Caught this on T.V. late last night. Then watched it again, online, this morning.
As a history major, I am contractually obligated to give a crap about all things, U.S. Presidents. So obliviously, A Roundtable on Presidential Leadership, featuring some of the most respected American historians was going to strike my fancy.
First off, since I know you’re not watching the whole hour long episode, I want to highlight some of the things that struck me the hardest from this roundtable discussion.
The Gushing of Bush 41
It seems that historians have gone through a sort of renaissance, when looking at the original George Bush. It just goes to show how time really affects how we look at a President. I also love the title “Bush 41.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin Saying Dead Presidents
I cracked up both times I watched this. The direct quote, “A lot of us have spent time with dead Presidents.” **New Life Goal ** Meet Doris Kearns Goodwin, and coax her into saying, “I’m out for dead Presidents to represent me,” in the context of a real Presidential discussion.
The Difference Between a Good CEO and a Good President
Charlie Rose asked this as an open question and Robert (Bob to his historian friends) Caro jumped in, “The President has to have a moral policy.” Sorry, I just love that answer.
Charlie Rose’s Laugh
Giving children nightmares since 1942.
There is a lot about LBJ in this roundtable. Some of the things that really stuck out was the way the historians talked about his “overt neediness,” his is ability to play people’s personalities and, a sort of, Machiavellian long range look at how to play the politics game. As well as the “we shall over come” speech that brought Martin Luther King Jr. to tears.
The Obama-Historians Dinner
It’s alluded to a few times in the show, an off the record dinner Obama enjoyed with these historians. Let me start by saying, I would empty my bank account (all 2,000 dollars worth) to sit in on that dinner. They don’t really go into much detail about it, but you can tell they definitely respect him. Robert Caro barely contains his giddiness over a possible Obama second term. And they constantly refer to him as “one of the guys”, and a guy “who knows his history.”
In addition to those highlights, this segment also invigorated me to do two things:
1) Read EVERY Presidential Biography
Already scouring Google and Amazon for the best Presidential Bios. So far, Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln written by Doris Kearns Goodwin, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham, all the Edmund Morris stuff on Teddy Roosevelt, all the Robert Caro stuff on LBJ seem very high on the list.
2) (And More Importantly) I Will Run for President of the United States in 2024
Every once in a while, I get an overwhelming feeling of, “I Can Change the World.” I don’t know how exactly, but sometimes I just feel like the world needs changing, and I’m the guy for the job. Since about eighth grade, I have also quietly considered running for President. And while I don’t usually brag, I feel, and have felt, that I would make an excellent President of The United States. This Roundtable discussion has only affirmed those thoughts. I feel, I possess three unique skill sets that would make me a terrific President.
- Leadership: While I am not what you would call an “active leader,” I am a terrific “reluctant leader.” I do not relish responsibility, or seek out leadership positions, but when the shit hits the fan, I’m at my best. Usually, I can’t even decide on what restaurant to eat at, but in a pinch I can make quick decisions, listen to others input and stay on top of the situation like a champ.
- Demeanor: This comes entirely from watching Derek Jeter for the last eighteen years of my life. Never get too high, never get too low. Don’t show too much emotion, act like you’ve been there before. Be respectful and polite. Don’t call people out in the media, keep everything in house. Never let anyone outside the family know what you’re thinking (okay, that’s The Godfather, but still). And never let them see you sweat.
- Unity: I was telling a friend the other day that I have, on numerous occasions, brought a person to the edge of punching me in the face, but then turned them around in a blink, and will have them buying me a drink in no time. How? Just by reading the person, sometimes a smile and laugh can defuse the situation, somethings you play to their ego, sometimes you just stand up to them, toe-to toe, and win their respect. It’s about defusing hostility and promoting solidarity.
GET YOUR PINS NOW….