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Michael Maccoby
Scholar

Michael Maccoby

Michael Maccoby is an anthropologist and psychoanalyst globally recognized as an expert on leadership. He is the author of The Leaders We Need, And What Makes Us Follow.

Rallying for Bipartisanship

The purpose of the inaugural speech appeared to be one of gaining bipartisan support for President Obama's large programs. He did so in four ways:

1. He clarified the crisis: a weakened economy, a loss of confidence and fear of the future.
2. He listed the causes: greed and irresponsibility, belief in a market without controls, failure to prepare for the future by using our ingenuity, science and technology to build our infrastructure, create alternative energy, strengthen education and provide better and less expensive health care for all.
3. He built a framework of a non-partisan ideology of "responsibility" (although this key concept is not fully defined) and practical solutions. He undoubtedly knows that the expensive programs he'll propose will provoke resistance. Government is neither the problem nor the solution but it has a role as long as it is effective.
4. He strengthened his ideologies with traditional American values and ideals. Progress will be made by the risk takers and doers. He paid tribute to hard work and service, and also assured the country that we will remain militarily strong and defeat our enemies.

In his speech, he also reached out to friends, challenged enemies and promised aid to the poor of the world. He claimed that maintaining our safety will not conflict with our ideals, although history suggests differently. Clearly, one speech cannot achieve the president's purpose, one that I fully share. But it was an excellent start.

By Michael Maccoby

 |  January 21, 2009; 12:23 PM ET
Category:  Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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