Obama compared to great presidents

If you study leadership styles that work best in complex situations, you find that working indirectly and through others is often the best. It seems detached at times, but it mostly consists of working with trends and through people. I have studied successful presidents such as FDR and Ronald Reagan and found that the common thread was exactly this. But in both cases, it was coupled to a energetic optimism and what at least looked like a honest enthusiasm for the job at hand.

Obama has the detached part well in hand. But he lacks the other traits. He is noticeably grouchy and defensive, a bit of a whiner in a way you would never find in FDR or RR. He is petulant toward his opponents and even his friends. Perhaps Obama is 95% like FDR or RR. But that last 5% is what defined their success and Obma's failure.

Obama looked the part. He seemed like he could have been great like FDR or RR. Having 95% of what you need makes you look like you can make it. But it is like the old joke about jumping a chasm. Jumping 95% of the way is no better than 5%.

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Posted by: dfrere at August 31, 2014 10:34 AM
Comment #382657

C&J, I would offer the study you conducted was flawed from the beginning. Using Reagan as a model of a great president when in fact his administration was the most corrupt in modern history just seems wrong to me. Lets face it he brayed about lowering taxes, did so, then raised them then ran up huge debt with deficits. He plundered the SSA to keep the country running at the expense of future generations. Great president don’t do that. Guns for hostages, amnesty for illegals, socialized debt/S&L debacle, Executive decisions made by an astrologer….. just doesn’t have the ring of great IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 31, 2014 11:06 AM
Comment #382658

Is Obama a good or great president? It is a good question.

When we think of good presidents, we usually name ones who successfully negotiated the most difficult times for the country, or instituted game-changing legislation: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and FDR. When we think of good ones, we usually think of presidents who successfully managed events without facing major crisis while presiding over strong economies: Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama.

I have often thought the Obama presidency would be seen as more of a clean-up job after the disastrous Bush presidency.
The major legislative achievement to date, health care reform, will be taken for granted in the future, much the way we see Medicare as a given today. Although the Obama foreign policy has regained the US its standing among its allies, with every country but Pakistan & Israel now showing higher approval ratings for our country than under Bush, and although Bin Laden is dead, Khadafy is dead, and the leader of the militia that attacked Benghazi now awaits trial, it still feels like a recovery from the failures of the Bush era, rather than moving on to something new and more positive.

But as time goes by, I believe Obama might be seen as a great president, chiefly for his administration’s performance with the economy. The previous Federal Reserve Chairman, Bernanke, opined that the economic crash at the end of the Bush administration was actually worse than the Great Depression, with 12/13 largest financial institutions facing a complete wipe out during a two-week period in early September of 2008.

Unlike FDR, Obama negotiated our way to a recovery without undergoing another Great Depression. By successfully managing the stimulus and TARP, his administration saved the financial sector, the American auto industry, and created conditions for one of the great bull stock markets in American history. Unemployment dropped dramatically from its highs, non-farm payroll numbers set record streaks for consecutive months of over 200,000 added jobs, inflation remained low, interest rates remained low, housing prices recovered, and so did consumer confidence. The deficit dropped every year, and fuel consumption also dropped every year due to CAFE standards and the Cash for Clunkers program.

It has been a remarkable performance.

Posted by: phx8 at August 31, 2014 11:18 AM
Comment #382659

Good point about political corruption. We take it for granted under Obama, but is has been one of the cleanest in American history.

Posted by: phx8 at August 31, 2014 11:20 AM
Comment #382660


Successful in accomplishing the goals they set out to accomplish. Leave out Reagan if you wish. I have studied FDR in more detail in any case. What strikes me is how Obama had so many advantages in 2009 and seemed to be following an FDR type approach. What happened to make it go wrong will be an interesting study for future historians.


TARP was in place and largely on the implemented by the time Obama took office. The die was cast. The economy bottomed out just as Obama took office. Had he done nothing, the outcome of TARP would have been the same. The stimulus package was all Obama. That worked out less well.

The biggest and most effective stimulus was the American fossil energy boom, that put billions into the economy. I give Obama some credit for not messing it up, as some of his extreme left might have done. But he hardly was a moving force in making it happen.

Re fuel consumption - peak gasoline came in 2006. The CAFE standards did not have time to make a dent in this trend, since the trend started before the standards.

