Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama's Speech

The Wall Street Journal requested no more than 100 words of my opinion on President Obama's inauguration speech. Here is what was published:

President Obama got it right in his inauguration speech.

He did the one thing I believe is the most important: He asked everyone to join the team in service to the country. He is smart enough to know that the presidency is not a one-man show. It's a team effort, and in this case, the team is millions strong.

A true leader has the humility to understand that when he's at the top, he's standing on the shoulders of the people. We all have our work cut out for us.


TMelendez said...

Mr Iacocca:

After watching the inaugural speech, I wondered what makes Obama special. Why no other contemporary mind can frame the problems in such understandable terms. And your book came to mind. Sadly, we have had no leaders.

Thomas Payne would argue that we have accepted what we have as right; in our case our way of governing where the art of politics dominate, rather than the art of making policies.

Maybe a leader does not have to dominate all 9C's. Maybe a leader has to promote and bring out in others some of those C's. Maybe your C's need one I (like in Iacocca), INSPIRATION. A way to inspire the people whose "collective responsibility" is no other than to be the citizens in which this government of the people, by and for the people sustains itself and moves forward.

I am looking forward to maybe a follow up on your book, or just an addendum on how the 9C's of leadership applied during the primaries and the election, the past administration, or how after more time of observing, can you now classified President Obama.

Tony Melendez
Fort Lauderdale, FL
PS Auto Czar, anyone?

Mary Ann said...

Mr. Iacocca, I am interested in your comment(s) about the grassroots "outrage" over Obama's seeming lack of constitutional eligibility to hold the office of President.

There is more to the issue than a birth certificate and location of birth. His father was not a U.S. citizen, and it doesn't matter whether Obama (aka Barry Soetoro) was born in Washington, DC, he is not a natural born citizen. No birth certificate that he may have, or may manufacture, will make any difference. Constitutionally, he is ineligible to hold the office of President.

Okay, so now you know what I think. I want to know what YOU think.

Mary Ann Hartzler

Sunny Heights Ranch said...

I really don't understand where people come out with this type of junk. HAWAII IS A STATE. My heavens it was a state when he was BORN there. To an American citizen. His father could have been Howdy Doody for petes sake. Yes he is a natural born citizen. Mr Iacocca's parents came from Italy (If I remember correctly) and he was born to them in PA - a natural citizen. Maybe you can come up with a little research and truth to back up your comments. Like it not he is an American citizen and people like me elected him.

Anyway reasearch wiothout prejudices will help.

berryman77 said...

Mr Iacocca,
I'm a car guy been in the business for 24 year. Your one of the reasons I got in the car business. I'm caught up in this mayhelm of crap, I lost my job when I had a heart attack at 45years old. I was actually partners with an ass that thinks like a congressman ,the world is going to hell,but I've made my money so f the rest of you. I've made a bunch of dealers millions of dollars, but I've work for peanuts trying to get my own deal.Now we are in all this shit with the lenders that want let go of money to help the econonmy, so how can I make a stand to say no f"n more. We need to get rid of all those sons a bitches in congress and all the insurance,finance guys that take millions and do nothing to deserve it. Take a stand I say all the time but I'm unknown,I'm a knowbody but I'm mad as hell.I read your article in the Alabama Independent Automobile Association,Bravo, Bravo, sir.You are still my hero and always will be.I have so many ideas but I'm not a writer but I speak well and can tell you whats on my mind. Give me a voice, I AM A LEADER and YOU LIT MY FIRE.

Barry Berryman

Mary Ann said...

Sunny Heights--no, Mr. Iacocca is NOT a natural born citizen UNLESS both of his parents were naturalized citizens before he was born. Most certainly he is a citizen, and a very good one. As first generation from immigrant parents, he isn't automatically a natural born citizen. Now, Mr. Iacocca's children are all natural born citizens, so long as their mother was also a citizen, and so long as they were not born outside the United States. :)

There are many places to find the definition of "natural born citizen", old court cases, the Laws of Nations (it is sort of the standard). It really doesn't matter where Obama was born, he doesn't qualify because he father was not a naturalized citizen.

Mary Ann

Mary Ann said...

Here is the online link to the Law of Nations:

You want Book 1, Chapter 19, Section 212. Notice that "...natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens...."


"The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent."

Robert said...

First off, great book lee.

Second, looking at the policies..Obama is more of the same. The only hope for this country is a guy like Ron Paul...& that's it.

EParker said...

Mr Iacocca,

When you bailed out Chrysler did you use federal money? I don't recall.

