CXO

Leadership lessons for IT from the White House

What leadership lessons can IT learn from the recent scandals in the White House?

Regardless of political leanings, it's inarguable that this has been a tough week for the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. The White House has been beset by a triple play of scandals that's somewhere between what the right is calling "another Watergate," and partisans on the left are passing off as business as usual. For the uninitiated, the scandals involve excessive spin-doctoring of an embassy tragedy in Libya, interception of AP reporters' phone records, and IRS targeting of conservative groups and individuals for special attention.

While there are differing opinions as to the magnitude of these scandals, and the politics behind these incidents is beyond the scope of this article, the White House response to each of these scandals has been instructive for IT leaders.

Spinning your way to lost credibility

The first scandal involved the killing of a State Department official in Benghazi, Libya and the subsequent White House handling of the response. Assuming no nefarious actions, the White House played a game of spin-doctoring, sending administration representatives on a full press tour to play down aspects of the incident that might be unpopular.

In essence, the spin to avoid the loss of a few political points has now blossomed into a major scandal, and the spinning efforts have cost the President more than any fallout from the initial incident had the administration been more forthright.

In IT leadership, we often receive bad news. Whether it's a budget overrun on a highly visible project or a massive outage, technology is a fickle beast that's far from 100% predictable. While it might seem like a good idea to throw some spin on the bad news of the moment, too much massaging and masking of the truth is often far worse than taking the heat for the initial incident and moving on. Long-term damage to credibility will likely take months or years to restore, a far higher price than the momentary pain of conveying bad news.

The buck stops elsewhere

Past President Harry Truman famously stated that "the buck stops here," meaning he was personally accountable for the actions of the government. In the other two scandals to plague the President, the US' tax collection authority, the IRS, singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny, and the Justice Department gathered phone records of AP reporters in an attempt to identify their sources and squash potentially unpopular news.

The President immediately condemned these actions, and the administration followed by noting that the government was essentially too big for the President to be aware of nefarious activity a few levels down from his position. Again assuming nothing nefarious on the part of the administration, there's still an instructive leadership lesson.

The President's political party, the Democrats, generally advocates larger government as the solution to problems too big for individuals or the private sector to solve, and implied in this advocacy is the assumption that government is an impartial and even-handed player in the lives of citizens. That advocates of a larger, more active government would suggest that, in the case of scandal, the government is simply too big to effectively manage, is laughable. Imagine walking into your CEO's office or a board meeting after a major scandal.

In response to the scandal, you quip that IT is essentially too large for anyone to effectively manage and oversee, and in the next sentence demand that IT budgets be increased since the organization simply isn't large enough to do everything it needs to accomplish.

If you're going to create a highly active and visible IT organization, ensure that management structures are in place to prevent poorly considered action and, should it occur, take immediate responsibility and launch corrective action. Even if actors well outside your purview took unsavory actions, as leader of the organization you cannot merely suggest that the buck stops elsewhere and expect to move on.

Like most second term scandals, the President will likely serve out the rest of his term. However, passing the buck, combined with a dose of hypocrisy and spin-doctoring, has weakened his administration to the point that the career of most IT leaders would be ended for similar offenses. Regardless of your political leanings, it's worth observing how the administration continues to lead (or abdicate leadership) through these crises and applying the lessons to our own leadership positions.

About

Patrick Gray works for a global Fortune 500 consulting and IT services company and is the author of Breakthrough IT: Supercharging Organizational Value through Technology as well as the companion e-book The Breakthrough CIO's Companion. He has spent ...

44 comments
Fairbs
Fairbs

First off, you can challenge my sources as you wish just like I did with yours. You can also write them off as biased, but only if you can factually. Until then (and you haven't), they are no less valid than your sources or diatribes. Your arguments are all over the place which is a good way to argue if you really have nothing. I'm going to choose to focus on jobs (again)... Yes, I get the difference between real unemployment rates and the reported unemployment rate. I brought up raw job gains because (generally speaking) you insist that Obama has done nothing valuable. What constitutes value or achievement is very subjective based on your political leanings, but most would agree that job creation is a good thing. So, stating that Obama has created more jobs than bush in about half the time should be simple to grasp as something valuable. As far as real unemployment, consider this... http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_rate_u6.jsp See how jobs started to tank at the end of bush? You realize there is a lag effect in what a president does and when the effects are seen. Now see how Obama has managed to start the trend to go the opposite way? You've spent many, many, many, paragraphs explaining how job growth under Obama is not enough to decrease real unemployment. Please reconcile that with the graph. So of the 19 job bills blocked by Republicans, which of them were pro union or for selective groups? I'd also like to add that not everyone is anti union so writing something off as not serious since it is pro union is highly debateable.

grossmalone
grossmalone

Timberland sko | Timberland outlet | Timberland outlet | Timberland sko | Timberland sko Timberland st??vler Timberland st??vel salg Timberland st??vel salg Timberland boot utl??p Timberland boot utl??p [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland sko[/url][/b] | [b]

grossmalone
grossmalone

Timberland sko | Timberland outlet | Timberland outlet | Timberland sko | Timberland sko Timberland st??vler Timberland st??vel salg Timberland st??vel salg Timberland boot utl??p Timberland boot utl??p [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland sko[/url][/b] | [b]Timberland outlet[/b] | [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland outlet[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://no.toptimberlandsales.com/]Timberland sko[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland sko[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland sko[/url][/b] | [b]Timberland outlet[/b] | [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland outlet[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://no.toptimberlandsales.com/]Timberland sko[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland sko[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland st??vler[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.toptimberlandsales.com/]Timberland st??vel salg[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland st??vel salg[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.toptimberlandsales.com/]Timberland boot utl??p[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland boot utl??p[/url][/b]

