New Thinking Births New Leaders

>     Barack Obama is running against Hilary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Surprisingly, he would appoint her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to a position in an Obama Administration in “a second” because “there are few more talented people” Obama is quoted as saying in a recently released TIME magazine article.
    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg met yesterday with Republican Senator Chuck Hagel and today met with Barack Obama. There is speculation that Bloomberg, with his extraordinary personal wealth, is considering running as an Independent for the Presidential nomination in 2008 and is picking his Vice Presidential running mate now, or strategizing, to set forth what the “total package” would be.
    What’s going on? Feel like you’re falling through the looking glass? What’s going on is called “change” and it’s very, very good
    I watched the Republican YouTube debate two nights ago. What a farce and disappointment. Actually, not so much different that the Democratic debate a few weeks ago. And I know my feelings represent the way most Americans feel about our government. It’s corrupt, it’s too big, it’s self-serving to the few, in disregard of the many, and populated by insiders who perpetuate all of what I’ve just mentioned. So, it’s a little exciting, and should stir hope in your heart, that Barack Obama would cross a line and flatly state that he would appoint not only an ex-President of the United States but his opponent’s husband to a position if elected because the man is talented.
Sounds to me like merit-based, instead of patronage-based employment.
    As for the aspirations or intentions of Mayor Bloomberg, well yes… he is white, male and wealthy so there’s a lot of “Old Guard” and “Old Boy” there..but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Bloomberg is obviously trying to think outside the box, in one direction or another, and that’s the only way we’re going to pull ourselves up out of this mess. So, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and see where all of this is heading.
    Personally, I believe there are enough of us out here ready to make the jump, in a new direction in terms of leadership, if only those leaders will step forward who have the courage to speak not only truth to power but to us as well. We absolutely do know when we’re being manipulated and when we’re being respected. We’ve always known. It’s just recently, however, that we’ve awakened to what our responsibility is in making sure that we are treated with integrity and respect…and we each definitely have a part, as well as a duty, in assuring that outcome.
    I had a little locally-based but related chuckle yesterday around this very issue. The newly elected Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, has pledged to clean up the Philadelphia Parking Authority, recently identified as a bastion of corruption and improper use of funds. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Randell also pledged to look into the matter and seek both clarification and resolution. My chuckle came from the fact that 31 years ago I was an appointee to City government in Philadelphia during Mayor Bill Green’s Administration and it was common knowledge that the Parking Authority was both corrupt and a patronage stronghold. It always has been. So this is a perfect example of how the way government has been “leading us” changes nothing and institutionalizes less than integrity-based behavior.
Which is why I welcome mavericks like Obama and Bloomberg. I’m not a Pollyanna and I don’t think any of them will “save us.” But a few good men and women, willing to break some molds and take some risks, can do wonders. Take Socrates, Joan of Arc, the Colonists, the Founding Fathers (and Mothers), Rosa Parks, or Mother Teresa. 
    Perhaps in the not so distant future I’ll be able to write, “Take Barack Obama or Michael Bloomberg….”


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