David Brooks at the New York Times has it right at The Obama-Clinton Issue.
A President is different than a Senator. Great leaders are not groupies.
Almost everyone who views the world realistically, and especially people with any kind of experience in organizations, will surely agree with our observation that leadership potential varies among human beings. Some people have natural leadership talents and are well suited to be “number one”, whereas others are best suited to be “number two” or to work together in groups, or, indeed, to work independently. This does not mean that one type of person is better or worse than the other, but it has a great deal to say about who should be where in the organizational state of things.
We shifted our support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama because Obama has natural leadership talents and because Hillary Clinton, as became clear early in the Presidential campaign, does not have these natural leadership talents. Nor is this surprising. It would be remarkable in a marriage if both partners were natural-born leaders. Such people do not often marry each other. In this case, regardless of whatever strengths or weaknesses he may have had as President of the United States, Bill Clinton was a natural born leader, even from his youngest days, but his wife was not. Without Bill, Hillary would never be politically where she is today. She is still riding on Bill’s coattails.
A similar difficulty exists with the Presidency of George W. Bush, whose election would have been unthinkable without the previous Presidency of father George H.W. Bush, a natural-born leader, who held all manner of leadership positions from his youngest days, something that can not be said for his son. George W. is still riding on his father’s coattails.
John McCain has a similar critical flaw as a Presidential candidate. His status as a war hero and Senator does not make him a natural leader, and he has in fact not shown many leadership traits in his life, outside of war, either as a young man, or now in his older years, although his political skills have definitely improved with age, no question about that.
None of this is to say that George W. Bush is not a fine man (he might be our choice for a golfing buddy), or that Hillary Clinton is not a fine woman (she might be our choice as an intellectual chat buddy) or that John McCain is not a fine man (he might be our choice as a drinking buddy), but being a fine man or woman is not a sufficient qualification by itself for leading a great country forward into better times than it is now experiencing. There has to be more.
Contrary to some opinions, it is also quite clear that leadership ability is something conceptually different than experience, otherwise we could just always select people with the most experience to run things, but that is not the way the world works.
Take a look at these definitions of leadership at Google.
Which candidate best fits those definitions? and remember that the answer has little to do with race, religion, gender or political party. It has to do with ability.
Be honest, which Presidential candidate has those leadership qualifications?
We think in this election that the answer is clear.