grossmalone
grossmalone

[b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland sko[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://no.toptimberlandsales.com/]Timberland outlet[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland outlet[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://no.toptimberlandsales.com/]Timberland sko[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland sko[/url][/b] [b]Timberland st??vler[/b] [b][url=http://no.toptimberlandsales.com/]Timberland st??vel salg[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland st??vel salg[/url][/b] [b]Timberland boot utl??p[/b] [b][url=http://www.toptimberlandsales.com/no/]Timberland boot utl??p[/url][/b] Timberland sko | Timberland outlet | Timberland outlet | Timberland sko | Timberland sko Timberland sko | Timberland outlet | Timberland outlet | Timberland sko | Timberland sko Timberland st??vler Timberland st??vel salg Timberland st??vel salg Timberland boot utl??p Timberland boot utl??p

grossmalone
grossmalone

Seamaster Planet Ocean replica klokker replica klokker Omega kopi Omega kopi Seamaster Planet Ocean Speedmaster Speedmaster Seamaster Aqua Terra Seamaster Aqua Terra [b][url=http://no.fakeomegawatchsale.com/]Seamaster Planet Ocean[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.fakeomegawatchsale.com/]replica klokker[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.fakeomegawatchsale.com/no/]replica klokker[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.fakeomegawatchsale.com/]Omega kopi[/url][/b] [b]Omega kopi[/b] [b][url=http://no.fakeomegawatchsale.com/]Seamaster Planet Ocean[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.fakeomegawatchsale.com/]replica klokker[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.fakeomegawatchsale.com/no/]replica klokker[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.fakeomegawatchsale.com/]Omega kopi[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.fakeomegawatchsale.com/no/]Omega kopi[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.fakeomegawatchsale.com/no/]Seamaster Planet Ocean[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.fakeomegawatchsale.com/]Speedmaster[/url][/b] [b]Speedmaster[/b] [b]Seamaster Aqua Terra[/b] [b][url=http://www.fakeomegawatchsale.com/no/]Seamaster Aqua Terra[/url][/b]

grossmalone
grossmalone

Replica klokkerReplica klokkerRolexRolexBreitling [b][url=http://no.bigpocketwatches.com/]Replica klokker[/url][/b][b][url=http://www.bigpocketwatches.com/no/]Replica klokker[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.bigpocketwatches.com/]Rolex[/url][/b][b][url=http://www.bigpocketwatches.com/no/]Rolex[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.bigpocketwatches.com/]Breitling[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.bigpocketwatches.com/]Rolex[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.bigpocketwatches.com/]Replica klokker[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.bigpocketwatches.com/no/]Replica klokker[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.bigpocketwatches.com/]Rolex[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.bigpocketwatches.com/no/]Rolex[/url][/b] [b]Rolex[/b] [b][url=http://no.bigpocketwatches.com/]Replica klokker[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.bigpocketwatches.com/no/]Replica klokker[/url][/b] [b]Rolex[/b] [b][url=http://www.bigpocketwatches.com/no/]Rolex[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.bigpocketwatches.com/no/]Breitling[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.bigpocketwatches.com/]Hublot[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.bigpocketwatches.com/no/]Hublot[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.bigpocketwatches.com/]Tag Heuer kopi[/url][/b] [b]Tag Heuer kopi[/b]

grossmalone
grossmalone

moncler jakkermoncler jakkerutl??p monclerutl??p monclerkj??pe moncler [b]moncler jakker[/b][b][url=http://www.monclerjacketspro.com/no/]moncler jakker[/url][/b][b][url=http://no.monclerjacketspro.com/]utl??p moncler[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.monclerjacketspro.com/no/]utl??p moncler[/url][/b][b][url=http://no.monclerjacketspro.com/]kj??pe moncler[/url][/b] [b]kj??pe moncler[/b] [b][url=http://no.monclerjacketspro.com/]moncler jakker[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.monclerjacketspro.com/no/]moncler jakker[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.monclerjacketspro.com/]utl??p moncler[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.monclerjacketspro.com/no/]utl??p moncler[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.monclerjacketspro.com/]kj??pe moncler[/url][/b] [b]moncler jakker[/b] [b][url=http://www.monclerjacketspro.com/no/]moncler jakker[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.monclerjacketspro.com/]utl??p moncler[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.monclerjacketspro.com/no/]utl??p moncler[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.monclerjacketspro.com/no/]kj??pe moncler[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.monclerjacketspro.com/]moncler outlet[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.monclerjacketspro.com/no/]moncler outlet[/url][/b] [b][url=http://no.monclerjacketspro.com/]moncler sale[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.monclerjacketspro.com/no/]moncler sale[/url][/b]

grossmalone
grossmalone

[b][url=http://no.monclerjacketspro.com/]moncler jakker[/url][/b][b][url=http://www.monclerjacketspro.com/no/]moncler jakker[/url][/b][b][url=http://no.monclerjacketspro.com/]utl??p moncler[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.monclerjacketspro.com/no/]utl??p moncler[/url][/b][b][url=http://no.monclerjacketspro.com/]kj??pe moncler[/url][/b] moncler jakkermoncler jakkerutl??p monclerutl??p monclerkj??pe monclerkj??pe moncler moncler jakker moncler jakker utl??p moncler utl??p moncler kj??pe moncler moncler jakker moncler jakker utl??p moncler utl??p moncler kj??pe moncler moncler outlet moncler outlet moncler sale moncler sale

grossmalone
grossmalone

fashion christian louboutin outlet | fashion christian louboutin outlet | Christian Louboutin outlet | christian louboutin on sale | christian louboutin shoes on sale christian louboutin outlet store online authentic christian louboutin on sale christian louboutin shoes on sale outlet christian louboutin shoes for cheap christian louboutin sale [b]fashion christian louboutin outlet[/b] | [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]fashion christian louboutin outlet[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]Christian Louboutin outlet[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]christian louboutin on sale[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]christian louboutin shoes on sale[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]fashion christian louboutin outlet[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]fashion christian louboutin outlet[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]Christian Louboutin outlet[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]christian louboutin on sale[/url][/b] | [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]christian louboutin shoes on sale[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]christian louboutin outlet store online[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]authentic christian louboutin on sale[/url][/b] [b][url=http://www.louboutinshoesoutlethot.com/]christian louboutin shoes on sale outlet[/url][/b] [b]christian louboutin shoes for cheap[/b] [b]christian louboutin sale[/b]

nomad_tech
nomad_tech

Just like Obama's lack of real world experience did not prepare him for the awesome responibility of being president. Don't let some loud mouth know it all from your help desk become CIO with one of the larget companies in the world.

