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Posts Tagged ‘Leon Panett’

USA | Barack Obama kommer antagligen att gå till historien som en av de minst teatrala presidenterna i modern tid.

Bloomberg Businessweek 27 oktober-2 november 2014

Många har påpekat att hans lågstämda och intellektuella framtoning inte alltid är till hans fördel när krisen står inför dörren.

Medborgarna förväntar sig känslomässigt engagemang och inte bara kallt redovisade av fakta och åtgärder. Kontrasten mellan hans två briljanta presidentvalskampanjer och tiden i Vita huset är tydlig.

Det är bra märkligt att en person som genomförde två nästan perfekta valkampanjer har haft så svårt att skapa kontakt med medborgarna när han väl befinner sig i Vita huset.

En anledning till detta är naturligtvis att han har haft utmärkta kommunikations- och valstrateger som lyckats ta honom till valseger.  Ingen presidentkandidat kan fixa en valrörelse alldeles själv.

Läser man böcker om hans två valkampanjer framgår det dessutom att Obama trots allt också var en av de som många gånger såg till att lugna ner känslorna i stridens hetta.

Den andra anledningen till kontrasten mellan valrörelserna och Obama som president är att det alltid är en stor skillnad mellan att kampanja och att styra.

Valrörelser har alltid en drag av underhållning och show över sig. Att vara president innebär ett ständigt beslutfattande som knappast är speciellt glamoröst.

Men oavsett vilket har Obamas stil påverkat Vita husets krishantering. Så frågan kvarstår om presidenten är alldeles för cool för sitt eget bästa?

Joshua Green skriver i Bloomberg Businessweek:

Administration veterans describe Obama’s crisis-management process as akin to a high-level graduate seminar. “He responds in a very rational way, trying to gather facts, rely on the best expert advice, and mobilize the necessary resources,” says David Axelrod, a former White House senior adviser.

[…]

By all accounts, Obama treats a crisis as an intellectual inquiry and develops his response through an intensely rational process. As former CIA Director Leon Panetta said recently in a TV interview, “He approaches things like a law professor in presenting the logic of his position.”

Six years in, it’s clear that Obama’s presidency is largely about adhering to intellectual rigor—regardless of the public’s emotional needs. The virtues of this approach are often obscured in a crisis, because Obama disdains the performative aspects of his job. “There’s no doubt that there’s a theatrical nature to the presidency that he resists,” Axelrod says. “Sometimes he can be negligent in the symbolism.”

[…]

It’s hard not to suspect that Obama’s lack of executive experience before becoming president is one reason why he often struggles to strike the right tone. In this way, he’s the opposite of the man who preceded him. “I still remember where I was when Bush took the bullhorn at Ground Zero,” Axelrod says. He was recalling one of the great moments of presidential theater, when George W. Bush climbed atop the rubble of the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11 attacks. “I can hear you,” Bush shouted to the cheering rescue workers. “The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” In a stroke, Bush galvanized the nation.

[…]

But his record, even on issues where he’s drawn heavy criticism, is often much better than the initial impression would lead one to believe. He may tackle crises in a way that ignores the public mood, yet things generally turn out pretty well in the end. He and his economic team, though deeply unpopular, halted the financial panic and brought about a recovery that’s added jobs for 55 consecutive months. His signature health-care law addressed a slower-moving crisis; while similarly unpopular, it has delivered health insurance to more than 10 million people. Even Deepwater Horizon was nothing like the environmental cataclysm it threatened to become. “It really became a parable of how government can mobilize to solve a big problem,” Axelrod says. And he adds, “Bush didn’t get bin Laden—Obama did.”

[…]

All in all, it’s a fascinating case study in the interplay of modern media and politics, the sort of thing that would make for a good graduate seminar. “As Obama used to say all the time,” Axelrod says, “ ‘This shit would be really interesting if we weren’t right in the middle of it.’ ”

Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Businessweek, 17 oktober-2 november 2014.

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