In the second of four installments on how the presidential candidates would lead, Margaret Warner talks to people who have worked closely with Obama over the years about his leadership style and decision making process.
The first seven minutes of the video show several advisers and former colleagues describe Obama as someone who trusts his advisers, encourages unemotional and open debate on issues and makes quick deliberate decisions after that process. He is also described as someone willing to make small concessions if it will serve a bigger purpose.
Continue watching to see former colleague Republican State Senator Steve Rauschenberger add that Obama was a cautious politician who made little effort to compromise with the Republican Party.
"He's very methodical in how he evaluates decisions. He asks a series of questions. He'll engage you in dialogue on the options. And then he'll make a decision. And he doesn't look back at that decision."- David Axelrod, Obama Campaign Chief Strategist
"He listens to various viewpoints. He elicits dissenting views. He weighs those rationally and pragmatically. But then he tends to make a relatively swift and clear decision."- Susan Rice, Obama Campaign Adviser
"We were looking for a Democrat that we could work with and that maybe this was the crossover person that we could get and really make some progress on welfare reform." -Steve Rauschenberger, R-Former Illinois State Senator
1. How do you make decisions? Do you ask other people's advice? How do you balance opposing views? Do you think about things over night or do you make a decision quickly? Do you ever change your mind?
2. How do you think a president should make decisions? How would you modify your decision making process if you were president?
1. From the descriptions of Obama in the video, how would you feel having him as president? Why? Would this make you more likely to vote for him or less?
2. What are some situations where a president making decisions based on long debate would be a positive? What are some situations where you would see it as a negative?
3. Do you think that it is negative that Obama is described as a calculating politician? Why or why not?
4. Think about the last big decision you had to make. What steps did you go through before making the decision? How would you categorize your decision-making style compared to Barack Obama's?
5. Watch the video about John McCain's decision making style. What do you think is different between the two styles? Which do you like better? Why?
Transcript of Obama decion making report:
Transcript of McCain decison making report:
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