everything he has touched seems to have come out poorly. This alone could easily make someone think poorly of his leadership skills. Yet results are in and of themselves, not a true indicator of leadership. You must ask the question of whether the goals and the values that would guide the leaders journey were worthy ones or not. Next you should ask how well the leader actually performed the function of leading, that is getting others to do what the leader wanted. And lastly, you must ask what the leader did when his chosen direction turned out to be not where he wanted to go in the first place (or in Bush’s case, the place he wanted to go turned out to be, when he got there, not a place he liked).
So, we can argue whether McCain’s military experienc or just his plain personality are so “alpha” that he will be a natural leader, while Obama is so “wine and cheese” that he will hold “chats” during his entire term of office and never make decisions. Both of these possibilities beg the real question and that is where do these two want to lead us, and is that place worthwhile?
For my vote I must admit that McCain is just another George W Bush in terms of destination and view that the ends justify the means. I would guess that McCain will be a better executive than “W”, but then so would almost anyone else. Barack Obama, on the other hand, has noble goals and a sense of what America needs today. The open question for him is “can he lead us to that place”?
The Republicans have had their turn and “W” has let everyone down. It is time now for the Democrats, and I do not think Obama will let us down. He may not turn out to be “the leader of leaders”. He will, I believe, turn out to be an honest broker and someone dedicated to returning America to long term respect and greatness.