She's No Katrina, But Hillary Is Still a Category 4

The Harvard Business School has the Rule of Four. This blog humbly submits Steve’s Rule of Five for gauging a presidential administration’s historical impact. To help paint a mental picture, consider a new administration as a boat at the confluence of three rivers. The boat can go straight with the prevailing current, branch left over a deadly waterfall, or branch right to a garden paradise.

Category 1) Just Float - This administration chooses not to change course in any fundamental way. Fires will be put out and few will be lit. Small things are blown large (gays in the military, school uniforms, Kosovo), and large things are diminished (the USS Cole bombing, the Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings). Maintaining high public opinion is the primary goal. This was successfully done by Clinton and Eisenhower, unsuccessfully by Herbert Hoover.

Category 2) Steer Toward the Garden (with engines off) – This is an administration able to recognize a worthy goal , but lacks the will to commit fully. Actions are taken half-heartedly and left unfinished. This was superbly demonstrated by George W. Bush's administration regarding the removal of state-run terror. Actions were taken against Afghanistan and Iraq, but threats from Iran, Syria and North Koreal were allowed to grow. John F. Kennedy was another president who fell into this category.

Category 3) Steer Toward the Garden (full speed ahead) – This is an administration that sees the goal, and dedicates a total effort to getting there. The results are positive and measurable. The two best examples of these types of presidents are Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

Category 4) Steer Toward the Falls (with engines off) – This is an administration with either a lack of vision, or a vision that causes negative effects. Incompetence and a lack of effective follow through are the only things that limit the damage. Dithering by Woodrow Wilson’s administration prolonged WWI by an extra two years. Wilson’s ineffectiveness caused the world adopt his League of Nations concept while his own senate rejected it, and his strategic blindness made World War II spring from the Treaty of Versailles.

Category 5) Steer Toward the Falls (full speed ahead) – This is an administration that also has a lack of vision or a vision that causes negative effects. But unlike the previous category, an administration in this category has the singular gift of being able to create disaster in the fastest possible way. Jimmy Carter surpassed even James Buchanan with this talent. While Buchanan lost half of the union in his four years, Carter shattered the U.S. economy, ceded entire regions of the world to the Soviet Union, and allowed an Islamist Iran to be born, with their avowed goal of destroying everything else.

What category would President Hillary Clinton fall into? What can you say about Hillary Clinton that hasn’t been said before?

How about this: She’s warm, loving, honest, friendly, and is the most genuine person you would ever want to meet.

Well, you have to admit – those things haven’t been said about her before……

Do we really need a president to have those traits? Look to your own experience and consider this: Have you ever had a boss who was cold, deceitful, unfriendly and untrustworthy? Assuming the answer is yes, let’s look at that boss’ “effectiveness”. Did the work environment they created live up to its full potential? Who went out of their way to do their best when they knew their reward would be backstabbing derision coming down from above?

A presidential ogre can still be considered “effective” if you define things narrowly enough. Even if Mrs. Clinton proves herself to be a world class witch, at the conclusion of her presidency the IRS will still be collecting taxes, 50 states will remain in the union, and we will still have November elections.

At this point, the fourth category is where Mrs. Clinton is most likely to fall. Ironically enough, it is her very unlikeability that may save the U.S. from her speeding us over the falls at full power.

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