Which Public Figure Most Inspires You?

The debt debacle in Congress has turned the spotlight on our political leaders, with many asking if the quality of our elected officials is on the decline. Still, the last few months have also provided examples of individuals who exhibit everything the public looks for in a leader. 

Among the most vivid examples of the failed leadership include Donald Trump’s birther crusade against President Obama, Anthony Weiner’s sexual indiscretions, and Congress’ inability to stave off the temporary FAA shutdown due to partisan politics. Internationally, dictators like Bashar al-Assad and Muammar Gaddafi are further reminders of when leadership becomes not just inept, but outright brutal.

Public figures worthy of our praise may get less attention. Some have pointed to the New York Republicans who voted for gay marriage or Chris Christie for his tirade against Islamophobes as examples of successful leadership. Internationally, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon helped coordinate aid to Somalia, Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan helped fund the Libyan rebels, and Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg responded to Anders Breivik's shooting spree with a speech in favor of democracy and acceptance.

Who do you think is today’s most inspiring public figure and why?