Re Obama corruption - wait for the IRS scandal to finish. I do not believe Obama is personally corrupt, just as Reagan was not. But his politicization of many aspects of the bureaucracy and especially justice will be seen by future historians as a corruption of our freedoms.

Posted by: CJ at August 31, 2014 6:14 PM
Comment #382678

Obama managed the recovery. Some parts were put in place in place in September 2008. It took the people who were primarily responsible for the crash- the Bush administration- along with a Democratic Congress. The House GOP opposed these efforts to save our economy. The greatest single one-day loss in the history of the stock market came when the conservatives refused to ok legislation to save us all. The stock market lost $1 trillion that day. Soon after, the House GOP ceased their opposition, allowing some to vote with the Democrats to save the country.

The absolute low point came in March 2009. After that point, the measures passed by Democrats and Obama started showing results, both for the stock market and for non-farm payroll. It’s just a matter of facts and statistics. Review the stats if unsure. That’s not up for debate.

The IRS ‘scandal’? OK. What year did that supposedly happen? Uh huh. And what year is it now? 2014. Got it. So, let me know when there is even one indictment. Not a trial. Not a conviction. Just an indictment. One. Just one.
I’m waiting.

Compare this with the Reagan administration:


Posted by: phx8 at August 31, 2014 11:14 PM
Comment #382680
What strikes me is how Obama had so many advantages in 2009 and seemed to be following an FDR type approach.

In February 2009, ARRA passed Congress without a single GOP representative vote. 40 GOP Senators were prepared to filibuster the bill, which made the support of the remaining 3 moderates vital. Why was this vote so contentious? A third of ARRA consisted of tax cuts, so it wasn’t like it wasn’t bipartisan; there was plenty in it for conservatives to latch onto. You claim that Obama had so many advantages and by appearances that seems to be the case. February 2009 predates the tea party and the decline in Obama’s approval rating. The GOP had just suffered a shellacking of their own, yet their response was further entrenchment in conservatism. I remember commentators who could not stop repeating that despite the recent elections, the US was still a “center right nation”.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 1, 2014 8:03 AM
Comment #382683


Obama enjoyed majorities in both houses. This was actually his problem. He thought he could just pass things he wanted and he alienated many, even in his own party.

Some of the Republicans in office in 2009 had been in the same jobs with Clinton. They could cooperate with Clinton when they were in the majority. Why could Obama not do that?


You just don’t understand that things take time to have effects. I will never be able to explain it to you or convince you. But since you claim to be a reasonably successful guy, I am sure you don’t apply such “wisdom” in your own affairs. Maybe you should not advocate in your rhetoric what you know in your brain and heart not to be true.

Perhaps think of it this way. If you buy a bottle of whiskey and drink most of it, do you feel the negative effects immediately or later? Obama policies started to bite probably sometime around the summer of recovery in 2010.

Of course, no president really controls the economy. I don’t blame Obama entirely for the doldrums.

Posted by: CJ at September 1, 2014 5:17 PM
Comment #382684
He thought he could just pass things he wanted…

Isn’t this exactly how Reagan, FDR, etc operated? Compare the GOP of the last 10 years with Democrats from the ’80s or Republicans from the ’60s. The GOP has unilaterally changed the paradigm by which Congressional minorities operate. These changes fall within the words of the Constitution, but betray its spirit by voiding centuries worth of political tradition and custom.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 1, 2014 6:03 PM
Comment #382685

I would like to amend what I wrote to acknowledge Reagan and FDR did compromise on some legislation, but that Obama’s similar offers to compromise have been rebuffed by the GOP time after time.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 1, 2014 6:07 PM
Comment #382686

I don’t blame Obama entirely for the doldrums.

C&U why is it conservatives seem to forget the ">http://swampland.time.com/2012/08/23/the-party-of-no-new-details-on-the-gop-plot-to-obstruct-obama/”> plot by repubs to obstruct Obama that started before Obama took office in 2008. “If Obama is for it we are against it” was the conservative battle cry as the doldrums continue longer than necessary. Of course it wasn’t entirely Obama it was an intentional plot by repubs to bring the country to it’s knees for voting Obama into office.

