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Monday, September 25, 2006

Lack of Leadership

I finally got to hear the whole Bill Clinton interview from Fox News yesterday as I drove to work this morning. I love talk radio, since they'll do things like take 10 minutes to play something like that, instead of giving me the 30 second condensed version CNN and everyone else was playing after the fact.

For those who've been under a rock for the last 36 hours, Chris Wallace told Bill he'd gotten a ton of e-mail asking him to ask the former president why he hadn't worked harder to get Bin Laden.

What followed was a nine minute commercial for two things. Richard Clarke's book (which Clinton should read), and how not to be "The Leader of the Free World".

I said Bill should read Clarke's book, because Byron York does a great job in National Review of showing exactly what Clarke's book says about Clinton, and it's not as flattering as Bill seems to think.

In fact, what it shows, and what Clintons own words yesterday showed were a total lack of leadership on his part.

The War on Terror has brought us two stark contrasts in leadership, Clinton and Bush. Clinton's style, evidently was one of lack of conviction. If everyone wasn't 100% lockstep behind something he wouldn't do it. That's not leadership, or even consensus building, that's capitulation to subordinates.

His arguments that the CIA and FBI dragged their feet on the intel he said he needed ring hollow. If they were that poorly performing, what was he doing to correct the problem? Freeh and Tenent were still leading both agencies when Bush took office. If they weren't performing, why weren't they fired?

That the military didn't like his plans, so what, you Bill, were Commander in Chief, that means you tell them what to do. When they say the plan won't work you tell them to come up with one that will, or has a better chance, you don't just do nothing.

In your power was the ability to replace the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff, yet they were all still hanging around, even though you claim they wouldn't follow orders.

Clarke points out in his book that Clinton had plenty of political capital to use, but refused to because of his own personal "issues". That's not leadership, that's ass covering, and evidently he was more worried about that than doing his job.

Bush, while definitely not perfect, has at least been decisive. He's used political capital, diplomacy, even coercion at times to get things done the way he thinks they should be done. Have all of his decisions been right? Hell no, but at least they've been decisions.

Bush has stood up and said mistakes were made, and dealt with the (constant) flak from them, and defended his decisions. It's definitely a sharp contrast to his predecessor, who yesterday claimed he did everything right, and it was someone else's fault that things didn't work.

I heard a radio interview with a football coach today, when asked why there seemed to be so much confusion in his secondary on certain plays the answer was "we obviously aren't teaching it right if they aren't executing it". He didn't blame the safety for going to the wrong place, or say the cornerback didn't like zone coverages, or the linebackers hated him because he didn't play their position; he shouldered the blame as the coach for not making it clear what their jobs were. Maybe I should get a copy of that interview and send it to Bill Clinton, it's a good explanation of leadership.

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3Comments:

Blogger Croaky said...

Crazy Politico,

I have the videos of the Bill Clinton Fox News interview at the inter-galactic jester.

You're categorically wrong to say,

"Bush has stood up and said mistakes were made... It's definitely a sharp contrast to his predecessor, who yesterday claimed he did everything right, and it was someone else's fault that things didn't work."

Clinton literally said, "I made mistakes. I didn't do a good enough job because I didn't get bin Laden killed."

Also, your point about his power to replace the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff is naive. While that may look semi-rational today in the light of 9/11, it would have been crazy in 1993.

The two big take-aways from the interview that I heard from Clinton were: he wasn't able to get clearance from the government of Uzbekistan to install necessary bases for the fight against bin Laden and he would have put more than 20,000 troops in Afghanistan to hunt down bin Laden.

11:15 PM  
Blogger asacan said...

To Croaky,

Somehow Bush not only got clearance from Uzbekistan, but also from Pakistan (whether or not Armitage "strong-armed" Pakistan). While you may say, "That was after 9/11", I will respond that there were enough attacks against the U.S. before 9/11 that would have warranted that sort of clearance. Perhaps Clinton just didn't know how negotiate with Uzbekistan or Pakistan. I thought he was considered a diplomatic president, after all, every one keeps saying how much the world adored him.

You can ask CP, when he and I first worked together, I was a proud and fierce supporter of Bill Clinton. Luckily, I grew up, unfortunately Bill Clinton has not. Of the many things I see wrong with Clinton in retrospect, I realized how poor a president he was when he did NOTHING in response to the USS Cole bombing, and he's FLAT OUT lying when he said that his administration had passed on a "comprehensive plan" to deal with Al Qaeda. Perhaps his cronies were too busy pulling all the "W"s off of keyboards and other WH mischief/vandalism to get around to doing their jobs. Either way, it isn't just Secretary Rice and President Bush saying that, Richard Clarke has said that.

CP,
Clinton made a fool out of himself, and I hope the news media keeps playing it over and over. The liberals say that it's Clinton showing "how to have a backbone", but they're fools. Clinton had gone stark-raving mad. And the more his supporters (like the main-stream media) and Democrats keep sticking up for him, the worse the Democrats will do this coming November. Remember, these are the people that MUST NOT have responsibility for our safety. They're lunatics.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

Clinton doesn't go to any interview without knowing what questions are going to be asked. He rehearsed his little diatribe for days before showing his posterior on TV. How many times did he make refernece to "FOX News", "Neo-Cons", "Rightwingers" and etc? He used all the little buzz words the left dearly love. I am shocked that he didn't mention Rush Limbaugh but perhaps he forgot some of the lines he practiced.

I laughed when he said, "I never criticized George Bush". My question is "When hasn't he criticised President Bush?" Clinton has publicly criticised this President many times including while in other countries like Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

Clinton has been a liar his entire life and he isn't going to change now.

He staged the entire thing with Chris Wallace and if he wants to talk about people with a "smirk on their face", he should look in a mirror sometime.

10:09 PM  

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