From the very beginning of the mine collapse in Chile, President Sebastian Pinera did everything within his power to rescue his citizens. He immediately called out to all nations asking for help, expertise, and equipment. The world answered. President Pinera not only brilliantly orchestrated the rescue efforts, but he even saw to it that psychological help was there for the families. Most of all, he gave them hope.
Watching the rescue during the past 24 hours, the most striking image over and over is President Pinera and First Lady Cecelia Morel staying there to greet each survivor, hugging and kissing them as they emerge from the rescue capsule, calling them heroes. They are not air hugs or stand-offish polite hugs. They are big bear hugs, and kisses for the miners and their families. Their genuine happiness and caring for the miners is heartwarming. And indeed, President Pinera is a hero to his citizens.
Let’s compare President Pinera to President Obama. President Obama refused help from anyone who offered after the Gulf oil spill. He took too many days to address the nation, and even longer to make a visit to the Gulf families who were suffering from the spill. He knowingly withheld information to the public on the seriousness of the spill, and his administration routinely under-reported how many gallons of oil was spilling daily.
He instituted a drilling ban which further damaged the livelihoods of the Gulf’s citizens. He seemed out of touch, detached, and uncaring towards the families who lost their businesses and their way of life. It almost seemed as if he didn’t even know how bad the situation was, and didn’t care about the suffering of the families. President and Mrs. Obama took vacations, went golfing, and attended state dinners. I never saw them hug the families or offer comfort, or show genuine emotion.
The Obamas may not be capable of showing emotion, or have any ability to relate to their fellow Americans, but I often wonder why they go so far out of their way to denigrate them. Obama’s back in campaign mode again ridiculing half of his citizens because they disagree with his policies. He has sued states in his own country, and directed his Justice Department to protect the civil rights of only some of the citizens.
President Pinera of Chile is honoring his citizens today and showing the world how a true leader brings his country together. President Obama could take a few lessons from him.