Clendanielc
Clendanielc

Being the President of the United States is by far the worst job to have in the world. Your own worst enemy is not other countries trying to commit terrorist attacks on your country, no, your worst enemy is the people you were elected to protect. No matter what you do, how you do it, you will always have people who will say that someone could have done it. Its usually people on the other side of the aisle. You will never meet everyone's criteria of running a country. You wont be religious enough, intelligent enough, have enough experience in a certain field, it doesn't matter if you were a community organizer or a CEO. People will hate you because they can and that's the beauty of America, freedom of speech. Going back to the article, leadership, I haven't seen a President or a politician in a while show leadership skills. Pretty much all of them follow each other or follow what goes on in the media. They are all dishonest, they all stretch the truth to give their side the sugarcoat they need to win people. Going back to the point of this comment, being President of the United States is the worst job to have.

WalterReuther
WalterReuther

Never hire a dishonest politician as your chief executive, even if he does help you meet your diversity quotas.

Clendanielc
Clendanielc

I didn't want to make my original comment political but after reading the other comments, here are my two cents. First off, if anyone who says "I could have done a better job" apparently is an idiot. How would you feel if someone who has no technological background said I can do your job better. Especially in daily days of crisis. It would piss you off right? It would piss me off. Now am I completely defending him, no. I just hate it when people say they can do a better job when they have no clue what the job entails. Second, for the comment of "I wish I could blame everything on my predecessors for a slow network." Another bogus comment. Not trying to be mean but you are comparing a network to a country. A network there is black and white. It either works or it doesn't. A country, you have more grey than anything else. Plus no matter what you do (especially for the better) you are always going to piss millions of people off. Some people don't like you just because of your color. (when I say color I mean political party) Third, for anyone who says "he should have known about these scandals, he is the President." You can make that same argument with people who invested with Enron. If they paid attention to their portfolios better or what they hired people to do, then they wouldn't have lost all their money. Another bogus comment. VP's don't tell everything that goes on to the CEO. Especially when your "Adviser" has other motives in mind. The forth argument I hear is "He has done nothing as President." Ok, for everyone who read history, especially with the Constitution, the President of the United States really doesn't have power. Congress does. It was setup like this because they didn't want another King George. This kind of changed a lot with the Patriot Act but who is checking right. We are talking about President Obama here. Stop blaming Bush for everything. Its not like Congress passes laws right? I find these uproars over these scandals funny. What happened in Benghazi wasn't funny. Yes, American lives (whenever that happens its a tragedy) were lost and lies tried to cover it up. That reminds me of the Iraq War and how we were told lies of WMD's. There were no WMD's and we lost thousands of America lives. I hear people want President Obama to face War Crimes. Ok, lets also place President Bus, Vice President Cheney, and several other living Presidents for similar crimes. The whole DOJ scandal thing is a joke. For everyone who says that they can't believe a government would do this. My response is, where have you been since 9/11. As soon as the Patriot Act was signed this allowed the US Govt to do this. Without probable cause I might add. Before you cry about what happened with DOJ spying on journalists, how about the Patriot Act that allowed the Govt to tap your phones, emails, etc without probable cause. Im a Democrat with Conservative views. Do I want smaller govt? Hell Yes, thats less taxes. Plus I don't want someone tell me how to live my life. The problem is that (as mentioned in a previous comment) is people can't take responsibility for themselves. That and the lack of common sense. Unfortunately we have people who can't function without the need of a sugardaddy (govt). Yes, there are people who need help but when you don't make the effort to upgrade your life or try to be an upstanding citizen, whats the point of paying for you.

adornoe
adornoe

of it. The Benghazi "scandal" is as a result of the president, and his campaign managers, deciding that, he was too busy with the campaign to take time off from campaigning to devote to the crisis in Libya. The election polls were too close at that time, and if the president had taken time off from campaigning, especially to defend his inaction and lack of leadership on the incident, he probably would have lost the election. So, to Obama and the campaign managers, it was better to spin the matter and stall the questions, in order to concentrate on the election. It was preferable to win the election than to pay attention to the Benghazi crisis. They opted to win, and hope that the Benghazi crisis would wither away. It did not wither away, and now they're having to answer the questions which should have been answered back in October. Meanwhile, the strategy to win at all costs, got them the election. There was a huge lack of leadership on the Benghazi attacks, but it didn't 'matter to Obama and the democrats, as long as they held the White House. It was a matter of priorities, and Benghazi was just an obstacle in their way to the White House, never mind the murder of the ambassador and three other Americans. The end justifies the means, and that's the only "leadership" demonstrated by the White House. When it comes to the IRS scandal, there is no doubt that authorization came from very high up in Washington, and no doubt it involved the White House. The way it works is for the president to ask people to do something about the "tea party" people and the patriot groups, because they were obstacles to his agenda. But, while carrying out that mission, the people involved would make sure that, no tracks would lead back to Obama of his administration. It's basically a command to "handle it, but make sure it can't be traced back to Obama or his administration. There is some leadership involved in getting people to carry out your devious dictums, but, even the most evil people in the world also had some "leadership" capabilities. Doing the dirty deeds for the "leader", while keeping him as distant as possible, is still evil. What was being done violates people's constitutional rights, and was intended to target some groups, while favoring liberals. That's suppression via government actions, and equal to what dictatorships do to oppress people which they disagree with. That becomes leadership which can't tolerate opposition at all, and so, in the end, it's not leadership per se, but political oppression. It's no better than a bully in a schoolyard, who knows the extent of his powers, and uses it to suppress the ones with lesser power. The "scandal" with the AP and FOX and other reporters, is an attempt to intimidate the free press, and to control the message. That is an indirect attack against the constitutional right of the free press, and our bill of rights. For that, people should be sent to prison for very lengthy periods of time. That is not leadership, and is basic oppression and intimidation, which are the same tactics of oppressive governments the world over. Those tactics do not belong in any part of the U.S. or at any level of government. Basically, using the scandals in Washington to compare to leadership decisions in the private sector, is completely irrational and misplaced. What occurred in Washington is not leadership, and it was basically corrupt government trying to suppress the rights of groups of people who didn't agree with the current administration. That's intimidation and suppression or rights, and targeting of opponents. Leadership would work under the laws of the land, and would not violate the rights of the people.

