This paper will summarize the differing leadership styles of George H. W. Bush and Barack Obama in accordance with The Iraq war. George H. W. Bush was the 41st President of the United serving from 1988 to 1993. Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States serving two four-year terms; the first being 2009 to 2012 and was re-elected for a second term from 2013 to 2017. Bush was the last President from a generation of politicians that served our country during World War II. Barack Obama has the notoriety of being the first black President of the United States. These two men have very contrasting backgrounds and leadership styles.
Obama referred to George H.W. Bush as “a humble servant”, Bill Clinton used the words “honorable, gracious and decent” when speaking of Bush and House Speaker Paul Ryan described Bush as “great in his character, leading with decency and integrity” during his recent memorial service this past November. (Jaffe, 2018) These type of words all speak volumes about the leadership style of George H. W. Bush. Bush took a cautious approach towards the Iraq War that was greatly questioned. However, this approach saved trillions, preserved U.S. standing and spared a countless number of American lives. (Brandus, 2018)
White House correspondent Scott Wilson describes Obama as a “political loner” that encouraged compromise, had a small circle of advisers and much preferred policy to the politicians that make it. (Wilson, 2011) Obama’s opinion of the Iraq war was quoted in 2002 as “dumb war; a rash war; a war based not on reason, but on passion; not on principle, but on politics.” (Jaffe, 2016) Obama went into office as President with the intention of ending the Iraq War and bringing home the troops serving in it. “It’s harder to end a war than begin one,” Obama told troops at Fort Bragg on Dec. 14, 2011. (Jaffe, 2016) This statement proved to be true. However, Obama was successful in pulling United States military troops out of Iraq.
In conclusion, George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama were two very different types of Presidents. George H. W. Bush was from a dying generation of politicians that are fading out in American politics; men described as old school, fair, decent and humble in their politic careers. Barack Obama was the first black U.S. President that alone sets him miles apart from George H. W. Bush in not only political views but leadership qualities. Bush being described as humble, fair, decent and a servant of the American people. Obama being more aloof and often described as a political loner and more of a compromiser. It is my personal opinion that both will go down in the history books as United States Presidents that stood their ground and pushed for what they felt was right for the United States and the good of the American people.
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