The 2012 presidential race has not begun yet. After a two-year process in the last cycle, it's a good thing that it has not started yet. While the Republican side of the election appears to be wide open, it is generally assumed that Barack Obama will again be the Democrat nominee. No surprises here.
In order to deny the president a second term, the Republicans have to field a credible nominee that will be able to take the correct stand on changing issues as we near November 2012. The Democrats believe that the Republicans will nominate someone such as Sarah Palin or even Mitt Romney which will be a weak enough candidate for President Obama to practically cruised to a second term. At this point, no one has declared their candidacy so there is only speculation on who is going to run. Among those not running is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Christie is being viewed as a strong leader because he has taken on the teachers union and is determined to put New Jersey on firm footing without raising taxes. Believe it or not there are some people who would like to see Scott Walker run for president. Of course, the people calling for Scott Walker's candidacy are not from Wisconsin. Political pundits in New York would view Scott Walker is east prong leader because he is standing up to union organizers and taking a firm stand. But it is clearly too early for Scott Walker to have any aspirations of higher office. Wisconsin is not fixed yet.
So, why do these two non-candidates have followers who would like them to run for the presidency? Perhaps it is because these governors are being seen as strong leaders. And they are being seen as strong leaders because there are so many examples of weak leadership. Unfortunately, for America, the office of the president also has weak leadership.
The recent unrest in the middle east is a great example of weak leadership in the presidency. With the unrest in Tunisia, the president has said nothing. When unrest spread to Egypt, at first, the president decided to stand by our long-term ally. A couple days later, the president decided to stand with the protesters in Cairo. Unrest is now spreading to Libya, and the president does not know where to stand. Apparently, he is going to wait for the polls to show how Americans feel on the subject, and then take a stand. That way, he will not be making any mistakes or gaffes.
Also being paraded out, is a clip from 2007 in which then candidate Barack Obama said that if there was a threat to the ability of American workers to organize, he would put on some comfortable shoes, pick up a picket sign, and join in the protest. The video of Obama saying this seems comical now, but it shows that Obama will say anything to get elected. Of course, when he said it, he did not think that there would be a situation in which the rights of American workers to organize would be threatened. Then came the situation in Madison.
Of course, no one expects the president to keep that promise. But why did he make it? Was it just something that he said to get elected? Did he mean it? Was he taking a stand? When the president did make a statement, as predicted, he stood with the unions and proclaim their right to organize. However, Governor Scott Walker basically told the president to a butt out as this is a state issue. President Obama does not have the credibility to tell a governor, any governor, how to balance a budget. Obama cannot even come within $1 trillion of balancing the budget.
America is facing some tough issues. We always are facing tough issues, and we always will. Yet strong leadership is needed all the time. There are many people will call President Obama an ideologue. His policies have clearly tried to take America in a particular direction. People can argue all day whether it is the correct direction or not, but along with passing an agenda, tough issues, and the president has to take a stand. A strong leader will take a stand. But on an increasing amount of issues, President Obama seems more concerned with trying to avoid making a mistake then he is in standing up for what he believes. And if you are not willing to stand up for what you believe, you might as well sit down. On many of the tough issues that are facing America today, the president seems too willing, too quick to sit down.