fhrivers
fhrivers

All I've been hearing is the apologist State Run media make excuses that the job is too big for one man and that the President is overwhelmed by all of the incompetent people surrounding him (except when it came to killing bin Laden and other terrorists on his "kill list", the Somali pirates, and "saving" GM--which were all coincidentally positive things for his image). I wish I had a job where someone brought me in to clean up my predecessor's mess and I just spend the next four years blaming him for why the network is still slow and servers are always crashing. Then I can spend the next four years after that pretending that I'm an outside consultant and that I really have no control over anything that's happening. So when stuff goes wrong, I'm an outsider and it really wasn't my fault. But when stuff goes right I can take credit for it because I happened to be in charge that particular day. If only I had a band of traveling minstrels singing my praises like the President has in the mainstream press and my job security would be guaranteed.

stewagd
stewagd

I have long argued the biggest mistake our industry made in the last decade was the transition from calling ourselves Information Services (IS) to Information Technology (IT). The former implied our focus was service; the latter, technology. This established a bad trend, in my opinion, in that now tight budgets are cutting personnel in favour of capitol equipment purchases. Since the service is no longer important, only the technology matters, then it is easier for boards to justify cutting people and facilities and replacing them with the latest trends in technology: off-shore, out-sourcing (a.k.a. "The Cloud"). This article makes the point very well that in trying to escape our essential duties a decade back we are now paying a heavy price in terms of long-term career potential.

xxing14
xxing14

Welcome to http://www.likesurprise.com// where is the most popular Panthers online shop. We are professional supplier in wholesale Panthers shoes,clothes,bags and so on. Once you visit our website, you will be find many many surprises in our site. Newest stuff will be selling in our website in the first time. michael kors handbags cheape, cheap air force ones and so on. Welcome worldwide customer visit our site and buying online. Let us make thing more easier at http://www.likesurprise.com//

Clendanielc
Clendanielc

Great article. I was going to mention something political but I don't feel that this needs to be a political talking point. The biggest problem that we can learn from this is responsibility. If IT Departments, or any business for the matter, take responsibility then we would be better off than where we are now.

adornoe
adornoe

Obama's record is already known, and he's been the worst that anybody could ever conceive. And, he's as bad as his prior history shows, that he was a nobody with no real experience at anything; not world events, and not American history, and not American culture, and not economics. He's been just a useful tool for those who are really running the administration. His biggest "accomplishments" in the White House has been to go golfing about 1/3 of the time he's been in office, and the number of vacation days he's taken, which is more than 1/3 (including golf days, basketball days, and partying in the White House). He's also spent a great deal of time with his constant campaigning, which should have ended back in November 2012, and he's basically the best known celebrity in the celebrity tours. Obama was never a serious candidate, and he's continuing to be in the White House what he was in the Chicago senate, a no-show, and one that just "phones it in", as witnessed by the Benghazi fiasco. He's basically there to sign the bills and executive orders, which all are somebody else's work. He is not capable of thinking up a regulation or a bill on his own, and that's what Valerie Jarret and Rahm Emmanuel were on his side for. Whatever "accomplishments' occurred during his time in office, were all the work of his administrative staff, and of congress. Obama is still as much a ZERO as he was in Chicago and during his school years. Obama is, without a doubt, the worst president in history, and he would've been the worst leader for any country in the world, even including Somalia. Obama is the equivalent of a mail clerk, or floor sweeper, being elevated to CEO of GE or Microsoft. It's absolutely mind-boggling that somebody like that, with no leadership skills and no accomplishments ever in his life, and no real knowledge of economics or of world events, could have become the leader of the worlds most powerful country. But, here is another take: "Economically, Could Obama Be America's Worst President?" http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2013/06/02/economically-could-obama-be-americas-worst-president/

adornoe
adornoe

Obama is the least capable president of all time, and most anybody could have done a much better job than he has done. Plus, most other presidents didn't just go looking for excuses and passing the buck or blame somebody else for his poor performance. Obama is as incapable of being president as he was before running for president the first time. He is a big, fat, ZERO in knowledge and in leadership. He should've been stopped before visiting any of the "58" states he referred to. (Some people think he said 57, but he was referring to 58). Obama had never run any type of business, not even a lemonade stand. And foolishly, people elected him to run the most powerful office in the universe. The results prove that he is the most incapable person possible for running any office. He had no record of achievements, and he still doesn't, since most of what is getting done is being done by his staff, and he just signs the bills or executive orders. He is basically doing the same things he did as senator in the Chicago legislature, which is being a no-show for votes and decisions, and just phoning "it" in. He is just a figurehead for the people who are really running the White House, and his ignorance was in full view during the debates against Romney. But, people did want somebody that promised them the most from government, and so, we ended up with another 4 years of the most inept "president" anybody could have conceived of. And, that lack of leadership and knowledge is reflected in the scandals in Washington right now. You might want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but, the presidency is much too important to just make up excuses and place blame elsewhere. A country and lives are at stake. So, take your "better than thou" attitude and go back and learn what it means to be a leader, and learn about what it means to be responsible for the most powerful country in the world. Obama is still not qualified to even run a lemonade stand, because, he will just have somebody else run it for him, while he's out playing golf, or in his eternal campaign mode. I'm not a politician, but I'm pretty sure that I would not have been so derelict in my duties, and I would not be making excuses or passing the buck. The buck could never stop with Obama, because, he is completely devoid of any leadership capabilities.

