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Bill Shore
Non-profit leader

Bill Shore

Bill Shore is founder and executive director of Share Our Strength, the nation’s leading organization working to end childhood hunger in America.

Obama, Keeping it Real

President Obama did demonstrate toughness when speaking in Prague in response to North Korea's missile launch. But one great source of Obama's political power, as is the case with most effective leaders, has been his authenticity. He doesn't often pose or grab opportunities to project an image other than who he really is. One gets the sense that he is confident and comfortable enough in his leadership that he doesn't need to go out of his way to demonstrate qualities like toughness.

To borrow a phrase from the pianist Richard Goode, Obama communicates "the accent of honest feeling." That is not to say he doesn't choose his words, or even calculate their impact carefully; rather, he picks them carefully to convey who he is, not who he wants others to think he is.

By Bill Shore

 |  April 6, 2009; 6:15 PM ET
Category:  Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: The Power of Goodwill | Next: Paper Tiger Obama?


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Be mindful of the context. The US' subprime mortgage fiasco has reverberated around the world and led to a serious economic contraction almost everywhere. The pain is very widely distributed.

The US model of capitalism -- inflicted on debtor countries for decades by the IMF and the World Bank -- is now widely discredited. This crisis is accelerating the shift in the global balance of power towards big savers like China and away from big spenders and debtors like the US. The G20 replaces the G8.

Have you chosen a good President for an era of inevitably declining American power? I'd say he's a superb choice: he projects grace, confidence, multilateral good will and soft power. He is giving such vital causes as global disarmament and diplomacy with Iran, a boost.

All states must now cede a degree of national power to international agreements that regulate the world economy. Americans are very reluctant to do this. Obama will gradually bring your nation into reasonable accommodation with global realities which you have for too long tried to ignore. The other part of this change is that other major states must take responsibility for international duties they have preferred to leave to the US. That too must change. Obama has spoken openly of that responsibility in Europe. He will be listened to because he understands the need for genuine reciprocity in a way that Bush 43 did not.

Posted by: wsToronto | April 7, 2009 10:04 AM
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Watch Obowman bow before the Saudi King. Still want to call him a leader?


Posted by: jailkkhosla | April 7, 2009 4:24 AM
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