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Marty Linsky
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Marty Linsky

Co-founder of the leadership-focused consulting firm, Cambridge Leadership Associates, Marty Linsky teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School, co-authors the advice column, Leadership House Call and blogs at Linsky on Leadership .

Strategic Pandering

Obama is doing some smart strategic pandering here. Stay the course, Barack. Keep pandering away on this one. This is not an issue on which Obama should be the thoughtful statesman. No one exercises leadership 24/7.

Obama's coolness is mostly an asset for his leadership, but this week he was in danger of losing a chunk of his constituency if he did not reflect the outrage over the AIG bonuses, whatever you think of them, and however culpable his administration was in enabling them to happen.

He knows that the bonus brouhaha is a diversion, but if he did not pander to the crowd on this one by making an uncharacteristically visceral response, he would have begun to distance himself from huge numbers of people whose support he needs to get his budget, his subsequent recovery plans, and his ambitious domestic agenda enacted. The over-the top congressional response is a reflection of deep public frustration and anxiety and if he ignores that, he will look out of touch.

No need to worry about private capital coming back into the banking system. Those dollars now on the sidelines will be back in play as soon as the toxic assets are made available at deeply subsidized prices and the banks' books are clean so that money can be made and risk minimized.

By Marty Linsky

 |  March 22, 2009; 10:07 PM ET
Category:  Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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The author is being too nice.

There is no difference between the rigged market with fake investors of the new Treasury plan, and the old rigged market of penny stock manipulators. The only difference is that the taxpayers are the losers in this scam.

If this is the best the government can do with 750 billion dollars, the President better keep pandering to the people since he certainly can not govern.

Posted by: bsallamack | March 24, 2009 2:41 PM
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The author is being too nice.

There is no difference between the rigged market with fake investor of the new Treasury plan, and the old rigged market of penny stock manipulators. The only difference is that the taxpayers are the losers in this scam.

If this is the best the government can do the President better pandering to the people since he certainly can not govern.

Posted by: bsallamack | March 24, 2009 2:39 PM
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Mr. Linsky,

Is this the kind of leadership that companies pay you for? If so, it stinks!

M. lcarter0311

Posted by: lcarter0311 | March 24, 2009 2:30 PM
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Mr. Linsky,

The sarcastic tone of your post amounts, at best, to a series of assertions. That's not an argument and it doesn't contribute or engender discussion.

As a reader of washingtonpost.com, I look for pieces that are thoughtfully considered not carelessly provocative. In this instance, I find your article far below the standard that I'm accustomed to.

Posted by: girish_joshi | March 24, 2009 2:13 PM
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Even your picture looks disingenuous. Is this what they teach and what Obama learned at Harvard?

Posted by: SarahBB | March 24, 2009 1:53 PM
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