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Watching the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile one could not help but make a comparison between the President of Chile and the President of the United States.
1. The President of Chile spent over 24 hours awake, standing in the freezing cold at night and in the extreme heat of day, waiting and cheering on the work being done by common, everyday workers to bring the miners to the surface. Never once did I hear him use the word "I", or "I've", or "Me". I heard the words "us", "we", and "Chileans" as he was speaking and his conversation was being translated on the T-V broadcast.
2. I witnessed the President of Chile who did not require two teleprompters to deliver a message, the message from the President of Chile was from the heart, tears in his eyes, emotion in his voice that was real, coupled with concern for his countrymen rather than political posturing that we witness day in and day out from our President as he reads from the twin teleprompters while dealing with a crisis.
3. I witnessed the thanks the President of Chile gave to the national leaders and all who helped and who called in support of the effort being made to bring the miners to the surface---included if you noted were the countries of Israel, England and others in Europe, and from the Americas--Canada, and all the countries of South America---only one was missing, there was no mention of a call from the President of the United States. Did our President fail to call and show concern or did our only support come from NASA and the private sector?
4. Standing side by side for hours in the cold and heat was the wife of the President of Chile--she was not in Martha's vineyard with an entourage or Europe or New York shopping as ours was during the disaster in the gulf.
5. The President of Chile was willing to spend his political capital to invite help from throughout the world to save 33 men trapped one half mile below the ground. A comparison--our president would not over-rule the Jones Act and receive foreign ships that were offered in an effort to clean and correct a disaster, the oil spill. The ship building union might be offended while thousands of citizens are unemployed in the gulf. Similar effort is lacking in the pursuit of the trial of those involved in the bombing of the Cole on the part of our President.
I saw a real leader in the President of Chile. A President that might not speak as precisely as one with a teleprompter, but with feeling for the people of that nation facing a huge problem. He spoke with emotion and commitment that was real. He put himself last and the needs of his nation and citizens first.
That man is a leader, one ours could take a lesson from.