Monday, April 14, 2008

Obama Clinton McCain : President and Senators : Not Everyone is a Natural Leader : Barack Obama IS : Hillary Clinton IS NOT : John McCain IS NOT

David Brooks at the New York Times has it right at The Obama-Clinton Issue.

A President is different than a Senator. Great leaders are not groupies.

Almost everyone who views the world realistically, and especially people with any kind of experience in organizations, will surely agree with our observation that leadership potential varies among human beings. Some people have natural leadership talents and are well suited to be "number one", whereas others are best suited to be "number two" or to work together in groups, or, indeed, to work independently. This does not mean that one type of person is better or worse than the other, but it has a great deal to say about who should be where in the organizational state of things.

We shifted our support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama because Obama has natural leadership talents and because Hillary Clinton, as became clear early in the Presidential campaign, does not have these natural leadership talents. Nor is this surprising. It would be remarkable in a marriage if both partners were natural-born leaders. Such people do not often marry each other. In this case, regardless of whatever strengths or weaknesses he may have had as President of the United States, Bill Clinton was a natural born leader, even from his youngest days, but his wife was not. Without Bill, Hillary would never be politically where she is today. She is still riding on Bill's coattails.

A similar difficulty exists with the Presidency of George W. Bush, whose election would have been unthinkable without the previous Presidency of father George H.W. Bush, a natural-born leader, who held all manner of leadership positions from his youngest days, something that can not be said for his son. George W. is still riding on his father's coattails.

John McCain has a similar critical flaw as a Presidential candidate. His status as a war hero and Senator does not make him a natural leader, and he has in fact not shown many leadership traits in his life, outside of war, either as a young man, or now in his older years, although his political skills have definitely improved with age, no question about that.

None of this is to say that George W. Bush is not a fine man (he might be our choice for a golfing buddy), or that Hillary Clinton is not a fine woman (she might be our choice as an intellectual chat buddy) or that John McCain is not a fine man (he might be our choice as a drinking buddy), but being a fine man or woman is not a sufficient qualification by itself for leading a great country forward into better times than it is now experiencing. There has to be more.

Contrary to some opinions, it is also quite clear that leadership ability is something conceptually different than experience, otherwise we could just always select people with the most experience to run things, but that is not the way the world works.

Take a look at these definitions of leadership at Google.

Which candidate best fits those definitions? and remember that the answer has little to do with race, religion, gender or political party. It has to do with ability.

Be honest, which Presidential candidate has those leadership qualifications?
We think in this election that the answer is clear.

Globalization, The Changing World and Legal Order, Private International Law, Territorial Legal Systems, Cyberspace, Choice of Law

Conflict of Laws blog, in association with the Journal of Private International Law and sponsored by Clifford Chance LLP, carries a short article on Reshaping Private International Law in a Changing World by Horatia Muir-Watt, Professor of Private International and Comparative Law at the University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne).

This atricle raises important issues regarding globalization and the changing modern legal world. Muir-Watt touches upon three main areas:

1. Choice of law and economic due process

2. The “new unilateralism”

3. Conflicts of public law.

She writes in the first paragraph of her article:

"The past few decades have witnessed profound changes in the world order – changes affecting the nature of sovereignty or the significance of territory – which require measuring the methodological impact of political and technological transformations on traditional ways of thinking about allocation of prescriptive and adjudicatory authority as between states. Myriads of issues arise in this respect within the new global environment, such as the extraterritorial reach of regulatory law, the decline of the private/public divide in the international field, the renewed foundations of adjudicatory jurisdiction (particularly in cyberspace), the implications of individual and collective access to justice in the international sphere, the impact of fundamental rights on choice of law, the ability of parties to cross regulatory frontiers and the subsequent transformation of the relationship between law and market. Indeed, one of the most important issues raised by globalization from a private international law perspective is the extent to which private economic actors are now achieving “lift-off” from the sway of territorial legal systems. To some extent, traditional rules on jurisdiction, choice of law and recognition/enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards have favored the undermining of law’s (geographical) empire, which is already threatened by the increasing transparency of national barriers to cross-border trade and investment. Party mobility through choice of law and forum induces a worldwide supply and demand for legal products. When such a market is unregulated, the consequences of such legislative competition may be disastrous."

Read the entire article here
.

Hat tip to EU Law Blog.

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