This morning I was watching the news and they played a segment on the relationship between George Bush and Bill Clinton. Two brothers from different mothers are how they refer to themselves.
What I found most interesting was when asked what they felt was the most important trait one should have in the office they responded as follows.
George Bush said “Humility, knowing that you can’t know everything and that at some point you’ll need the advice and help from others to do the job”.
Bill Clinton said “Understand what the job is about, it isn’t about winning the office or beating this one or that one but rather, being able to quit the office leaving it better for your having been in it.
Also, understand that when it’s over, it’s over. Time passes and you shouldn’t be so arrogant to think that you should try to remain”.
Both men made excellent points. Both men enjoyed successes and failures during their tenure but both men moved on and are doing other things.
This brought out a most interesting point, these two men understand another most important point of the job, it’s a public service job and it’s temporary.
One could argue that the Presidency, being the most important public service job, that all other public servants should be held to the same requirement.
They must understand that as public servants, their jobs aren’t supposed to be a lifetime position or career. A point obviously lost on todays Congress.
Likewise, the public servant, once his or her tenure has ended must realize that their time has passed and they should move on, not cling to the job or try to influence the current group in those respective positions. This point obviously lost on Mr. Obama.
Ultimately, I believe that the biggest problem we have is that the parties consider the election process a competition or war and have completely lost sight of the true meaning of public service.
George Washington said, “One should offer service to their country for a short term and then, return to their jobs and homes. Washington himself did not wish to run for a second term but did so at the urging of others and ultimately declined a third term.
Perhaps we should take the advice of all three, Washington, Clinton and Bush and start demanding our public servants be held to that same standard, limit terms and perhaps most important, understand that the goal of public service is to serve the public not ones self interest.