Sacramento Speaker Series – Leon Panetta

Wednesday evening we attended the first Sacramento Speaker Series event of the new season. Leon Panetta is an American politician who has served several presidents as Secretary of Defense, CIA Director, Chief Of Staff, Director of the OMB and was a representive from the state of California.

His presentation was informative, occasionally humorous, topical and passionate. However, I doubt pro-Trump attendees would have thought so. Mr. Panetta was a Republican until 1971 when he switched affiliation to the Democrat party.

He left us with several memorable take-aways:

  • The US Government requires real leadership, rather than a chaos derived administration. Our current administration spends too much energy and talent putting out fires created by random thought tweets and not enough time developing a strategy for dealing with world and American issues and problems.
  • The greatness of the United States was built on the labor and talent of immigrants. Barring their entry will choke progress, innovation and continued growth.
  • The loss of true bi-partisan civility and cooperation between the parties. Our elected officials are more interested in keeping their jobs than doing their jobs.

He succinctly summed up the United States after a meeting with President Bill Clinton when he was left alone in the Oval Office. He stood there, looked around and thought to himself, “Here I am, the son of immigrant farmers, alone in the most powerful room in the world. Only in America.”

But the best line was in response to a question about our current presidents style and behavior: “You are the President of the United States for Christ sakes!”