Fairbs
Fairbs

Where was your outrage over the 12 embassy attacks during W's presedency? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorist_attacks_on_U.S._diplomatic_facilities The fact is Republicans are trying to win political points using the deaths of Americans and that is sad. Look into how Nixon manipulated the IRS to his parties advantage. Far worse than what Obama may or may not have had a hand in and that's not to say either is right. The other 'scandal' I haven't looked into enough to refute or confirm.

Fairbs
Fairbs

It's going to take more than 8 years to fix all of the messes W left behind.

Clendanielc
Clendanielc

I agree with you on the "passing the buck." It must be a trend that has died out some time ago with politicians. They will make a statement and then back away from it. They don't show up or try to pass things off to their Vice President to run while they play golf for a few months. No accountability. Looking back on the past fours years Romney would have been the better choice because the US Govt is a business. He would have brought the economy back to a surplus within a month by cutting unneeded programs and departments that waste money. The debt would have been paid and we wouldn't be importing goods more than exporting them. He would have told us the truth about what he is doing whether we liked it or not. A true leader. Obama was a community organizer but running a lemonade stand would be better leadership experience to have. Thats if he didn't get other people to run it for him, or at least show up. CEO's don't stay home and work or have people work for them, they show up and run all aspects of a business. I do agree with you, Obama is not qualified to run a country or a lemonade stand. No accountability.

adornoe
adornoe

which could be pinned on Bush. Whatever "attacks" occurred on U.S. embassies or consulates, did not result in the death of an ambassador or staff members. And, Bush did not opt to disregard the attacks, as opposed to Obama's actions, which he didn't even move a finger to try to save the lives of the ambassador and the other three staff members. If republicans do gain any political points from the investigation of the scandal, so be it, but, the actions that have been undertaken under the Obama presidency are so egregious that, they are hundreds of times more devastating to the country than whatever Bush could have been accused of. Suppressing the rights of the free press is a direct attack on the constitution, and that should be punishable by life in prison, no matter where the investigations lead to. Free speech and the free press are two of the most fundamental rights that keep this country free and safe. An attack on those freedoms is equivalent to the actions that dictatorships undertake in order to keep themselves in power. Intimidating political opponents via aggressive IRS investigations of tea party or patriot groups, is dictatorial in nature, and that too, should be punishable with life in prison, no matter where the investigations lead. What happened with Benghazi and the IRS intimidation tactics, and the Attorney general intimidation of reporters, are a sign of corrupt and dangerous government. What has happened is many times more egregious than anything any president, democrat or republican, has ever done in the past. Try to put things in proper perspective, and you can't honestly conclude any different from what I just did.

adornoe
adornoe

and the same that Obama and his minions keep using to excuse his complete incompetence. One thing for sure is that, Bush never blamed any problems during his administration on the prior president, namely Clinton. But, there were plenty of problems which Clinton did leave for his successor, like an economy which was in recession for more than a year before Bush took office. A leader doesn't look to place blame. A leader looks to solve problems, no matter where and when and by whom they were caused. Bush did exactly that, and proceeded to bring the economy out of Clinton's recession, and into the most productive economy in modern times. The problems which Obama, and YOU, continue to blame on Bush, were none of Bush's doing, and were caused by the idiotic democrat congresses of the past, and by Clinton. The economic crash of 2007-2008, were as a result of the CRA (look it up), and the shenanigans of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie and Freddie needed to be reigned in, and democrats in congress stopped Bush from drawing up legislation to do so. Fannie and Freddie are the 2 agencies most responsible for the housing crash, along with the CRA act of Jimmy Carter and Clinton. The one thing Americans can always count on is that, when the democrats screw up the country, they are very quick to pass the blame to others, and that is exactly what they did with the housing crash and economic collapse in 2007/2008. Bush could've pointed out the facts of the situation and blamed the right parties for the collapse, but he was too decent to play the same blame games that democrats and Obama and Clinton did and do. Leadership is about getting things done, and blaming others for your own incompetence is cowardly.

