Tom Maguirehas a good point:
Obama was wrong about the surge while McCain was right, but by and large I think the case could be made (but not by me!) that Obama is by far the more thoughtful and reflective of the two candidates and far more disposed to listen to a range of advice. My guess is that he would have a broader and arguably better decision making proess than McCain. It’s only at the moment of decision that he worries me – I don’t know if he was trapped by lefty advisers, lefty instincts, or lefty pandering but he was wrong, wrong, wrong on the surge.
His analysis also contains the seed of an argument that in my opinion is devastating to Obama – even more than being wrong on the surge. His decision making process and personal thoughtfulness may very well be admirable and superior, and it is entirely appropriate for a member of a deliberative body, for that is ideally what they do, collectively hash out issues and legislation by looking at every angle to create (mostly) acceptable product.
It is not, however, the ideal decision making process for a single executive, whether in business or government. It is the ability to quickly analyze a situation, sometimes without all available information or everyone’s opinion, and, most importantly, MAKE A DECISION and stick with it for as long as necessary.
It’s a principle of leadership. The Marines put it succinctly: any decision NOW is better than the right decision later.
Tom’s first worry about him is the appropriate focus: can he make a decision? Can John McCain? The Russia/Georgia situation and their reaction to it is the ideal situation to examine this, as foreign relations is a sole responsibility of the President.
The answer we tell ourselves should direct our judgement for whom to vote this November.