What a Real Leader Sounds Like

I had the good fortune of listening to Tony Blair’s speech before Congress this afternoon, and whoa! If ever someone made little George appear a staggering buffoon, this is he. Where Duh-bya has trouble with words beyond the vocabulary of a fourth grader (like, say, “nuclear”), Blair isn’t afraid to make appropriate use of the language — without straying into condescension. Where Bush can’t display any emotional range beyond indignant rage, Blair effortlessly injects humor into his presentation. Where the occupant of the oval office makes me embarrassed to proclaim American citizenship, the resident of 10 Downing Street inspires me to stand a little taller.

And, perhaps most significantly, where Bush remains steadfast in his infallibility — no matter what the evidence to the contrary — Blair is at least willing to admit the possibility of error. I may disagree with the decisions he made — rather vociferously — but I can respect his position, and believe that he’s at least thought about the actions and their consequences.

My aversion to rain and fog (not to mention the difficulties in immigrating to the UK) have largely ruled out England as a destination for my fancied expatriate days — London lies along the same parallel as Vancouver — but is there any way we can get this guy to spend more time over here?


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