Memo to the President Elect…

14 01 2008

Madeleine Albright has produced a truly mesmerizing piece in the International Herald Tribune.

A series of dispassionate observations that are instructional in both public function and in private morality, this beautifully written piece has a rare quality to it.

For example, according to the former Secretary of State:

Finally, forget Mount Rushmore; if you are to leave the White House with your head held high, you must be ever mindful of your own capacity for error and that the voters, not God, made you president. Greatness doesn’t come by pursuing greatness; it comes through the steady application of intelligence, guts and nerve to the pursuit of honorable ends.

Fallible individuals should embrace the virtues of honesty, sacrifice, forbearance and self-control, and so avoid what makes us most susceptible to the follies and splendors of power – arrogance, hot-headedness, self-interest.

Offering up something of the timbre of The Meditations is no mean feat. This is the finest piece of writing on the presidency we’ve come across in a good long time.

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