Tales from the Trail

Van Hollen agrees to stay as House Dem campaign chair

WASHINGTON – Like the manager of a championship baseball team, U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen has agreed to stick around to try to help chalk up another winning season.

After last week’s election, which saw Democrats expand their majority in the 435-member House of Representatives by 22 to 257, Van Hollen indicated he had had enough. He said he didn’t expect to serve another term as chairman of the House Democratic campaign committee.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepped in and asked Van Hollen to keep the job, and he agreed, party aides said.

“The speaker believed he did a great job and wanted him to stay,” one aide said.

“When the speaker asks you do something, you’re inclined to do it,” another aide said.

Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Van Hollen, second from right, celebrates election night victory with other congressional leaders)

Obama tops McCain on executive skills test, leadership guru says

WASHINGTON – When it comes to critical leadership characteristics, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama tops Republican rival John McCain hands down, according to a self-styled business leadership guru.

rtx7r3s.jpgJohn McKee, a founder of DirecTV who now works as an author, motivational speaker and career coach, says Obama outscores McCain when judged against 10 critical characteristics of great leaders, such as knowing what you stand for, helping others succeed, being a good listener and being honest and ethical.
Of the 10 leadership characterists he judged most critical, McKee said Obama outranked McCain on seven and tied him on the other three. McCain did not outrank Obama on any of the 10 measures of leadership, McKee said.
Here are McKee’s leadership rankings and scores. Has he got it right? How would you judge the two presidential candidates?
1 – Great leaders run their businesses with purpose, clearly knowing their values, goartx7ra1.jpgls and objectives. Obama beats McCain.
2 – Great leaders help others to succeed. Obama beats McCain.
3 – Great leaders give back to the community. Obama-McCain tie.
4 – Great leaders are willing and able to overcome daunting obstacles to achieve their goals. Obama-McCain tie.
5 – Great leaders are also great listeners. Obama beats McCain.
6 – Great leaders appreciate face-to-face dialogue. Obama beats McCain.
7 – Great leaders are honest and ethical. Obama beats McCain.
8 – Great leaders understand the difference between power and force. Obama beats McCain.
9 – Great leaders excel in difficult environments and get results. Obama-McCain tie.
10 – Great leaders continually upgrade their skills. Obama beats McCain.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Top: Reuters/Tami Chappell (Obama speaks in Powder Springs, Georgia, on Tuesday). Bottom: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (McCain addresses Latin American citizens group in Washington on Tuesday)