The issue here is why are you and other conservatives not willing to step up and take responsibility for supporting this hateful and harmful political ideology and trying to pass the buck to Obama. You voted these guys into Congress and supported this agenda despite the negative effects upon the country.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 1, 2014 6:43 PM
Comment #382687

oops here is the memory refresher link.


Posted by: j2t2 at September 2, 2014 12:18 AM
Comment #382965

We know that just over a year ago America and Israel wanted to attack Syria, using their Usual Slanders and Lies that the Syrian Government had used chemical weapons.

However, the truth is that it was the Syrian rebels who used chemical weapons, because Many of the Syrian Rebels, who go by the Euphemism of the Syrian Free Army are not even Syrian Citizens, but they are Foreign Mercenaries Funded and Armed by America at http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-un-mission-report-confirms-that-opposition-rebels-used-chemical-weapons-against-civilians-and-government-forces/5363139 .

Syria held a Free and Fair Election, and the Syrian Government was reelected with 88 % of the Vote, and these Foreign Mercenaries, who are Funded and Armed by America, want to Impose Sharia Law on the People of Syria, and Many of them are Not even Eligible to Vote, because they are not Syrian Citizens, but Foreign Mercenaries, who are Murdering Syrian Civilians, along with damaging Syrian Property, and yet America and Israel say that these Foreign Criminals are a Pro Democracy and a Pro Freedom Movement.

It was discovered that America had Maliciously Slandered Innocent the Innocent and Legitimate Syrian Government, but America had to come up with a new Scheme, and that was to Create and Fund ISIS, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and who pretend to be America’s Enemy, even as America Created and Funds Al-Qaeda, who pretends to be America’s Enemy at http://www.globalresearch.ca/fighting-al-qaeda-by-supporting-al-qaeda-in-syria-the-obama-administration-is-a-state-sponsor-of-terrorism/5339728 , and ISIS have been promised Syria, even as Al-Qaeda was promised and given Libya.

America gave Libya to its Secret Ally of Al-Qaeda, who were said to be a Pro Democracy, and Pro Freedom Movement, but they have Imposed Sharia Law on Libya.

There could be People who think that now that America has seen to it that ISIS in Iraq and Syria, then they might think that America might then want to drive ISIS from Iraq and into Syria, so that ISIS can take over Syria, whose Capital City is Damascus.

Certain Despotic Regimes like the current American and Israeli Regimes hate Damascus, and the Bible tells us that the Antichrist does not acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God.

The Jews and the Muslims have this as their doctrine, and Many People think that Obama is a Secret Muslim, and we know that the Israeli Prime Minister is a Jew.

The Bible tells us that the Invisible Devil and his Invisible Demons will use People who pretend to be Christians in order to accomplish their Evil Schemes.

“For there are certain men who crept in secretly, even those who were long ago written about for this condemnation: ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into indecency, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).

The Invisible Demons hate Damascus, and they hate there being any Christians in Damascus, which is the Capital City Syria, because that is where the Jewish Saul of Tarsus had an encounter with the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

It was on the road to Damascus that Saul of Tarsus had an encounter with the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, and when Saul of Tarsus was in Damascus he became a Christian after Repenting of his Sins.

Saul of Tarsus then changed his name to Paul, and we all know him as Saint Paul, and Christians believe that Saint Paul was Inspired by God to write much of the New Testament.

The Honest and Decent People of Every Country are hoping that the Leaders of Israel and America Confess to their Lies and Malice against the Innocent Syrian People, but they will not admit to that for the Obvious Reasons.

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

“First to those in Damascus (Capital of Modern Day Syria), then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I (Saint Paul) preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 16:20).

The following could Apply to those other than the Obama Administration, and the Israeli Government, because they know that the Devil has a grudge over Damascus, that goes back to the days when Saint Paul was in Damascus.

“See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter” (2 Corinthians 7:11).

There are Many People who are wondering if Barack Obama started off as a Christian, and that on his way to an Illegal and Immoral War on Syria whose Capital is Damascus, that Obama has become a Secret Devil Worshiper.

“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15).

The Obama and Netanyahu Dictatorships know that their Illegal and Immoral War against the Innocent Democratic People of Syria is Totally based on Lies and Malice, and on one occasion Israel attacked Syria unjustifiably while they were celebrating Easter, and this is because Easter is when the Devil is reminded of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Journalist at September 10, 2014 6:01 AM
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