President Obama's speech this evening, September 8, 2011, about jobs, is shaping up to be a make or break moment. Since he was inaugurated in 2009, Obama has tackled some important and difficult issues (bank bailout, auto industry bailout, and health insurance). However, I and many other people who voted for the President are left dissatisfied.
I remember how, during the election, my friends and family were inspired by the possibility of an Obama presidency. They believed in his message of hope and change. I was a bit more skeptical. I was influenced by my grandfather's Show Me State (Missouri) attitude and cautioned people to wait and see.
Because of the high expectations that Obama set during the elections, I was hoping that Obama would tell truth to power and advocate for a new America where we were investing in our future (education and infrastructure) rather than spending money on wars and bailouts. This has not happened.
My friend, Dave Logan, recently wrote a piece for bnet.com about a possible reason for the dissatisfaction that many of us Obama's supporters feel: the disconnect between President Obama's rhetoric and his policy acheivements.
Dave's article argues that Obama's "missing ingredient is building a bridge between aspirations and reality. The greatest leaders bridge these two realms, and in the process, change the world. Most people think leadership is all about the aspirational world–but that’s only half the story. The other is 'reality.'"