K Bunn said...

Mr. Iacocca,

I just finished reading your first book and I wanted to comment. First, I loved the book. Second, your insight to potential catastrophic failure of our economy was right on the money. The days of easy loans and free money led us to where we are today. You predicted it on page 9.

It is unfortunate that the "economic bailout plans" today do not have any of the same structured requirements as what were required of you 30 years ago. Today I hear of a multi-million dollar bonus payout by AIG.

30 years ago that would never have been tolerated.

Best regards,

Keith Bunn
Atlanta, GA

Anita said...

Perhaps I am late in adding my comments to this but I thought...why not? I find Obama to be inspiring and I pray he has the wisdom to be a good leader. I'm appaulled at those who are damning him and hope he fails. Don't they understand that if he fails - we all fail. I've changed my political party in the last couple years from democrat to libertarian. But truthfully - I've yet to see a party that expresses what I truly believe. We need to stop arguing amongst ourselves while our country goes to hell in a handbasket. We have government education - we should consider a form of government health care for all. Try to bad-mouth the healthcare in France but it's considered one of the best in the world...where are we...sitting amongst third world countries. We need less government in personal choices - separate church and state but support the people. Isn't that what freedom is about?

Mary Ann said...

Anita, I'd like to respond to a few of your comments.

I find Obama to be inspiring and I pray he has the wisdom to be a good leader.Personally, I find Obama a very frightening man.

I'm appaulled at those who are damning him and hope he fails. Don't they understand that if he fails - we all fail.If you truly believed that Obama's policies were hurting our country, wouldn't you want he and his policies to fail?

I've changed my political party in the last couple years from democrat to libertarian. But truthfully - I've yet to see a party that expresses what I truly believe. We need to stop arguing amongst ourselves while our country goes to hell in a handbasket.I, too, have changed party affiliations--from Republican to America's Independent Party.

We have government education - we should consider a form of government health care for all. Try to bad-mouth the healthcare in France but it's considered one of the best in the world...where are we...sitting amongst third world countries.Well, how's that government education working for you and your children? Or the children of your family and friends? Have you ever wondered why so many parents choose private schools or home-schooling?

We need less government in personal choices - separate church and state but support the people.I agree with less government, we need a whole lot less government. I'm a little confused, you argue for less government, yet you are willing to allow the government to control your health care--the one industry where we make the most personal choices. With the lousy job government has done with our schools, social security and welfare, I'm not going to trust them to handle my health care.

On the separation issue...does the First Amendment really say there should not be any religion in government? OR does it say that the government shouldn't force one certain religion down everybody's throat? How is it that symbols of Christianity are always forbidden in the market place of ideas, the public square, BUT we allow other religions to do whatever they please?

Isn't that what freedom is about?True freedom is not license to do as you please, disregarding potential harm to others. Freedom is never free. Someone's blood somewhere was spilled so that you can be free--at least until BO takes it away from us.

Most sincerely,
Mary Ann

Mary Ann said...

I don't know why it is displaying the way it was spaced correctly in the preview. Oh well, c'est la vie!

gerald said...


You were my choice for handling the GM issue, not some 3rd yr law student who has never had a real job or any kind of experience. Giving the Hummer to china ranks up there with giving all the other technology to ultimately destroy us. I would suspect your opinion of the messiah has changed since his innaugural address.

lagarza said...

In regards to Natural Born Citizens:Natural-born citizen

Who is a natural-born citizen? Who, in other words, is a citizen at birth, such that that person can be a President someday?

The 14th Amendment defines citizenship this way: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." But even this does not get specific enough. As usual, the Constitution provides the framework for the law, but it is the law that fills in the gaps.

Currently, Title 8 of the U.S. Code fills in those gaps. Section 1401 defines the following as people who are "citizens of the United States at birth:"

* Anyone born inside the United States *
* Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person's status as a citizen of the tribe
* Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
* Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
* Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
* Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
* Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)
* A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.

enlightened said...

Lee Iacocca SHOULD have been the one to work on GM. Unfortunately there is a strong agenda at play here. Obama is in bed with the unions and no one can stop him. He wants us to all be dependent on the government, hate banks and figure a way to tax us all to death by "levying excise tax" on the bailed out companies. It is all a sham and we all suffer for it.

pooh bear said...