adornoe
adornoe

make sure that the non-biased source really is non-partisan. Your source is full of biases, and crap. For example: "We leapt in to cover the Wisconsin protests from the outset when the corporate media was dodging the real story of the corporate-funded attack on workers' rights". The phasing of that statement immediately points to a left-leaning point of view, and a liberal point of view, and uses the exact wording that the democrats used to try to unseat the governor and which favored the union side of the arguments. So, again, you fail miserably with your sources. Furthermore, if somebody works for a republican think tank, that immediately gives that person a million times more credibility than whatever left-wing media source you might want to use to back up your arguments. When you choose a liberal "think tank", one can immediately assume that, it's just a source that attempts to support the liberal view of things, and even the lies that come from the democrats and Obama. In fact, there is no such thing as a "liberal think tank", because, there is no thinking or analysis of the issues, and what they can accurately be described as being is, advocates for liberalism, and for the win at any cost mentality that pervades the democratic party and Obama's administration. That kind of mentality can clearly be seen with all the scandals that plague Obama and the administration right now, and all that one can see from most liberal media sources, is the attempt to spin and lie and hide the facts from their readers. Also, anybody that believes that 165,000 jobs per month is going to ever going to reduce the unemployment rate, has to be the biggest idiot in the world. Nobody that knows anything about economics and simple numbers logic, could ever expect the unemployment rate to drop with 165,000 measly jobs getting created. When the number of people getting losing jobs on a monthly basis is much greater than 165,000, then the next effect is more people adding to the unemployment rate. The number of people that have had to give up looking for work and drop out of the work force, is greater than the number of jobs created during Obama's 4 1/2 years. People who have given up looking for work because the jobs aren't there to be found, are not counted as part of the unemployment rate. So, for Obama to have a good unemployment rate, people have had to drop out of the work force. The percentage of working age people in the work force right now, is lower than it has ever been in American history, and that is the number that should matter most. The unemployment rate is just a spin of the numbers, and not an accurate measurement about the number of jobs in the economy. For the unemployment rate to actually drop, the number of jobs that need to be created has to be between 300,000 and 400,000 per month, and not the measly 165,000 or so that the administration likes to brag about. And, in order to get that kind of jobs growth, the economy has to grow at around 4% and higher, but, Obama's GDP growth has averaged between 1.5 and 2%, which is very miserable. Real jobs growth occurs when the economy creates more jobs than it loses, and with Obama, more jobs are lost on a monthly basis than are created. With Obama, he could produce 100,000 per month, and at the end of 8 years, he would have created between 8 million and 10 million. Sounds great, but the whole truth would not have been told. While those 8-10 million jobs were being created, some 20 million jobs were being lost, for a net negative of 10 million jobs lost. That is the real truth which Obama and his administration wont tell the people. Even the 165,000 per month won't be enough to meet the demands of high school graduates and college graduates who enter the work-force each year. In fact, a huge percentage of college graduates cant find work after graduation, and have to try to wrestle jobs away from high school kids. That is another part of the jobs situation which Obama and democrats don't want people to find out about. People are having to settle for work which makes them "under-employed". Also, many of the jobs being created are part time work, and a lot of those part time jobs are being created by companies that have decided to cut the number of hours people work to less than 30 hrs per week, and then employing another part-timer to work the left-over 20+ hours that the other employees lost. Thus, from one full-time job, a company creates 2 jobs, but the number of hours remains about the same. Meanwhile, the purchasing power of the original worker will have been reduced, and the new part-timer will be lucky to even have any purchasing power left after those measly 20+ hrs of work. When it comes to republicans blocking jobs bills, those were never serious jobs bills, and they were simply proposed to demonize republicans, since democrats and Obama knew that they wouldn't stand a chance of being passed. A jobs bill that favors unions or are targeted toward preferred groups, are not serious proposals, just like Obama's budget proposals were never taken seriously and he has never worked with any accepted budgets. IN fact, even democrats all voted against Obama's budget proposals, because, they weren't serious proposals, and democrats also don't like to be constrained by specified numbers. To Obama and democrats budgets are obstacles to their agendas, and they prefer to spend as they see fit, with no constraints. Like I've said before, if you want to seriously discuss economics, you first have to understand it, and you obviously don't. Furthermore, when it comes to Obama and democrats, they don't want a free-market system, and that's why their economic policies will always fail. IN fact, their socialist policies have always failed, and what we're headed for is an economic collapse in the not too distant future. Spending that has no economic backing, is idiotic, and ruinous and destructive. Some companies might be seeing good profits right now, but, those are at the expense of lay offs and cutbacks in many of their operations. So, while many companies report "record profits", the regular folks out here are having a very hard time finding and keeping jobs. My biggest suggestion to you is to, take elementary level arithmetic all over again, because, 165,000 jobs being "created" is never greater than the 300,000 or so jobs being lost on a monthly basis. You also need to start looking at issues with a more critical eye, and to stop using highly partisan sources for your information. A self-described "non-partisan" source, is almost always trying to conceal their true intentions and missions, by taking on the unbiased or non-partisan labels. It's a way to throw people off, and to try to gain some credibility from the outset. It's like communist countries that try to label themselves as "people's democratic republics". Those are the least "democratic" of republics, and are the most tyrannical. It's also why the "democratic" party doesn't really believe in democracy and is trying very hard to dismantle the U.S. via destruction of it's constitution. The constitution is an obstacle to Obama and democrats, and that's what the many scandals that plague Obama right now are about. So, do I expect you to learn anything? Sadly, no, because, you are too far gone with so much indoctrination which you have undergone throughout your life. Critical thinking is something beyond your capabilities. Even deprogramming you from the indoctrination won't work. YOu are too far gone. You are liberal/socialist zombie.

Fairbs
Fairbs

The author of the article you claim has no bias works for a Republican think tank that's part of ALEC. Maybe you should take your blinders off. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Heartland_Institute More jobs would be created if R's didn't block 19 job bills... http://www.policymic.com/articles/11510/senate-republicans-block-another-jobs-bill-face-backlash-from-american-public You'll enjoy the first picture in that link. That's Forbes who has a little something to do with the magazine named after him, oh and also ran for president as a Republican. You try to come off as a know it all, but it is very easy to poke gaping holes in your arguments. 'Job growth has now ticked up to about 150,000 per month. If that pace continues, the economy will end up creating more jobs under Obama in four-and-a-half years than it created under Bush in a full 8 years.'

