That’s not to say there haven’t been major accomplishments. The Administration passed some of the biggest legislative changes in the last 40 years in the health care bill and the financial reform bill. He’s also invested more in clean energy than all of his predecessors combined. If there is anything in these bills and initiatives that will actually help normal people or make our country better off is still yet to be seen, and probably won’t have an impact for at least the next few years.
But here in lies the problem - even when the Administration accomplishes something big the results can’t be immediately tracked or determined in a meaningful way. And the demonstrated coolness from the Administration gives the appearance that nothing substantial has been accomplished, even to people like me who want to find examples of his success.
Coming in, Obama promised accountability, promised to make sure working middle class people didn’t get screwed, and that change was coming. He then proceeded to let Congress control the agenda, and ended up with watered down proposals and lacking legislative changes that progressives and conservatives alike could take issue with.
This is the polar opposite of what’s happening in New Jersey right now. Chris Christie, the new governor, has only been in office for 6 months, but no one would question his accomplishments to date. Even his opponents would say he is an effective leader that is inspiring change. I won’t go into all the examples of the legislative initiatives Governor Christie has made since he came into office, they have been well documented in this blog and other news outlets. I do believe that his leadership style encompasses four policies that you normally never see in politics. Those include:
1. Holding people accountable
2. Firing those who are not
3. Naming Names
4. Not expecting others to support you
One of the most important things I realized early on in my career is that you can’t expect the facts to speak for themselves. Even when I have presented the most motivating business case to a customer, I know there will be a chance they will not make the right decision, because non-business factors existed. The same holds true in politics. Where President Obama has expected common sense and cooperation to prevail, Governor Christie has assumed it will not. Out of the two, Christie’s approach makes a lot more sense.
I don’t agree with all the changes Governor Christie is making in New Jersey. He often comes off as a blowhard that uses a sledge hammer to bang in a nail, and tends to picks fights that aren’t worth the battle (Google Christie AND Snooki). However, I would never question his effectiveness or his intent to do right by the people of New Jersey. Pending some ridiculous scandal, I would also never question his ability to get re-elected, even in the blue state of New Jersey. The President could learn from his example.