Prov 29:4 By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down. Psa 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men. Psa 36:3 The words of his mouth arewicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. Prov 17:7 Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler! Prov 28:16 A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life. Prov 29:12 If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked. Eccl 10:5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler:

Barrack Hussen Obama is the appropriate man for the times in which we live. We
have become That from which we Fought against to gain Our Independence. We were once one nation under God, but now we are thrill seekers demanding our freedom of choice. Living without regard to the depravity which dominates our life styles, we have even redefined morality to suit our own likes.
(Isa 3:9 MV) The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
Homosexual life style is being crammed in the minds of innocent children. Pre-marital sex is encouraged by the supplying of condoms. The teaching of evolution and the denial of Creation are among the perversions that are - plaguing this generation. It is not for the good of the children that government schools exist, it is a political weapon used to manipulate the next generation of people into thinking as the politicians want them to think. I believe this weapon will take more lives than drugs, car accidents, gangs, or guns. It just won't be as obvious. Read this Albert Einstein Quote:

"The school of life is unplanned and chaotic while the educational system operates according to a definite scheme... that explains.., why education is such an important political instrument: there is always the danger that it may become an object of exploitation by contending political groups. While at school, the student may bo taught ominous prejudices from which he may find it difficult to free himself in later years. The process of education may be so controlled by the state that its citizens will be kept in intellectual bondage." - message to the New Jersey Education Association, Atlantic City, 1927

The time for a change is critically needed. A revival of the principals for which this country was founded must take place. All are accountable, none can be neutral on this issue. See this excerpt from Washington's Farewell Address:

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion...."
Let's get God back in America again......

Carlos said...

Mr. Lido Lacocca: i'm from a small and friendly south american country named PARAGUAY.. My name is Carlos I have 28 years old (Web Entrepreneur), and actually all nights before sleep I read your autobiography book, and i think that you Wrote " The great manual of HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESFULL MAN ", your words in the book GAVE me NEW forces to fight and make my dreams come true. You inspire me a great admiration..

Greetings from these land far away ..

Climber333 said...

Are you not understanding the most important point made here by Mr. Iacocca? The government works for us. Big, small or medium...It's our job to be educated and give the government it's agenda and then hold them accountable. No more factions. No squabbles over anything less than dire...this country is in serious danger of failing or worse, becoming what we have fought against throughout history - evil. We can change it, but the petty in-fighting and the party loyalties need to give way to the larger picture. Elect the best we can, stand against tyranny and money-based campaigns and do what is right. They work for us. If we blame the government, we either have tyranny, dictatorship, or we've gotten lazy and stopped doing our jobs.

Tenney Naumer said...

Dear Mr. Iacocca,

I have been a fan of yours for some decades now, especially when you spoke very politically incorrectly about competing with Japan.

Sir, please speak out now about the China and how they are eating our breakfast, lunch and dinner in new technologies, particularly clean power generation.


Tenney Naumer

Jim said...

I recall Roosevelt telling the people that wanted reforms, "you have to make me do it," meaning, without strong public support, it would never be able to get through congress, or over other political hurdles. My fear was that once the "team" elected Obama, they would think the job was done. Reminds me of a cult (in Hawaii) that shoved their leader off a cliff in a hang glider, assuming he would naturally know how to fly it. At best, he is up against what Hoover called "anarchical capitalists," narrowly self-interested spouters of theory that destroyed an economy with their inattention to the health of the system that worked so much better for everyone, when they did better at making sure everyone got an honest return on their contributions. You are dead on target with the team effort, but "the team" shouldn't have assumed the easy part was getting him elected. The much harder work is doing what Roosevelt required.

I just watched "Inside Job," which lays out a more comprehensive look at the economic melt down. The casual mention of the rating agencies and the explosion of AAA ratings since the '90s provides a starting point for the most critical failures. Without phony high ratings, pension funds and many other institutional investors could not have invested in the junk they passed off as solid investments. The Bank of International Settlements tracking of the Derivatives markets that the financial sector fought regulation of since the mid '90s shows an $89.9 trillion dollar reduction in the "notional value" since mid 2008 to 2010. That is an indication of how phony the asset valuations were that they based their bonuses, commissions, and claims to our country's wealth on. While they cry about NPR funding, those in the financial sector, etc, received $15.6 trillion in liquidity ($3.3 trillion) and guarantees ($12.3 trillion). (Would anyone wonder why I no longer associate myself with those who a 1996 fund raiser beseeched to "fight dirtier than Democrats?)

I do wonder what Hoover could have done if he'd recognized the few he called "anarchical capitalists" early enough to counter them. I look at what we are doing now as roughly analogous to the half measures and incomplete reforms Hoover tried as he trusted the elites too much.

James R Young (Republican since relatives helped form a party which has changed so much I became unaffiliated in 1996)

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