The Benefit of Being In Charge
There is a benefit to being in a position of elected leadership. We’ve seen it once in this GOP Presidential campaign.On a stage of former this’s and former that’s, the issue of Libya came up in one of the first debates. Michele Bachmann gave a more thorough and complete answer than any of the other candidates and it was premised with the authority of being a current member of the Intelligence Committee.In that moment, a lot of people who had dismissed her realized there was something there.Now today the candidates are convening in South Carolina for a forum held by Senator Jim DeMint. I was supposed to be there, but due to Tropical Storm Lee and the coming ten inches of rain I’m waiting for, I’ll be on CNN tonight from Atlanta instead of trying to navigate the roads between home and Columbia.Another person who will not be there is Governor Rick Perry of Texas. Unlike the other candidates on stage with gubernatorial stylings, Perry lacks the word “former” in front of the title. Consequently, while the other candidates get to appear on television trying to prove their leadership abilities through hypothetical scenarios of what they would do, Perry is in Texas actually doing and showing in real time.There is an advantage to be being an elected official running for higher office. This, and the priorities it suggests, helps those candidates who have not yet acquired the word “former.”Oddly enough, about the only person who does not seem right now to benefit from a leadership title is President Obama who, we saw from the debt ceiling debacle, saw his polling numbers decline every time he stepped in front of a camera.