Communication and Symbols: Obama's Strengths

Leadership demands great communication skills. Sun Tzu specifically teaches that a leader must focus his people's attention on him using the right tools. One of the great weaknesses of Bush has been his lack of such skills and his inability to use symbols. The later half of Obama's European trip, the speech in Germany and press conference in France, were great applications of communication skills and symbolism. McCain simply pales in comparison, but such skills can be mastered no matter what your natural limitations. For example, McCain, should continue his town halls meeting as the best forum for him, but he needs to leverage this "common man" venue against Obama's strength in larger forums. McCain should travel with an empty chair, decorated like a throne with the Obama pre-presidential seal. Since Obama won't meet him, McCain should symbolize the absence with the empty chair, addressing everyone's questions about Obama to it. The vacant throne of the king refusing to meet the common people up close would perfectly captures Obama's position in powerful ways that McCain's rhetorical skills cannot.