On Leadership
Video | PostLeadership | FedCoach | | Books | About |
Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

Howard Gardner
Scholar

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero.

Exam Time for Obama

In education, we say a class forms its opinion of its teacher by the way she or he handles the first classroom "crisis" -- when a student breaks down in tears, or a tussle breaks out, or the teacher is criticized in a broadside, etc. Impressions are long lasting and difficult to reverse. How Barack Obama handles this potential political crisis could be as important as how he handled the dicey situations with Rev Wright or Bill Ayres.

If he and his team remained at arm's length from the selection of a senatorial replacement, the Obama presidency has nothing to fear. But if there is credible evidence that anyone on the Obama team even hinted at some kind of a quid pro quo, then the president-elect needs to act quickly and decisively. This is true even -- indeed especially if -- the "conniving agent" was part of the inner circle.

In politics, the coverup is nearly always worse than the crime. Unless Obama acts decisively (if such action is called for), then he will have squandered his most precious resource -- his reputation as a clean, straight-shooter-- even before
he takes the oath of office.

By Howard Gardner

 |  December 15, 2008; 10:14 AM ET
Category:  Politics Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Keep the Pressure on Blagojevich | Next: Not His Problem

Comments

Please report offensive comments below.



"Clean straight shooter"? LOL. Oh my that is a good one.

Posted by: Sue | December 16, 2008 9:25 AM
Report Offensive Comment

The way he "handled" his close associations with very suspicious undesirables is summon the media, then juke, head fake and rise above the crowd in a very creepy way. Amazing what this fraud gets away with.

Posted by: Obama IS a Socialist | December 16, 2008 9:24 AM
Report Offensive Comment

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company