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Confidence, Openness Mark Obama’s Decision Making Style

In the second of a series of reports examining the presidential candidates' leadership styles, Margaret Warner talks to colleagues and advisers of Sen. Barack Obama about how his decision making style would translate to the White House.

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    If you want to get an idea of how Barack Obama would govern at president, look at whom he picked for vice president and how.

  • DAVID AXELROD, Obama Campaign Chief Strategist:

    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.


    His chief political strategist, David Axelrod, said the choice of the far more experienced Senator Biden was no fluke.


    You know, there were those who said, "Well, you don't want Joe Biden because Joe has been around a long time. He's got a lot of opinions. He's a strong personality."

    And Barack said, "No, that's exactly what I want." He's completely comfortable with very bright people. He doesn't mind being challenged. He enjoys it.


    The novice presidential candidate built a formidable campaign organization just that way: with a multilayered brain trust of aides and advisers. Insiders say Obama manages by hiring people he trusts and giving them a long leash. His light-handed management style became an issue this spring.

    TIM RUSSERT, Former Host, NBC's "Meet the Press": You said one of your weaknesses is, quote, "I'm not an operating officer."


    Well, I think what I was describing was how I view the presidency. Now, being president is not making sure that schedules are being run properly or that paperwork is being shuffled effectively. It involves having a vision for where the country needs to go.

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