adornoe
adornoe

Look, Forbes is a magazine dedicated to, "mostly", business news. It's not in the business of spinning stories to make Obama or the democrats look good, like the Washington Post and NY Times and all of the other biased liberal "news" organizations. So, CUT THE CRAP!!! I've already addressed Obama's accomplishments, and to summarize, he's been very destructive to the country, and it's going to take a few generations to recover from his messes. In fact, we may never recover; that's how bad he's been as president. All it takes is for people to get informed and to used their heads. The "jobs growth" that you link to, are dismal. The country needs to create between 300,000 and 400,000 jobs per month, in order to try to get the country back to the unemployment levels of the early 2000s, where unemployment hovered between 4% and 5%. And, to be able to employ that many people, Obama would need economic growth to be around 5-6% for a few years, and even then, we'd still have high unemployment, as compared to what it was under Bush and Reagan. BTW, did you know that under Reagan, there were months that the economy created close to a million jobs per month, and that the economy had periods of growth of 6-8%. Did you know that, Bush had periods of economic growth of between 6% and 8% too? That's the kind of economy that produces jobs, not the ignorant economics of Obama and the democrats. If the economy continues producing jobs at around 165,000, the net effect will be that, the unemployment rate will continue to increase, and the number of people having to drop out of the work-force will continue to increase too. So, don't point to those dismal numbers, because they make you and Obama and democrats look very ignorant.

adornoe
adornoe

and he would've been the worst leader for any country in the world, even including Somalia. Obama is the equivalent of a mail clerk being elevated to CEO of GE or Microsoft. It's absolutely mind-boggling that somebody like that, with no leadership skills and no accomplishments ever in his life, and no real knowledge of economics or of world events, could have become the leader of the worlds most powerful country. But, here is another take: "Economically, Could Obama Be America's Worst President?" http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2013/06/02/economically-could-obama-be-americas-worst-president/

adornoe
adornoe

and Bush was barely in office when the "memo" you reference was issued. But, that "memo" had been issued numerous times, with the same kind of information, during the Clinton years, and Clinton is the one who disregarded the possibility of attacks. In fact, the attacks were being planned and rehearsed while Clinton was in office, and 9/11 was basically a done deal before Bush took office. Bush had barely gotten his cabinet in place when 9/11 occurred, and the reason for the late cabinet appointments was the fight for the election, which dragged on for weeks after the election. Bush could not put a cabinet in place in time to review all of the issues left to him by Clinton, and Clinton was the one responsible for what happened on 9/11. Clinton basically disregarded other attacks which pointed to the determination of Al-Qaeda to attack U.S. interests all over the world. The attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa, and a ship in the middle-east (USS Cole), are examples where Clinton decided to just "lob some missiles" instead of looking at the greater threat the U.S. was really facing. Clinton set the stage for how the national security memos were being handled leading up to the first few months of Bush's presidency. Clinton never took those warnings seriously, and with basically the same people still running national security, the "memo" you mention wasn't going to be treated any differently than how they were handled during Clinton. If Clinton had shown some concern about what the "memos" indicated, 9/11 would never have occurred. When it comes to other terror attacks, well, Bush did go to war in 2 countries in order to stop the possibility of more attacks occurring in the future. Afghanistan was the center of terror activity, and where Bin Laden planned and ordered the attacks from. Iraq under Hussein was also a source of terrorism, and removing him from office was a means towards eliminating another big threat to the region and the world. You and the democratic party like to look at Iraq with 20/20 hindsight and attack Bush for going to war in Iraq when Iraq wasn't the source of the 9/11 attacks, but, if you would bother to look into the history of Iraq and Hussein, and how years before,congress had been talking about the Iraq threat, you will notice that the democrats were the loudest voices asking for Saddam to be "removed" from office in order to stop the Iraq threat. Bottom line when it comes to the "memo" is that, that memo was just one of many, and most of which were issued during Clinton's years, and which were treated as mostly "noise" and not real and believable threats. That kind of attitude carried forward to the beginning of Bush's term, and since all other such memos were basically disregarded by Clinton, how was Bush to know that, the threats that built up during Clinton's years, would be turned into real attacks towards the beginning of his administration? Basically, it was a "the boy who cried wolf" type of atmosphere, when it came to the credibility of the memos. After a while, memos with the same message, tend to lose credibility. That is basically what occurred with the "memo" you wish to blame Bush for not taking action. When it comes to the IRS "scandal" with Nixon, do you really think that I would excuse anyone because he's in the same political party as I might be? Whatever Nixon did wrong, is inexcusable, and using the IRS to target political opponents, should be treated as a felony level criminal act. If it isn't right for Obama, it certainly wasn't right for Nixon, or any other politician. However, when it comes to criminality, what has occurred under Obama, is a lot more egregious than the targeting that might have occurred under Nixon. Targeting the tea party and patriot groups, is a lot bigger deal than the targeting of one person or two. Also, the targeting of reporters by the Justice Department is a crime many times more egregious than the IRS targeting, since that kind of targeting is really targeting our first amendment right of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. With an intimidated free press, we might as well turned into a dictatorship, where the press is controlled by the government. The Benghazi fiasco points to a president who has priorities where national security and protection of Americans, never take precedence. And, lying to the American people about what really happened, is a crime, and the one person most responsible for national security is the president. So, the president should be brought up on charges of dereliction of duty and of lying to the American people. There is no longer a question as to what really happened, and it's quite evident that 4 people died, and the president wasn't engaged in the handling of the crisis, and that the administration lied about what really happened. All of what happened regarding Benghazi, points to an inept president, and one that isn't engaged, and one that is willing to lie readily in order to protect his a-z-z. BTW, here's something that should "enlighten" you: "Historians, tax lawyers, civil libertarians and past victims of abuse say the practice goes back to the Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy and FDR adminstrations, all of which reportedly used the agency as a weapon against political enemies." http://abcnews.go.com/Business/irs-irs-long-history-dirty-tricks/story?id=19177178#.UbCRqpwkJ8E Notice how the "illegal" practice of using government against political enemies goes back to, perhaps the beginning of the country. Playing hardball against political opponents is nothing new, but using government as a weapon should be a felony of the highest degree, no matter who uses the tactic, or what party he belongs to. BTW, here's something else that people with your political leanings will enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcrUuOhwXzA

