10 Things Obama Can Learn From Bush
Bob Woodward outlines what the incoming administration should do differently.
- Presidents set the tone. Don’t be passive or tolerate virulent divisions.
- The president must insist that everyone speak out loud in front of the others, even — or especially — when there are vehement disagreements.
- A president must do the homework to master the fundamental ideas and concepts behind his policies.
- Presidents need to draw people out and make sure bad news makes it to the Oval Office.
- Presidents need to foster a culture of skepticism and doubt.
- Presidents get contradictory data, and they need a rigorous way to sort it out.
- Presidents must tell the hard truth to the public, even if that means delivering very bad news.
- Righteous motives are not enough for effective policy.
- Presidents must insist on strategic thinking.
- The president should embrace transparency. Some version of the behind-the-scenes story of what happened in his White House will always make it out to the public — and everyone will be better off if that version is as accurate as possible.
I would add to that list, “Don’t talk to the American people like we’re in 2nd grade.”
What advice do you have?