[November 01, 2014] Politicians say the darnest things. In only three days the United States has all its House of Representatives and one-third of its Senators are up for election. It makes you want to give up watching television or reading the newspaper with all the advertisements. Yet if we did, one would be missing some really attention-getting quotes. Today I’m dedicating the Leader Wall to American politicians. Here is a must see sampling of senior leaders speaking their mind Note.
The following are the failures:
- Hillary Clinton, U.S. Presidential contender, said “Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses create jobs,” in criticizing trickle-down economics. 1 She claims her opponents have a failed economic philosophy. Senior leaders should be trying to illuminate what makes things work, the way they can make it better, and how they can bring people together to achieve great things. She had the opportunity and the platform but did not deliver.
- Charlie Rangel, current U.S. Representative, while speaking at the New York governor’s campaign rally said his opponents in the Republican Party “believe that slavery isn’t over.” 2 He went on to say that his Democratic Party is doing “God’s work” on important issues. Very few people take Mr. Rangel seriously but they don’t want him working against them and he gets lots of media attention. That’s why his over-the-top and divisive rhetoric is tolerated.
- Unknown Senior Official in the U.S. White House referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chicken shit.” The comment was made public during a discussion on tensions between the U.S. and Israel. “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chicken shit.” 3 And there is another problem, perhaps a bigger problem, the description of a key U.S. ally was not refuted by the White House. The problem with senior leaders who call others boorish names, is that it will instantly degrade their credibility and it demeans their professionalism.
- Mary Landrieu, Senator from the state of Louisiana, made comments on NBC News in reference to the unpopular energy production policy of the U.S. President. She explained that it’s unpopular in her state because “the South has not always been the friendliest or easiest place for African Americans to advance, and it’s been a difficult place for women to be recognized as the leaders we are.”4 This was a reference to the president’s race and her gender, which she suggests is the real reason her state’s citizens don’t like the policy. Of course, smearing the people who will re-elect you is not a good political tactic but also it is not something a good leader would do. Comments of this sort are inflammatory and divisive.
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[Note] Recall that my intent is to write enough about the issue at hand to have the reader see that this person failed or succeeded in meeting basic leader traits. All information occurred within the last week. Below are references to the above senior leader quotes.