This is a little off topic, but speaks to the leadership tendencies of our current Commander-in-Chief. After calling Wall Street execs to the White House for a “dressing down,” three of the top honchos decided not to show up. “Inclement weather,” was the excuse. Andrew Ross Sorkin writes the story up here, and the Huffington Post is running it as its top headline. From Sorkin:
But inevitably public perception will issue its harsh ruling, and it goes something like this: If the meeting were really that important to Mr. Blankfein, Mr. Mack and Mr. Parsons, they would have found a way to get there.
They would have left the night before, or they would have flown out at the crack of dawn, or better yet, taken Amtrak(I called customer service, and the Acela was running only a couple of minutes late).
On a personal level, this amuses me because I also had an important meeting in DC on Monday. And I was traveling from Vermont with a transfer in New York, and managed to get here ’cause I did leave Sunday. While making my travel plans, I had factored in that I would be flying during what we here in the northeast call “the winter.” And I didn’t even need to take a private jet–in fact, I’ve managed to make almost every important meeting of my life on time without a private jet. So missing a highly publicized sit down with the president…Heck, you could get a car service and get to DC in a couple of hours from New York…
Anyway, if one believed that the true power in this country is held by Wall Street and massive corporations, one would find this anecdote confirmation of that kind of “conspiratorial” thinking. Just putting that out there.
This also reminded me–mainly because I view life through some kind of sick foreign policy filter–of how Obama acted in regards to Afghanistan. McChrystal’s report leaks, then the general speaks out publicly, by passing the chain of command, contradicts the vice-president, and does a good job of knocking Obama around and making him look pretty weak. Giving Obama the high hat, as it used to be called, no respect. And what happens to McC? He got exactly what he wanted. And what will happen to the Wall Street execs for this Rodney Dangerfield moment? Probably nothing.
Apologies for this rant-like post. But what do we say when we have a president that can “get in the face” of the Europeans over getting a Nobel Peace Prize, as Tom Friedman enthusiastically put it, but seems afraid to take on anyone with power at home?