Originally Posted by gnatty8
I remember seeing a television special about former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. I found him impressive enough to read his autobiography, which was also quite excellent. As an American, a lot of his policies seemed closer to socialism than I am comfortable with, but his attitude, flair, and conviction were to be admired.
Some others, in no particular order:
Robert E. Lee
He was pretty much a socialist (and a pal of Fidel Castro), created many social programs that helped put Canada into debt and tried to create a brand of Canadian nationalism and unity that went up to be a gigantic failure. Even today, we are stuck with Trudeau enthusiasts (including his son who will soon be running for office) trying to revive his cult of personality. But, yeah, anyways, he was quite a leader and inspirational to many of my fellow Canadian citizens... unfortunately.
Here's an interesting piece, actually: Pierre Elliott Obama
Anyways, back to the topic:
Pericles - Of course he was not a leader as in a 'Prime Minister' but he was a great general, getting elected times and times again. His late fall into disgrace because of his strategy in the Peloponnesian War doesn't alter his greatness.
Winston Churchill - He was a certified bad ass. And a leader.
Ronald Reagan - You can hate his guts, but he was really The Great Communicator. I think that 'A Time For Choosing' is one of the very finest moment of American rhetoric. I also happen to agree with him; he made being a Barry Goldwater conservative 'cool', even though he couldn't reduce the size of government. I think it taught (or should've taught) conservatives that reducing government's size without a crisis going on is nearly impossible, but that slowing its expansion is what you have to aim for.
FDR - I certainly don't agree with all of his policies, but he was most definitely a great leader.