Garrison Wynn
Speaker, Consultant, Author

Garrison Wynn

Founder of Wynn Solutions, this keynote speaker is a former stand-up comedian and author of "The Real Truth About Success


A one-term presidency

Question: Will President Obama and Democrats pay a price for their success in passing landmark health care legislation? How often does success prove hazardous to people's careers or backfire in unexpected ways?

Answer: I think the price paid will be what many thought the price of Obama's presidency would be from the very beginning: a one-term presidency. Let's be honest: This was a bad gig for anyone from any party or of any race, gender or age.

McCain would have keeled over by now, Hillary would have kicked Bill out of the house (although I'm not convinced they actually live together), and Dennis Kucinich would be begging to be abducted by aliens already.

This is a just a lousy time in history to be an American president. I think in times like these, you just go in for your one term, do the best you can, and then hire some extra security people when you leave. Getting elected is one thing; being president is something different altogether.

To get elected, you have to make promises that will be almost impossible to keep. To be president, you are expected to do what's impossible - please everyone. In trying to do that, you come up with an idea (or a health care bill, for example) that doesn't even please the people who support it!

It takes a long time for us to find out whether any president was really successful. And our opinions change as we view our circumstances differently throughout history.

If it were not for Nixon, we wouldn't be just borrowing money from the Chinese - we'd be at war with them! And we now know that Lincoln not only helped to end the Civil War, but he also kind of started it. A house divided against itself can stand for a little while as you work things out, and you don't always need a war to free slaves. Lincoln was a great man no doubt; and freeing the slaves is without argument monumental. The fact remains that he was a human being in a very difficult situation trying to make everyone happy.

Fortunately, we've had very few horrendously bad presidents. Arguably the worst was Grant - a drunk guy who signed some things into law that only someone in a blackout could have endorsed. Aside from him, we've had few independently abysmal presidents but plenty of really tough times that make our heads of state look abysmal. We don't know we have the wrong person for the job until something important happens for him to screw up.

Success often backfires for those who have the toughest jobs with the most responsibility. They might do something great but it turns out to be a bad idea as opinions change. In the end, the people who have made the greatest contributions to this country may go unnoticed while giant statues are built in honor of less significant people.

By Garrison Wynn  |  March 23, 2010; 11:24 AM ET  | Category:  costly success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The only thing in Obama's favor is that the healthcare bill does not go into full effect until 2019. While he may get a boost in ratings now, ultimately, as Mr. Wynn states, "This was a bad gig for anyone from any party or of any race, gender or age." Americans, and not necessarily just Republicans, will eventually figure out for themselves that socialism is not the way to go.

Posted by: alexmason | March 30, 2010 10:39 AM
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You must be delusional if you believe, after the Republicans self-imposed healthcare debacle, which we have just witnessed, Obama is not on track for term number two.

Posted by: florindiana | March 25, 2010 12:53 AM
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Better to be a one term president with integrity than a two term weasel.

Posted by: kenspuss | March 24, 2010 7:47 PM
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Sometime in the spring of 2012, Obama will announce that Hillary Clinton will be replacing Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket. Following an Obama-Clinton victory in November, Hillary will burnish her already very impressive resume for a run in 2016. You heard it here first, folks.

Posted by: zephyr99 | March 24, 2010 5:03 PM
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Mr. Wynn a former Stand-up Comedian, you should go back to Stand-up.

Posted by: austininc4 | March 24, 2010 4:13 PM
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I was really impressed by the healthcare passage.

If you want a strong President then Obama is it.

In the past the Dems rolled over on virtually every issue (ie. Iraq), but he regrouped the Troops after every defeat and overcame the enemy.

It was a lot like the ragged American Troops under Washington, with his Sunshine soldiers against the disciplined Redcoats of the Evil Empire(Red state Radicals aka GOP) losing battles along the way, but achieving final victory.


Sorry, I got a little carried away!

Posted by: rtreff | March 24, 2010 1:17 PM
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