It is not an overstatement that these days, we are living in a historic moment. What happens here is being watched intensely all over the world. The vision, drive and good judgment Barack Obama, of a rather young leader is revolutionizing the traditional concept of statesmanship as he combines his own personality, the trademarks of his most remarkable predecessors, from Abe Lincoln to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and even Ronald Ragan.
In one of his recent press conferences, President-elect Obama, answering a question from a journalist about the explosive gubernatorial situation in Chicago, stressed the marked differences of mentality among people in public service. He said that some people consider politics, for example, as an opportunity to satisfy their personal ambition and to facilitate easy fortune and aggrandizement, while others commit themselves to public service.
Obama also referred to the Illinois senators and representatives, Republicans and Democrats, who are serving with distinction their state and their country, some of them for many years already. It is important to call attention to these public servants who often sacrifice their good fortune and their family lives to accomplish difficult tasks for the good of their fellow citizens.
There is a tendency to assassinate politicians’ characters by association even in the case of remote relationship. In Haiti, they say, “Lafimen pa monte san dife “there is no smoke without fire”. That may be true, but too often, those who are ill-intentioned misread the signal and give their authoritative negative commentaries. And, as much as good impression can be ephemeral, bad interpretation sticks like a carapace very hard to shed.
Fortunately well tempered leaders who learn to concentrate on well planned goals and objectives can better deal with the apparent obstinate interlocutor who hopes to be the one who was able to pull the expected answer that the reticent politician did not want to give. The constant desire to know and the necessary limitation of official information may cause conflictive outcome that are difficult to reconcile especially in a democratic system that expect every thing political to be public domain.
So far, President-elect Obama has given several press conferences to present the personalities he has selected to become members of his government. Some are in charge of ministerial departments, others are advisers and officials in his White House, but each of them seems to be the piece of a large puzzle forming a well coordinated whole. Although each of these appointees has his own knowledge, competence and personality, the President-elect brings them together as a team of public servant capable and willing to work together for their country’s better future.
The expected answers will come on time, Obama promises. It will not effect the selection of his government team at any level. Past events may cause some people to be suspicious, let’s convince ourselves that we are approaching the time of change when public service will come first.