by Marc H. Rudov
June 22, 2010
As oil in the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush, many Americans have ceased gushing over President Obama, mysteriously surprised he is functioning as a left-wing ideologue with no management competence. Why the surprise? This is akin to being shocked that Miami in July is humid.
The red flags were evident from the start. Candidate Obama was a left-wing ideologue with no management experience. Alas, the voters lacked the will or the ability, or both, to assess him objectively. They mustn’t repeat this costly error.
During his campaign against Senator John McCain, Obama preached to us that leadership is about judgment, not experience. Wrong. Judgment is a byproduct of experience. That’s Management 101. Americans should have known better.
Many believed that Obama could surround himself with smart people to compensate for his experience deficit. Really? Only an experienced man can judge the advice of others.
Captain CB “Sully” Sullenberger possessed the judgment, on January 15, 2009, to land US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River — instead of returning to LaGuardia or going to a small airport in Teterboro, NJ. What enabled him to make a quick, consequential decision? Experience: 19,000 hours piloting jets and additional time in gliders.
A Thrill Going Up His Leg
American voters have a terrible habit of electing politicians who promise goodies, special programs, and entitlements — without any regard to their costs, consequences, or constitutionality. Then, when the fairy dust settles, they become angry to discover higher taxes, deficits, debt, mismanagement, fraud, waste, and graft. Wow! It’s as though history neither exists nor repeats itself.
With a 50% divorce rate bludgeoning our societal fabric, it seems that voters are no better at choosing compatible spouses than electing competent politicians — and perhaps that’s no coincidence. But, unless they improve their selection skills, on either front, America will endlessly suffer and decline.
It’s not just the general electorate surprised at Obama’s performance. Pundits who once supported him have likewise reversed themselves:
• Chris Matthews of MSNBC, who once felt a thrill going up his leg at the sound of Obama’s voice, is now lambasting Obama’s poor handling of the BP oil spill
• James Carville, who helped run Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, excoriated Obama, ordering him to “Get down here and take control; we’re about to die”
• Peggy Noonan, speechwriter for President Reagan, initially gushed over Barack Obama’s ascendancy to the presidency. Now, she pronounces him incompetent
• Jon Stewart, anchor of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, who initially waxed poetic about Obama, now blasts him for his inept oil-spill response• Mort Zuckerman, owner and editor-in-chief of US News & World Report, voted for Obama but now labels him incompetent and amateur.
Some of us saw right through Obama’s magnetic personality, because we demanded signs of experience — and didn’t find them. We were petrified of his socialistic rhetoric, and for good reason. We were wary of his America-bashing, capitalism-trashing cronies. Yes, Obama was skilled at rousing crowds to tears, no doubt, but such charisma doesn’t connote competence in managing complex organizations, running the government cost-effectively, defeating terrorism, and handling major crises. We were right.
Voters must be able to predict the effectiveness of people they may entrust with power, and do so objectively. They need a simple, accurate formula for greenlighting or rejecting politicians, based on tangible characteristics. There’s too much at stake to keep electing only the candidates who make us cry. If this isn’t obvious now, it never will be.
Enter Rudov’s ICE test — a simple, accurate check to help every voter make a “cold” assessment of the fitness and competence of all future office-seekers. If voters learn to “ICE” politicians before they bankrupt our cities, states, and country, never again will they be “surprised.” Disappointed, yes (that’s life). Surprised, never.
ICE is (I)deology, (C)haracter, and (E)xperience. Let’s rewind to 2008, when we had the opportunity to ICE Barack Obama:
• Ideology: Did Obama not promise to “green” America? Did he not pledge to spread the wealth around? Was he not hell-bent on transforming America with, among other things, nationalized healthcare? Yes. These proclamations have meaning. They have socialistic meaning! Verdict: left-wing ideologue
• Character: We know to judge a man by the company he keeps, that birds of a feather flock together. What happened in Obama’s case? How is it that Bill Ayers and Reverend Jeremiah Wright, both haters of America, weren’t big clues, huge showstoppers? Voters averted their eyes and ignored the major red flags. Verdict: dubious character, at best• Experience: Barack Obama was known mostly as an adjunct law professor and community organizer. Have you ever met a pro-business community organizer? Never. Is this a heavy-duty job with budgets, P&L responsibility, and massive staffs? No. Does it create real jobs? No. His legislative experience, in Illinois and in the US Senate, was scant but liberal. His academic records are sealed. Exactly who is this guy? Nobody really knew. Verdict: weak experience.
The NoNonsense Bottom Line
Think of the ICE test as a tripod, which, to function properly, needs three legs of equal length. If a candidate isn’t equally strong in ideology, character, and experience, he or she will fail us. It does us no good to elect an experienced executive with left-leaning beliefs, a person of top-notch character with a management deficit, or a true conservative with a bevy of corrupt friends and colleagues.
By the way, never discount a spouse’s influence on a candidate, even one who passes the ICE test. Arnold Schwarzenegger, married to Maria (Kennedy) Shriver, campaigned as a broom-wielding conservative, ready to clean house. California is now bankrupt with 13% unemployment. You don’t think Shriver influenced his policies? You don’t think Arnold tried to please her politically in exchange for marital peace? Think again.
To those who want small government run by an executive of stellar character with deep management experience, Barack Obama is unqualified to be president. He proves it with almost every speech and decision. If only the voters had chosen to ICE him in 2008, we wouldn’t now be awash in debt, Big Government, unemployment, and oil.
May the voters not repeat their chilling error in judgment with future candidates. We can’t afford any more “surprises.”
© 2010 - Marc H. Rudov - All Rights Reserved
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Marc H. Rudov, The NoNonsense Man®, is a globally known radio/TV personality, relationship coach, speaker, and author of 125+ articles and Under the Clitoral Hood: How to Crank Her Engine Without Cash, Booze, or Jumper Cables (ISBN 9780974501727), The Man’s No-Nonsense Guide to Women: How to Succeed in Romance on Planet Earth (ISBN 0974501719), and a forthcoming book for women. The 2008 recipient of the National Coalition of Free Men’s “Award for Excellence in Promoting Gender Fairness In The Media,” Mr. Rudov is a frequent guest on Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor and Your World with Neil Cavuto.
Rudov’s books, articles, radio/TV archives, and podcasts are available at TheNoNonsenseMan.com.
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