The Times They Are A-Changin

The new political buzzword is change. Every candidate claims to be the change candidate-and every pundit is contrasting "change" with "establishment." In the midst of the change-din, I would like to suggest that there is an important question to ask the candidates: "How will you lead change?"

Harvard leadership professor Ronald Heifetz has identified two major approaches to change: technical fixes and adaptive change. In her fine book, Leadership Can Be Taught, Sharon Daloz [...]

Political Earthquakes

With the pivotal event of the Iowa Caucuses, news analyses have said that Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee are now the defining candidates of this campaign-even if they don't win their respective nominations. It appears Obama has a better chance to do that than Huckabee does, but there is no telling how far he can go and, win or not, he could help redefine the Republican Party. In Sunday's New York Times, Frank [...]

Iowa and the Poles of Protestantism

Now that the people of Iowa have chosen Republican Mike Huckabee and Democrat Barack Obama as their nominees for president, pundits will spend much of the next few days (until New Hampshire at least) analyzing the results. Many will note religion as an important factor-especially as evangelicals turned out largely for Huckabee.

But evangelicals are not the only religion story from Iowa. Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama represent something much more profound in American politics [...]

Two Fundamental Shifts

This evening, the presidential election of 2008 officially begins with the Iowa caucuses-intense political contests taking place in every county of that Midwestern state. The national campaign, of course, has already been going on for many months (with the earliest start in the history of presidential politics), but now the endless polling will be replaced by actual election results in state caucuses and primaries. Iowa is the starting gun in the political battle that leads to the party [...]

Mourning Benazir Bhutto

The vicious assassination of Benazir Bhutto means many things for our world. Already pundits are rushing to consider what it means for our presidential elections here in the U.S. Who will it help most - Giuliani? Clinton? Biden? Obama? Of course there's a place for this kind of analysis, but I believe at least four other kinds of reflection should not be rushed over in the process.

First, we should pause to consider what this means for Pakistanis. There's something about hearing people express [...]

My Prayer for 2008

The year of 1968 was very significant in my life, and a decisive one for the nation. It was the year when the hopes borne by the social movements of the 1950's and 60's were dashed by the assassinations of, first, Martin Luther King Jr., and then Robert F. Kennedy.

If Robert Kennedy had lived to become president on the inside (as he surely would have) and Martin Luther King Jr. had lived to lead a movement from the outside, the U.S. and the world might be very different today. But the [...]