[FOUNTAIN]Making presidents presidentialAfter becoming president of the United States following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson expressed the relationship between the man and the job by saying that the presidency exceeds the president.
Grand titles such as leader of the nation, protector of the constitution or head of the administration, and such major powers as the right to declare war, the right to grant pardons and the right to command the army can overwhelm anyone who holds the office.
Mr. Johnson said that there is no man great enough to perform the job perfectly and there is no humble man who does not stand out as president.
He also contended that a president must be modest in the job.
He believed that while personal virtues are not enough to make a president, the authority of the presidency could protect the holder of the office.
A problem occurs when the president overestimates his power. In that case, the presidency cannot guard the person holding the position.
Bill Clinton, who confronted the politicians and journalists in Washington on every political issue in the early days of his first four-year term, is one of the examples. Dick Morris, a strategist, saved him. His goal was to make Clinton presidential.
Mr. Morris said that the serious enemies for a president are the delusion of persecution, bragging and a propensity to think he is being made a scapegoat.
Mr. Morris described an unpresidential aspect of Mr. Clinton as follows: He was abnormally sensitive to criticism. When he was offended, he chose to focus on one critic even in a crowded public place, concentrated his arguments on that person and made every effort to win him over. He was offended even by trivial matters that others did not care much about.
Mr. Morris advised the president to participate in various ceremonies around the country, to make his speeches milder in tone and to keep silent in political arguments.
The beginner Clinton could thus secure his stability as a leader of the country and be a presidential president.
We cannot order President Roh Moo-hyun, who is more than 50 years old, to change his character.
But he can change his image strategically. Presidential behaviors can be learned by training.
by Chun Young-gi
The writer is a deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.