What all of this suggests is that there is no clear connection between personality style and actual governance. Charismatic leaders have at times been effective, especially during times of great crisis. But their great shining moments have often been tempered with brevity.
As we pulled into the center, we were confronted with Turkish reality. We were subjected to a security inspection comparable to an embassy – and totally unlike the casual environment at American malls.
Some years ago, John Podhoretz, a right-of-center writer, now the editor of Commentary, admonished his colleagues on the left: "We speak liberal as well as our own tongue. Why don't you speak conservative?"
When U.S. Presidents leave office, the sudden shift to retirement is often difficult. Some find ways to make the most of it, reinventing their persona—as in the case of Jimmy Carter (though he does seem determined to undermine himself by meddling too much in foreign affairs).
Readers of tea leaves, tarot cards and goat entrails may be able to predict the future. But prognostication is a skill few journalists, politicians, diplomats, and intelligence officials have demonstrated consistently over time.
Last week, the president wrote in the Wall Street Journal an article titled "Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System" in which he announced that he had issued an executive order to review all government regulations on a cost-benefit ratio basis.
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