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Judith Ellis Headshot

Is President Obama the Most Active President Ever?

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President Obama is being berated essentially for doing what Tom Peters calls "MBWA," managing by wandering around." The President has been criticized for essentially being too present. We see him too much some have said. But he is doing exactly what he should be doing. As any good president of any country, corporation, university or organization, he or she develops a plan, picks a staff and then leads.

When have we ever seen such an active president? President Obama often holds brief and not so brief press conferences on his immediate and long-term plans. He addresses the country weekly via youtube. He plans and particpates in financial and healthcare summits. He goes to Congress to push legislation. He goes on the road with his plan. He meets Democrats and Republicans for dinner to discuss policy. He visits various administrations regularly.

Personally, I have never seen such an active president accomplish so much is so short of time. In less than two months, President Obama has signed the largest bill ever in the history of America in record time to address our most eminent financial crisis. (He has prioritized.) He has outlined a plan to stabilize the housing market end the Iraq war. He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. He made his first foreign trip to Canada and hosted a foreign leader, Prime Minister Brown of England. Should I mention that President OBama also hosted Earth, Wind and Fire and Stevie Wonder?

President Obama's confidence that he can do many things effectively seems to stem from his confidence in himself first and then the confidence in the administration he has assembled, not to mention the confidence he has in the American people. The President leads and manages the internal (administration) and external (us) staff by wandering around.