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Obama’s glaring and greatest weakness — namely his inability to make hard decisions in crisis and lead opposing forces through or out of them — has cost America on every front. It has further divided Washington and our nation and jeopardized our standing with the global community and even our allies, leaving us in a much more unstable place in our world.

Though most people in 2008 seemed to laud Obama’s personality as a needed polar opposite to George W. Bush’s, especially in an era that required the repairing of international relations, I posed to readers that Obama’s personality pendulum swing was way too far to the other side. An “accommodating-agreeable-conciliator-favoring compromise” type of personality might be good for closing a used car deal when all parties are amicable; but it’s not the one that can lead our country through war, divisive crises, or emergency conflicts, which often require unpopular actions.

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Obama’s voting record as an Illinois state senator showed his inability to take a stand in a crisis. His own Democratic colleagues couldn’t understand why he had voted “present” (instead of “yes” or “no”) 129 times, including a number of noncommittal tallies on gun rights and abortion.

Gone are the days when strong leaders and personalities, such as House Speaker Tip O’Neill and President Ronald Reagan, reached across the aisle in order to lead our country. En vogue today are pitching polarities, demonizing your opposition, and casting blame to justify one’s own divisiveness and inability to bridge gaps.

But what we need now more than ever are leaders like those three decades ago who knew how to agree to disagree agreeably, confronted tough challenges together, and advanced our nation forward despite their differences. That is particularly true of our president.


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