Fairbs
Fairbs

'Bush did not opt to disregard the attacks,' Prove it. He disregarded the memo about Bin Laden determined to attack America so I'm not sold until I see facts and I want full disclosure of all emails and a witch hunt or two. No comment on Nixon abuse of IRS? A thousand times would be four dead in Benghazi verson 4000 dead American soldiers due to lies leading up to an unjust war. No WMD. No Al Queda in Iraq. Don't forget.

adornoe
adornoe

So, let me instruct you again. A credible source is one that is not in the bag for the current administration, and the Washington Post, and the NY Times and CNN and MSNBC and ABC and NBC and CBS, are all well-known advocates for liberal issues and for Obama. When a media source is so biased as those I mentioned, along with thousands of others across the country, then they do lose credibility. "Addition" is not a statistic, but, why did you need to change what I was saying? Is it because you couldn't address the real point which I was making? A statistic can be spun, and changed to mean something different from its original point. As an example,the unemployment rate shows that, it's around 7.6% right now, but, it doesn't represent a good number to Americans, whereas, to some other country, 7.6% is a fabulous number. But, even to Americans, 7.6 is a deceiving number, because, it's not really representative of the real TOTAL number of Americans out of work. What Obama has added to the deficit is as a result of Obama's spending, and not leftovers from Bush. Bush left with a national debt of around 11 trillion, of which he added some 4 trillion in 8 years, whereas Obama added some 6 trillion in around 4 years, to the point where we're now at a debt of around $17 trillion. By the time Obama leaves office, it's expected that he will have added between 10 and 12 trillion dollars to the debt. BTW, the deficit is not the same as the national debt; the deficit is about the yearly budgets, and the debt is the cumulative figure into which the yearly deficits get tossed. Obama is running a yearly deficit of about $1.3 trillion, while Bush had deficits averaging around 200-300 billion per year, and at the end of his administration, he came very close to balancing his budgets. Obama hasn't got even the most miniscule of chances to ever get a balanced budget. Besides, he's never had a single budget approved during his 4 years, while Bush did approve budgets every year he was in office. The economic collapse occurred because of the massive social programs which democrats added as burdens to the budgets for more than 80 years, and the straws that broke the camel's back were the CRA and the shenanigans of Fannie and Freddie. You and democrats can try to say that Bush did nothing, but the fact is that, he did try to reign in Fannie and Freddi, and to pass legislation to control the sub-prime credit mess that was damaging the housing market and the economy. Democrats always claimed that, things were going fantastically well, while reality was that, the housing mess was building towards a crash, which it did crash in 2007/2008. Remaining in denial about the facts, wont change the facts. Bush's budgets allocated enough funding for the wars he was responsible for, and each of his budgets came very close to being balance, and thus, not much of the funding for the wars was carried on to Obama's administration. What did carry forward from Bush, was the rescue programs, which were passed with bi-partisan majorities of both parties in congress. In fact, Obama was more instrumental in getting those massive "rescue" packages and spending passed, than Bush. If you want to blame anyone for the part of the debt which is represented by the rescue packages and the stimulus programs, then you need to be pointing fingers at Obama. So, again, you demonstrate your total ignorance of the facts. I don't have "friends in high places" and I don't have "first hand knowledge about the goings on in Washington", and not too many people can claim to have that, not even the president. But, all it takes to stay informed, is to follow the issues, as reported by many and varying sources. Apparently, and obviously, you don't know how to stay informed, and all that you do is to parrot the talking points as put out by democrats and the Obama administration, and the biased liberal media. You are cowardly and ignorant, and you prove it with each new word and sentence you write. It's not about trying to insult you; it's more about telling the truth about what you are.

Fairbs
Fairbs

Please list all credible sources so I won't make that mistake again. 'when it comes to statistics, they can be spun to represent whatever view best suits your agenda.' - I'm not sure addition is a statistic A large part of what Obama has added to the deficit is due to W's unpaid for wars and his trickledown nonsense. 'The collapse did occur while Bush was president, but the causes of that collapse had nothing at all to do with what Bush did during his 2 terms' - So it happened because he did NOTHING. How scandalous. Don't say bush paid for his wars because he didn't. He kicked the can down the road. 'BTW, if you have something to say, use your own knowledge of the issues, and don't just depend on some links doing the work for you.' - so your knowledge is first hand? You have friends in high places. 'very cowardly, and makes you look ignorant' - Name calling means you win the argument right?

adornoe
adornoe

and when it comes to statistics, they can be spun to represent whatever view best suits your agenda. Fact is that, Obama has added more to the national debt than all first 43 presidents combined. He was instrumental in passing a lot of the bills and stimulus programs which added trillions to the national debt, and he continues adding more than a trillion dollars each year to that national debt. Bush was close to balancing his budget in the last 2 years of his administration, but then came the housing crash and the economic collapse. The collapse did occur while Bush was president, but the causes of that collapse had nothing at all to do with what Bush did during his 2 terms; the problems which caused the collapse took decades to build up, until the housing bubble burst. When it comes to "Bush's wars", they were basically being paid for by the huge amounts of tax revenues coming in as a result of the booming economy which he had for the better part of his administration. On the other side, Obama is having to end all wars, including the "war on terror", because he doesn't have the funding for it, and whatever funding he has, he's rather spend on social programs, or in giveaways. Obama would rather concentrate on the political benefits that come from increasing social programs, than to spend any money on keeping the U.S. safe from its enemies. Like I said before, Obama is the worst thing that ever happened to the U.S. He is the enemy within. BTW, if you have something to say, use your own knowledge of the issues, and don't just depend on some links doing the work for you. What you just did is very cowardly, and makes you look ignorant of the facts.

Fairbs
Fairbs

So they're going to look a little funny... http://www.washingtonpost . com/blogs/wonkblog/post/obamas-and-bushs-effect-on-the-deficit-in-one-graph/2011/07/25/gIQAELOrYI_blog . html see figure 2... http://www.cbpp . org/cms/?fa=view&id=3849