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Jeffrey Lant Article Review: An open letter to President Obama. We electors of these United States have spoken. Here’s what we said…. and what you mus

Nov 9th 2010 at 9:55 PM

The first election of 2012 has just concluded as the 2010 mid-term elections will have dramatic impact on all State and Federal elections in 2012. No doubt many post scripts have and will be written today dissecting every possible aspect of the will of the people and the meaning thereof.  I think their motivations have been made clear and the political landscape has been changed forever.

What lessons will be gleaned by President Obama is another matter, but more importantly will he act as his moment to govern with full control of both the House and Senate has passed. Democratic control of the Senate remains by the thinnest margin and the leadership in the House has changed in favor of the Republicans. It would appear that the mood of the country is less about partisan loyalty and more about finding someone who might fix this economy.

If you are an entrepreneur take note, what happens in Washington over the next two years will have direct impact on your business and your quality of life, which is true with no false attempt at the dramatic. Regardless if you voted for President Obama or not, if you are an American Citizen he is your President. No doubt, it is in your best interest that he listen closely to the well intended advice that  is sure to follow in the days and weeks to come.

Here is one such offer of advice from someone who draws from a vast array of experiences. Dr. Jeffrey Lant, CEO of, has penned one of the first open letters to the President and more than just a restatement of the obvious, Dr. Lant offers a much broader and deeper  understanding by putting this all in perfect context.

We electors of these United States have spoken. Here’s what we said…. and what you must do.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Dear Mr. President:

The people of the United States have spoken…  with a message that must have been gall and wormwood for you. Because you see, sir, these elections — endless, expensive, full of expletives undeleted and charges of every kind and variety… were all about just one person… and that person is YOU.

You must feel today as Abraham Lincoln felt when once handed his lunch by the voters: It hurt too uch to laugh, he said, but he was too big to cry.

(By the way, another Illinois politician named Adlai Stevenson used this memorable line, when he too got sucker punched by the voters and was denied the White House, twice. It seems Prairie politicians should keep these words handy, to be used when their own native wit fails.)

Unlike Stevenson, however, you remain in the Oval Office for at least two more years. And, of course, you want to stay there beyond that as well. That’s why I’m sending this letter… so you will understand why you went at your inauguration from a man revered by millions who thought you could walk on water, to a man whose head is now barely above water, dog paddling like crazy to stay afloat. First, for the good of America, second for your own “legacy” you must hear and heed what we just said via the ballot box… and you must  seize this moment of
humiliation, embarrassment and profound chagrin to turn these bitter fruits into fuel for greatness.

Let’s review how you got to this place and what you must do about it.

1)  Your presidency has been more Harvard than Chicago.

On the opening day of the Kennedy presidency,  revered New England poet Robert Frost told the new chief executive this memorable truth: “Be more Irish than Harvard. Poetry and power is the formula for another Augustan Age. Don’t be afraid of power.” Good, shrewd, succinct, New England advice. Take it.

I am writing to you today right across from the Harvard Law School and its Law Review. You worked hard to get both… but to save your presidency (and propitiate an angry nation) you must now be more IIlinois and Chicago than Cambridge. Cambridge is a magic place, a civilized place… a place which draws the best and the brightest from all directions. But Cambridge is a bad model to govern from because we here produce elitists… and you need kick boxers and jujitsu masters.

Yes, you can turn a neat phrase… but the moment for neat phrases is gone. You must, in brief and again, be
more Chicago than Harvard… and this essential transformation must start at once. Your presidency, sir, and the improvement of America depends upon it.

2) You tried to do too much, too soon… and ended up “jack of all trades master of none.”

Sir, we all know people who make promises they can’t keep. It all sounds so good when you hear them… but when you promise, then leave project after project unfinished, you merely engender the very cynicism about politicians and government you say you abhor; you become your own worst enemy.

What the country wanted from you was jobs. Put Americans to work, sir,  with real jobs and we can astonish the world with our range of skills and a “can-do” attitude that still defines us. Yes, we need health care. Yes, we need better schools… and all the rest of those good ideas we all want. But, first and foremost, we need jobs…. and when you selected other priorities you showed us all that you just didn’t get it; that you were more Harvard than Chicago. Because, sir, in Illinois (from whence I hail myself) they get it: jobs, jobs, jobs. You didn’t like Richard J. Daly very much, but he kept his ears open and knew that a man without a job is a desperate man, a hurting man, a man without hope.

You should have commandeered the Roosevelt Room in the White House and turned it into your personal command post… where the total focus was on jobs, jobs, jobs. For you see,sir, we are now in a world war for the protection of our way of life… and that way is based on putting Americans to work in ways meaningful and timely.

Americans would have cheered you to the echo if you established such a command post and had overseen the execution of a Manhattan Project for employment. If you stayed with it daily… and let America see you at this work you would have had the hopes and prayers… and unconquerable skills of a great nation at your side, as well as the rightly earned gratitude and reverence of millions.

Consider this: when the Great Fire of London took place in 1666, King Charles II was advised to flee the city and save his royal skin. But Charles Stuart, king for all that, made a better choice: he went into the heart of burning London and helped move the water buckets. He was burnt and singed like his fellow Londoners. In the process he was raised to a greater dignity… the dignity of a man. Uunsurprisingly he was the most successful Stuart of them all… because he engaged with his subjects, including the mundane, prosaic, and dangerous.

3) Show us what you believe in.

Sir, you are a lawyer, superbly trained  as such at that esteemed institution across the street. But lawyers, with their “have gun, will travel” approach to life are not a good model for the remainder of your at-risk presidency. You need core beliefs. Your party senses and Republicans charge that you are a man who believes in little beyond your all-consuming drive for yourself.  Very well. You are ambitious and have, in British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli’s notable phrase, climbed to the top of the “greasy pole.” That’s the beginning of your career, not the end.

Now tell us that you believe, what you believe, and what you will stake your presidency on. We hope it will be jobs and the revitalization of America. Diminished, buffeted though your president is, you can turn it all around by focusing all on your hurting countrymen. Your great moments are yet to come if you will commit, focus, live for them… and bring us safely through this unabated storm.

We have spoken, sir, we electors of these United States. Our message is not ambiguous. It needs no Harvard academician to decipher, though they may say otherwise. It needs one man, supremely placed for good, to use all his powers, all his considerable gifts to enhance America. Your countrymen have shown you and dramatically so just how strongly they feel about the wrongful moves and misdirections of your first two years. Listen to them for in this cacophony of restive voices lies the majesty of the people. You have been disengaged from them. Now reconnect and resurrect your presidency. Do this and you will come to see the chastisement of today as the best thing that could have happened to you… and America. Do this and we will in due course bless you for rising up like the Phoenix and winning back our trust, love, and admiration. All other courses you pursue at your peril… and ours.


About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of  Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lant’s live daily webcast and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website!


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