In his short biography on the greatest man of the century just concluded, British historian John Keegan writes:
It is now often thought that Churchill became prime minister because of the success of the German blitzkrieg, which produced the strategic catastrophe against which he had warned throughout the appeasement years. It is ironic, in retrospect, to perceive that the appeasers were brought down by their mishandling of the comparatively insignificant sideshow in Norway, leaving Churchill to inherit the catastrophe he had argued so long to avert, during the first hours of its unrolling.
In May of 1940, Wintson Churchill inherited a crisis far worse than would Barack Obama nearly sixty-nine years later. Not just that, repeatedly throughout the 1930s, that great man had warned of just such a catastrophe and had urged his colleagues in Parliament to take action to avert the crisis–on numerous occasions.
By contrast, while then-Senator Obama did write one letter expressing concern about the mortgage mess, he never proposed (or even signed onto) legislation designed to avert the financial meltdown. Churchill thus had more reason to whine about the crisis he had “inherited,” but never did. Churchill warned repeatedly before the catastrophe. Obama whines repeatedly after he was elected in large part because Americans had better confidence in him to deal with the consequences of the catastrophe.
Maybe Obama should ask our friends across the pond to return the bust of Churchill he recently returned to he can ponder the last lion‘s lesson of leadership.