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Kathryn Kolbert

Kathryn Kolbert

Kathryn Kolbert, a public-interest attorney and journalist, is the Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, an interdisciplinary center devoted to the theory and practice of women's leadership.


Question: From a leadership perspective--moving the country and the political process away from division and gridlock and toward consensus, confidence and action--how would you grade President Obama's State of the Union speech?

The president did an excellent job outlining his vision of a united America. The speech avoided many of the partisan rancorous issues that would be aimed at bolstering support from his base but inflaming his opponents. Even when addressing areas such as health care, he acknowledged differences and urged the members to move past old fights onto new reforms they all could agree to.

The fact that members of Congress from both parties sat together rather than on differing sides of the chamber worked to the president's advantage. The picture was of a united body with the president leading. And as we know, the picture is a crucial political takeaway.

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By Kathryn Kolbert

 |  January 25, 2011; 11:40 PM ET
Category:  Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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