Should Obama Take a Pay Cut?

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Just as I was starting to lose all faith in politics, A.J. Holloway, the mayor of Biloxi, Mississippi, agreed to take a $90K pay cut in order to help his cash-strapped city.

The town had to take out a $6 million loan just to meet payroll this year, and attempts to cut back on health insurance were not approved by city council. So the mayor stepped up and agreed to an 80 percent pay cut that will free up thousands for the city budget. The city council is reviewing the budget proposals this month.

If the budget is approved, he plans to keep his old schedule despite the new pay.

"Frankly, I enjoy the work," Holloway said to CNN. "And we have a great deal more to accomplish. I could go for another six to eight years."

That's dedication. And even though Holloway was misguided in his support of big business following Hurricane Katrina, his passion is commendable. President Barack Obama, on the under hand, maybe not so much.

Meanwhile, Obama? What is he up to?

His term as President has been disappointing to say the least. His speech even last night was a dud. Where was the direction? What are we doing? Last night's speech was another example of the way our President's public speaking skills sometimes belie his lack of substance. 

He talked about the war and he talked about the economy and how the latter was our priority, but he gave no real explanation of how we would truly accomplish any of it. Or, as Commentator David Gergen told CNN:

"I didn't quite understand what the point was," Gergen said. "It wasn't clear what the mission is, either in Iraq or in Afghanistan, going forward. It seems to be much more, 'We are getting this monkey off our back. We gave it our best shot -- over to you, Iraqis. Over to you next year, Afghans.'"

Obama has ideals and he is the President he was back in 2008, but his experience as a community organizer sometimes seems to inform his way of leading our country.

He weighs in on everything from Britney Spears to Snooki. We want a strong president, not one who holds "beer summits" and panders to all sides.

Although he has tried to make up for his inaction on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning open gays in the military, it has been hard to forgive him for what seems like a lack of real passion when it comes to gay rights.

As 2012 looms closer, he has to show us his strong leadership and his ability to go with what he believes. We saw glimpses of that during the health care debate, but it was disappointing when he backed down on the public option last fall.

He has not proven himself to be anything like the strong, passionate Ted Kennedy, which is very disappointing. We need a leader who shows personal passion, even at political cost.

What do you think of politics right now?


Image via jurvetson/Flickr


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