Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Passion and Leadership

Underneath all of the politics, we have been talking on this blog essentially about leadership. And there has been some debate amongst us about who would make a better leader- Obama or HRC. And the views have been that Obama is popular in part because he is inspirational and talks about hope. HRC is more pragmatic and claims to have more experience in bringing about change. I am still leaning to HRC. But I think both of these people bring a great deal of passion to this election process. And so whoever we end up with, so long as it is either one of them, I think we will have some new and hopefully wonderful leadership. But the key is passion. Without passion for the nation and the people, there is no leadership. That is what we have lived over the last 8 years- people leading without real and well-intentioned passion.

The other day, I was entertaining myself by listening to a series of TED Talks . These are a series of talks- limited to about 20 minutes- given by some of the world's most interesting and innovative people. They are hosted each year in Monterey, CA. The talks are archived if you are interested in killing 20 minutes and coming away with something interesting to consider and work your head on. They can also be downloaded into iTunes.

This talk, linked below, was given in 2007 by Isabel Allende. And I think that it offers some great wit, but also some thought into the role of passion in leadership. I found to be one of my favorite talks thus far. If you have time, I encourage you to listen.


Raised By Republicans said...

What I see from Hillary Clinton isn't so much "pragmatic passion" as "self serving ambition."

The one thing I've believed when she said it in this campaign is when she said, "This is very personal for me." I believe that! It's all about her for her.

That's why I'm afraid that a Clinton Presidency would be marked with endless partisan tit-for-tats with a resurgent Republican party. That's assuming Clinton can beat the Republican nominee given how little appeal she has among independents and how much hostility she generates among Republicans.

Remember, we're not just talking about a leader for the Democratic Party who can lead us in some kind of counter attack against the Republicans. We're talking about a leader for the whole country, Democrats, independents and Republicans.

Of all the people on this blog, I'm probably the only one who has seen BOTH Obama AND Clinton up close. I can tell you that the mood in a Clinton crowd is muted until she starts talking about woman President at which point the women in the crowd go nuts. Obama's crowds are hyped up all the time regardless of gender or race.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I think Hillary has more passion than you give her credit for, and Obama is not as selfless as you think.

Hillary was much more of an idealist in her rhetoric many years ago. In her 1992 commencement address at Wellesley she spoke quite beautifully of ideals:

"Hold onto your dreams. Take up the challenge of forging an identity that transcends yourself. Transcend yourself and you will find yourself. Care about something you needn't bother with at all. Throw yourself into the world and make your voice count.

Whether you make your voice count for children or for another cause, enjoy your life's journey. There is no dress rehearsal for life and you may have to ad lib your way through each scene. The only way to prepare is to do what you have done: get the best possible education; continue to learn from literature, scripture and history, to understand the human experience as best you can so that you have guidepost charting the terrain toward whatever decisions are right for you.

I want you to remember this day and remember how much more you have in common with each other than with the people who are trying to divide you. And I want you to stand together then as you stand together now; beautiful, brave, invincible."

In her 1995 address to the U.N. World Conference on Women, Hillary also spoke far more of the broad strokes of unity that Obama speaks of now:

"Whether it is while playing with our children in the park, or washing clothes in a river, or taking a break at the office water cooler, we come together and talk about our aspirations and concerns. And time and again, our talk turns to our children and our families. However different we may be, there is far more that unites us than divides us. We share a common future. And we are here to find common ground so that we may help bring new dignity and respect..."

Both speeches are worth following the links to read in full, if you doubt Hillary's passion. At the time she spoke her last remarks, HRC had been immersed in Washington politics for as long as Obama has now. I wonder if twelve years from now Obama will become more pragmatic too. Experience does that. The greatest difference in outlook between the two candidates might not be due to race or gender, but age: she is 14 years older.

Raised By Republicans said...

I've seen her in the hear and now and I can tell you she comes off slick and insincere.

I don't think that Obama is without ambition. People don't run for high office totally out of altruism (heck, Dr. S. you know I don't really believe in that anyway). But I do think that Clinton would espouse any policy she thought would get her elected and I think her conflict with the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" is a huge monkey on her back.