Now, That’s Class

Hillary Clinton? Bob Lonsberry? Are you taking notes:

Ben Smith’s Blog: Obama apologizes to Muslim women; apology accepted –

Sen. Barack Obama today called the two Muslim women who were barred from sitting behind him at his Detroit rally to apologize, one of the women and two other sources said.

“Sen. Obama called himself and he apologized to each of us,” one of the women, lawyer Hebba Aref, told me just now.

Senator Obama’s campaign screwed up – it was a couple volunteers at a local event, but it was still technically his campaign – and they refused to let a few Muslim women in hajib, or traditional headscarfs, sit behind Obama at a rally. Most likely, the volunteers objected for fear of eliciting more “Obama is a Muslim” rhetoric from the fringe Right. Whatever is the case, it’s still wrong.  And Senator Obama called each of the women to apologize because he knew it was wrong.

He could easily have dodged the problem by “firing” the volunteers.  He could easily have made excuses for why it didn’t happen the way the reports said it happened.  He could have blamed the volunteers and said, “that’s what happens when you use volunteers.”  He chose to do none of these things.  He assumed responsibility, took three whacks, and got it over with like a decent human being.

I’m not saying it’s easy, but its the right thing to do.  Especially for a leader.


We Could Use Some Leadership

It strikes me that, with all that we have going on right now, we are in dire need of – as Obama once said a few years back – adult supervision of our government.

But can we expect this from the Democrats?  Not if Howard Dean is any indication.  Whatever else happens, I’ll be happy to contribute to the candidacy of any Democrat who runs on a platform that includes acing Howard Dean.

Because of course the whole Florida and Michigan thing is his fault.  Yes, there were politics happening in those two states that also bears some responsibility.  But as the leader of the Democratic effort to take the White House, surely he must have seen that not seating the delegates of those states was a freakin’ huge mistake, right?  . . . Right?


Obama for President, Not Operating Officer

In an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal, Barack Obama points out what a leader is supposed to do: leaders are not meant to understand every single detail of every single issue, they’re supposed to hire and lead a team of experts that know better than him. Crooks and Liars has a link to an interesting discussion of the candidate’s language, and how it relates to how they view their roll in the White House.

My personal feeling – and this probably lends itself to my support for Barack Obama more than anything – is that we need a leader with a vision, not a micro-manager with a clipboard.  Despite my obvious differences with Hillary Clinton, I respect her encyclopedic knowledge of the issues.  And while I suspect her ego would forbid it, I think she’d make a great vice president or close ally to the White House in the Senate.  But in the White House, I suspect she would be like the squelching boss I’ve always hated working for: constantly overseeing every little issue while totally losing sight of the big picture.

I don’t doubt but that Clinton would hire a team of advisers to die for.  But I think Barack Obama could hire the same team and get better results.  Just a gut feeling based on personal experience.