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Chan Lowe: Free advice for President Obama


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Being president is one of those jobs that is far more complex than outside observers⎯particularly the Greek choruses on both ends of the political spectrum⎯will ever be able to understand.

They look at it through their narrow prisms: Is he being the president we wanted him to be? The one we voted for? Is he being even more irresponsibly extreme than we imagined?

Only when you’re in the hot seat, though, can you truly comprehend the expectation that you’re meant to be the President of the entire United States and all its citizens, not just the Tea Party, the moderates, your liberal base, or whatever pressure group one might think of.

This is why the White House has to field simultaneous complaints that Barack Obama is both the most radical socialist who ever occupied the building, and that he is a sellout who only pays lip service to progressive causes.

Every group has advice on how he can succeed, if he would just do it their way.

But then, none of these people is the leader of the free world, when every utterance and action can have grievous consequences, and must be weighed in advance with great deliberateness. So, it’s easy to carp when you’re just doing it to hear your brains rattle, and everything is risk-free.

Just ask Sarah Palin.

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Comments

The pressure to make decisions and take stands, in other words, to lead, comes with the job of being president. Barack Obama has shown the tendency to be the compromiser in charge, not the leader in charge. He continues to put his pledge to change the divisiveness of Washington politics above making strong stands on anything he feels is right for the country. His GOP opposition has stood in unison against his every initiative, He has expended precious political capital, in often long, drawn out, and futile efforts, to get even one Republican vote for any policy or law he has put forward to Congress. Let's face it, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Does he think he's wearing the GOP down; that he'll some how change their minds to his way of thinking? Does he think Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader in the Senate, was kidding when he said the GOP's #1 job was to make sure Obama is a one-term president? I think there is pretty strong evidence to support the fact that the GOP is actually willing to hurt the country to prevent Obama from having any successes at all (examples: the START treaty, the Bush tax cuts, unemployment insurance extensions, and more). Is this the party Obama wants to find common ground with? How? Why? At some point he must take a stand on what he knows is the best course for the nation. He must go on national television and challenge the opposition for work with him or stand against him and what's best for the American People. This kind of leadership requires a plan, a commitment to that plan, and a willingness to take action, real action, beyond the flowery, eloquent, and now, often hollow-sounding speeches he is so famous for. It's time make bold plans that will put this country back on track and to take the message of that plan to the American People. It's time to call out the opposition and challenge them to pitch in or move aside. It's time for Obama to get on with the hard work of governing. It's time for him to lead.


Since Obama became President,it has been his way or the highway.It took him 19 months to meet with the senate minority leader . Even with very large majorities he was unable to lead, his lack of executive experience shows more and more everyday. Failed 900 billion stimulus, cap and trade that would have done nothing for the enviroment, bowing to our enemies , Iran and North Korea failures,a health care bill that if you actually read it ,you would not have voted for it,note the over 100+ waivers already granted etc.His apology tour , We have nothing to apologize for unless of course you would have liked ww1 , ww2 to have come out a different way or for Kuwait to be ruled by Iran.I think when he says things like he does not like the Star Spangled Banner and would like to replace it with the song,I would like to teach the world to sing ,it tells you something about the man.We need to cut spending not increase taxes,start with a 20% cut in Federal union employees and phase out gov. pensions ,stop funding Fannie and freddy and eliminate entire organizations that do not work and then come and talk to me about working for the legal taxpayers of the country. Everyone have a great Thanksgiving !


Why do Americans insist on calling their leader the "leader of the free world"? Who in the rest of the free world elected him so?


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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