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Since 1776, once the first president, George Washington, took up power, the United States has cherished its status as a sovereign republic. He is known, with the title 'Father of the Country' reserved for him, as one of the greatest American leaders of all times. Through his leadership, bravery and resolve to win against the British powers and those who challenged the new country, the American nation was set on a proper course of growth. Having become the first non-White president of the United States, Obama, the instant recent president, has seen his accomplishments as a nation's monarch. To be sure, there can hardly be a true comparison between the two leaders because of difference in the perspectives of the analysists. Each of the two leaders dedicated their life to serve the nation in the capacity of Commander in Chief, and executed their duties using their talents. However, owing to George Washington’s contributions and time of presidency, he is more likely to be picked as America’s favorite over any other president. This paper draws a comparison between their periods of tenure, thereby analyzing their personal strengths as the leaders of their countries.
There a distinctive difference between Washington and Obama when it comes to public image and standpoints with regard to power. The former believed that “external appearance should reflect inner merit” (Eliassen). George Washington was a naturally powerful individual whose personality attracted dominance and wisdom. This is seen in his footprint in the majority of America’s founding documents and statutes. His charisma was enough to convince the people of America at his time that they had a firm leader who would knew that which was right for the nation. His reputation and character was strong to the extent that the constitutional convention would have been seen as unsuccessful without his presence. His attendance at the 1787 Philadelphia convention got him unanimously selected as President of the Convention, which consolidated his position as the nation’s most powerful son of the time (George Washington father of the nation).
Obama, on the other hand, became popular due to his charisma. He had the ability to connect with the crowds through his personal stories, struggles, and strengths, which highlighted those shared by most of the non-White Americans. Through his presidency, he displayed a ‘Persona Paradox’ according to historical analysts (Totman and Hardy). Some perceive him as a man of peace, having won his first term on the promise of ending war in the Islam nations and close the Guantanamo Bay. However, his decisions in the intervention of ISIS, Libya, and the killing of Osama bin Laden showed his side of war. The United States was involved in foreign belligerence throughout his two terms, making his tenure the longest war era of any American president (Welna). Throughout his life as a leader, he has shown his ability to connect with people of all kinds, which led to his election as the first Black president of the Harvard Law Review (Butterfield).
Public Communication and Responsiveness
Obama is a master of the art of public speaking, whose speeches touched people not only in the United States, but the world over. He is ranked third behind John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt on the list of America’s best presidential orators (Greene). His emotional intelligence dictates the way he connects with crowds and is quick in reading moods as well as charming them. Green says that Obama’s speeches are more conversation-like (Greene). With regards to public communication and responsiveness, George Washington also has a significance considering the fact that he led freedom fighters against the British army and subsequently inspired people to build the young nation into the most powerful nation on earth.
Education and Experience
George Washington’s education is hardly documented. However Obama is regarded as one of the most learned American Presidents, having graduated from Occidental College, Columbia University, and the Harvard Law School (Excite). He is also the only president to publish an academic paper during his term (Lewis).
The relevance of a president is represented indicated by his or her achievements during his or her tenure of service. These are points by which the different presidents are remembered. George Washington towers over Obama in this regard, having been the founding president who set the country on a path of international prosperity and greatness. The American Constitution, the country’s most important document, was crafted during his tenure. Also, crucial economic policies were laid out, some of which are still operational to this moment.
Obama, having a ‘paradox persona’, will be remembered for his globalist mind. Under his efforts, the United States resolved the highest number of international conflicts and rebuilt relations with nations perceived as enemies, including Cuba. Obama will be remembered as the first Black president of both the Harvard Law Review, and the United States of America. Also, his commitment to the International community as well as to climate change are unmatched (Milman).
Both Presidents have strong public images, with one being the nation’s first President while the other was America’s first Black President. They have made significant contributions that have left their nations in a much better position on the international scene. However, George Washington is seen as a greater leader based on experience, having served as the founding father, under whose rule the American republic was established. However, with regards to communication and education, Obama towers over Washington.
Butterfield, Fox. First Black Elected to Head Harvard's Law Review. 8 February 1990. Web. 21 February 2017. .
Eliassen, Meredith. George Washington: Personality. 2017. Online. 21 February 2017. .
Excite. 10 US Presidents With The Highest Recognized Degrees. 2017. Web. 21 February 2017. .
George Washington father of the nation. Why is George Washington considered the Father of this nation? 2017. Online. 21 February 2017. .
Greene, Richard. Obama Is America’s Third Greatest Presidential Orator in Modern Era. 25 january 2011. Web. 21 February 2017. .
Lewis, Kayleigh. Barack Obama becomes first US President to publish an academic paper. 15 July 2016. Web. 21 February 2017. .
Milman, Oliver. Paris climate deal a 'turning point' in global warming fight, Obama says. 5 October 2016. Web. 21 February 2017. .
Totman, Sally and Mat Hardy. “The Presidential Persona Paradox of Barack Obama: Man of Peace or War President?” Persona Studies 2.2 (2016). Online. .
Welna, David. After 8 Years Of Unbroken War, Obama Hands Over Conflicts To Trump. 18 January 2017. Web. 21 February 2017. .
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