Thursday, November 10, 2005

Personal (or personnel) integrity

Emily Messner of the Washington Post's exceptional blogging page linked off my Morning copy of 11.04.2005. That morning I cited low numbers on personal integrity and thought a potential talking point would be:

Moderate/Democrat weekend talking point: Doubts on personal integrity are in part a result of Karl Rove's continued presence in the White House. Scott McCLellan too.

Messner also pulls from William Kristol in her post:

"As we've said before, the recipe for starting a rally is straightforward: Get back to basics on the economy, the courts, and foreign policy. Go on the offensive in all of these areas."

Kristol offers sage advice, but only for part of the solution. It is true that Americans like an in-charge Chief Executive, but they also want to see those policies come to fruition, lest they doubt the leader's idea in the first place.

Bush once commented, though I cannot cite it at this time, that just proposing a bold agenda was a way to get return on political capital. It certainly is. However, what the president overlooked is that in order to be a take-charge executive you need to have some take-charge success. Otherwise that increase of capital will not be sustained. It could even backfire, as a perception of a chief executive overreaching his talents.

The difficulties in Iraq, the lethargic hurricane relief, and the failure of his drastic change to the Social Security program have resulted in low confidence for the president's competence. Add doubts about integrity, which are very legitimate, and we have the recipe for a beleaguered chief executive.

The problem for this chief executive is a Catch-22. He faces doubts on integrity and competence. Some of his most competent and effective advisors are those that are the greatest liability to the public's view of his integrity.


Blogger Ezzie said...

In other words, exactly the opposite of my article. But that's the point: You're looking short-term. Look long-term, what do you see? A strong economy, a rebuilding Iraq, and 2 good Supreme Court Justices.

4:48 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Agreed, more or less.

I think we are managing different political portfolios. I am focused on the next 6 - 12 months. You are focused on the Big Picture history paints.

For out country's sake, I hope you are right.

5:07 PM  

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