A good rule of thumb is to look at what Obama has done, and then do the opposite.
1. Do not deflect blame onto others. Take personal responsibility when foreign policies implode — and at least a few will. Read Churchill’s speech after the fall of Tobruk. Presidents do not scapegoat Congress, the opposite political party, the secretary of state, the last president, cable news, obscure video-makers — or the American people — for an intervention gone badly. Telling the truth is far easier and simpler than inventing a web of Sunday-morning-television talk
ing points, excuses, lies, and pretexts.
2. Share credit for success with Congress and Allied leaders, rather than chest-thumping and spiking the ball over supposedly unilateral presidential achievements where the real work was often done by unsung military heroes or intelligence operatives. A good way to start is by curbing the presidential use of “I,” “me,” “mine,”and “my.” Avoid especially the narcissistic monotony of “my team,” “my staff,”and “my advisers.” The public knows well enough that the president of the United States runs the country and influences the world without hearing ad nauseam from him that he is the center of the universe. The president is supposed to be larger, not smaller, than the rest of us.