Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'd vote for a cyclist any day

To build on the last post, we often vote for a person/people with charm, charisma, money, and a personality that is interesting in two minute sound bites. But do those characteristics really prove a person is capable of leading? Sometimes yes; sometimes no. In my mind, disagree if you like, there are two types of leaders: those who lead by inspiring; those who lead by example.

I think those who lead by inspiring, someone like Obama, have charm, charisma, and an interesting two minute personality. This is not to say Obama doesn't have more substance; just that given what we know of him (a speech at the 2004 convention as a rookie senate candidate and this campaign) it really is a two minute sound bite.

Hillary (and McCain and Dodd for that matter) have a little more history and move from the sound bite candidate to leading by example a little more with each person. So what does this have to do with voting for a cyclist? Well there really are no flash in the pan, sound bite cyclists. It takes years of training, suffering, work, failure and training to reach the highest levels. Each racing cyclist has a different highest level. I will never be a pro or even a semi-pro, with some luck and a lot of hard work maybe a middle of the pack expert. Others will be a sport rider for ever, others a top level pro. What I know though is at any of these levels, if a person has worked to reach their potential as a cyclist they know how to work hard, lead by example, dedicate themselves to a cause they believe in.

Riding four hours in a Colorado winter, four hours in 100 degree heat, racing full out for 2+ hours isn't easy. Cyclists know (to quote Phil Levine) What Work Is.

Each time I go out on the bike I feel refreshed, I solve problems, I work hard and dedicate myself for the pure enjoyment of riding. Cycling is to hard to particpate in for only the money and fame (even if you are Lance), I just wish politics had that same problem.


flahute said...

Sometimes a lack of apparent experience can be a good thing; because it means that people have to think on their toes, and are less encumbered by “the right way to do things”.

What experience did Bill Gates have when he started Microsoft?

What experience did Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak have when they started Apple?

What experience did Larry Page and Sergey Brin have when they started Google?

They all thought outside the box, and created extremely successful companies …

My hope, nay ... my belief is that Barack Obama could be like one of the aforementioned entrepreneurs. And the fact still remains that he does inspire people; and with the way the nation has been going over the past 7 1/2 years, this of vital importance.

We don't need more of the same red vs. blue diviseness that has characterized politics since the 1980s.

Reagan had a way of bringing people together, even if you didn't agree with him (and I certainly didn't). I think Obama will stand a better chance of doing the same.

And I think that Obama will also be far more likely to surround himself by a truly bi-partisan group of advisors, and won't play the same crony-ist games that Bill Clinton and George Bush have, and that Hillary Clinton will likely continue.

My thoughts.

Racing Green said...

Well you have some good points, and speaking of Larry Page, I read an article a few months back about why he is supporting Obama. His take was that Obama was an intelligent man, very interested in numerous topics and able to converse on those topics, all of which I would say are important for a president.

Second, as you mention on your blog, it is time to end this on-going run. I know Hillary claims a popular vote lead, but that seems debateable at best (how do you count Iowa, Colorado etc. with cacuses that have low relative turnout etc.)Her support in the mid-west and industrial portions of the country is important, but not enough to really carry a fight out to August.

Obama does need a stead running partner, the two candidates I supported the greatest (financial) Chris Dodd and Joe Biden seem reasonable VP candidates, address areas of the country Obama was weak, and have support on both sides of the aisle.

Hillary is devisive, and for that alone is a risky candidate.

flahute said...

I think Bill Richardson would also make a good VP candidate, helping to draw in support in the more conservative Southwest.

He certainly should be able to help with the Latino vote, and brings foreign policy experience to the table.

Other names I've heard floated are:

Jim Webb (from Virginia), who is a Naval Academy graduate, and served as the Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan before ultimately running for the Senate as a Democrat.

Evan Bayh, former governor and current Senator from Indiana (and a big Clinton supporter).

Ed Rendell, governor of Pennsylvania (and again, a big Clinton supporter).

By choosing a Clinton supporter as a running mate, he could be seen as bringing the party back together without pandering by choosing her directly; and all of the candidates for VP have vast experience which will help them serve as advisors, while Obama can use his youth, charm, and ability to bring people together to help bridge the divide.