Time Mag Chief Stengel: Obama a Mandela for the 21st Century, Mandela’s ‘True Successor’

Time magazine Managing Editor Richard Stengel, who will be part of the roundtable on today’s Meet the Press, wrote in a new book released on Tuesday: “It is impossible to write about Nelson Mandela these days and not compare him to another potentially transformational black leader, Barack Obama. The parallels are many.”

In the introduction to ‘Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage,’ Stengel, who in 1999 took a brief detour from liberal advocacy inside of journalism to more directly advancing a liberal cause as senior adviser and chief speechwriter for failed Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley, asserted: 
While it took twenty-seven years in prison to mold the Nelson Mandela we know, the forty-eight-year-old American President seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice. Obama’s self-discipline, his willingness to listen and to share credit, his inclusion of his rivals in his administration, and his belief that people want things explained, all seem like a twenty-first century version of Mandela’s values and persona.
“Whatever Mandela may or may not think of the new American President,” Stengel forwarded, “Obama is in many ways his true successor on the world stage.”

Appearing with Stengel on Meet the Press, David Remnick, Editor of the New Yorker magazine, who is out with another book hailing Obama, ‘The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama.’

Amongst those endorsing Stengel’s book, Tom Brokaw:
MANDELA’S WAY is a timely and welcome reminder of this great man’s political genius, personal integrity, and peerless instinct for survival and triumph. Every world leader should keep MANDELA’S WAY within easy reach.
Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC’s TimesWatch page, caught Stengel’s proposition as quoted in the March 30 edition of “Mike Allen’s Playbook” on Politico:
In Rick’s introduction, he calls President Obama a 21st century Mandela: “It is impossible to write about Nelson Mandela these days and not compare him to another potentially transformational black leader, Barack Obama. The parallels are many. I went to see Mandela during the Democratic presidential primaries last year and asked him whom he preferred, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. He smiled and then waved a finger at me in the universal gesture of, You’re trying to get me in trouble. He would not answer. His restraint was characteristic. That self-control, that omnipresent filter, is something the two men share.

“And while it took twenty-seven years in prison to mold the Nelson Mandela we know, the forty-eight-year-old American president seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice. Obama’s self-discipline, his willingness to listen and to share credit, his inclusion of his rivals in his administration, and his belief that people want things explained, all seem like a twenty-first century version of Mandela’s values and persona. While Mandela’s worldview was forged in the cauldron of racial politics, Obama is creating a post-racial political model. Whatever Mandela may or may not think of the new American President, Obama is in many ways his true successor on the world stage.”
MSNBC.com posting of a book except which includes the above.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center