Bill Keller’s insightful New York Times column from last weekend on the vast gulf that separates our President from true world leaders like Nelson Mandela is worth the read.
Those of us in Arizona familiar with President Obama’s tantrum on the tarmac of Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport can certainly answer Keller’s closing question: “What moral question drives our President?”
President Obama is obsessed with having to prove that he is the “smartest guy in the room,” while Mandela knows, as Keller points out that, politics is not a cerebral sport. As Keller explains, “It is a business of charm and flattery and symbolic gestures and eager listening and little favors. It is above all a business of empathy.”
Mandela knows empathy because he would not have survived his incarceration and punishment if he permitted his ego to override the grace he exuded to govern and hold South Africa together. His life long experience taught him how to govern. On the other hand, President Obama was simply elected and given the Nobel Peace Prize because he wasn’t George W. Bush.
Sadly, our country is still yearning for a type of leader like Mandela who can bring us together. Perhaps it’s time for the right Bush to get elected in 2016. Jeb Bush has certainly learned enough from the mistakes of the last two Presidents.