One definition of leadership is "organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal." Mike Woodson, head coach of the New York Knicks, is a leader. Last year he took over a dysfunctional, losing team comprised of selfish players, and quickly turned them into one of the best teams in the NBA. That is what a leader is supposed to do. Despite a roster of talented players, Woodson's predecessor, Mike D'Antoni, was unable to function as an effective leader. He blamed the team's failures on everyone but himself. Last year, I had the good fortune to cover Duke University's basketball team, and got to observe their legendary coach, Mike Krzyzewski. Even when he wins, Coach K is critical of his own coaching and is quick to point out his mistakes and shortcomings.
I voted for Obama in 2008 because I actually believed he stood for change and I thought he sincerely wanted to reform and improve the operation of the federal government. However, once elected, expressions like "work together" and words such as "waste" and "reform" were never uttered by President Obama. Instead, expressions like "fair share" and constant references to "the rich," "millionaires" and "billionaires" were part of the president's daily drumbeat. The hope and change Obama promised has been reduced to a divisive class warfare that offers one solution to our country's problems: tax the wealthy and all will be well once they pay their fair share.
The pathetic approval rating the American people have given Congress is evidence that we believe our government is a bloated, inefficient mess, yet President Obama has ignored this mandate. Rather than sit down at a negotiating table with both parties and act like a leader, the president has done nothing other than lobby the public for a tax increase on the wealthy. Obama has gotten what he's asked for, and we are no closer to solving our fiscal woes than a week, a month or a year ago. There is a demand and a need for real presidential leadership in our country, yet Obama has barely delivered a band aid for a gushing wound. If there is a consensus in America, it's that our government needs to be fixed and the person in a position to do something is not interested or perhaps not capable.