Mitt Romney, The Candidate Who Wasn’t There, makes a surprise appearance. He talks to the voters! And while talking to them, he says something very quite peculiar. Mitt says, approximately: ‘I’ll tell you what makes for a great president. It’s a bit of wisdom that lingers in my mind as I recall this conversation I had with a friend of mine. Jupiter, it seems like only yesterday . . .’
“I’d like to have a provision in the Constitution,” he recalled the man saying, “that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president and the birthplace of the president being set by the Constitution, I’d like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he could become president of the United States.”
Interesting. I suppose no one should regulate the environment if they haven’t been the wind. No one should be Commander-in-Chief without having piloted a submarine. Or garroted a Nazi Corporal and eaten his ears, like potato chips. Aachh, zere krispy.
What a lot of good ideas. The choking of Nazis is always really very good. Wait — hold on, the business one is terrible:
Sorry Mitt Romney, Good Businessmen Rarely Make Good Presidents
US News | By Peter Allan
. . the men widely considered by historians to be the worst presidents of the modern era: Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, and George W. Bush. One left the country on the verge of a depression, one left the country in a depression, and one presided over such corruption and ineptitude that despite the failings of the other two he still manages to get the lowest ranking of them all. And yet all three made millions of dollars in the private sector before entering politics. All three were successful businessmen (a newspaper publisher, a mining tycoon, and the owner of a professional baseball team).
Consider the better ones: The Roosevelts, or Truman. Or JFK, or even [yecch] Saint Ronnie. These were nothing like, in no way at all, your business tycoons. Nobody of course remembers this, least of all the industry captains:
“In my lifetime, Mitt Romney is the most qualified leader I’ve ever seen run for the presidency in the United States,” [Jack] Welch, 76, said during an appearance today on CNBC.
I’ve gone from contemplating The Candidate Who Wasn’t There to kicking dirt on him. If Neutron Jack reveres him, then Mitt’s guaranteed to be a hurricane of suck. That’s because Romney and Welch are organizational tyrants. They only listen to their thoughts and instincts. Which may serve them in a highly defined environment, like supplying Model Ts to the middle class. But it doesn’t work elsewhere.
Dealing in politics, and with an entire nation, is much more complicated. The people you want to please and the people who do your work are the same. You can’t lead voters with demands or threats. You can only do it by talking to them. By convincing them. You have to speak of a vision, of your concerns, your understanding of history, and of the essential American character. Politics is the art of begging Americans to make you the boss over and over again.
That’s the kind of demand — from the hoi polloi, ferchrissakes! — that gets American Mammon climbing his damask wallpaper. He can’t make the transition from pronouncements to enticements. He doesn’t want to plead with anyone. Compromise is for losers. If he didn’t already know better than everybody else, then why is he president?
During the last two years of his presidency as it became more and more apparent that the Depression was worsening and his program of confidence, voluntarism, and business support wasn’t working, President Hoover set his feet in concrete. He refused to recognize that his philosophy and programs weren’t working. Rather than try something different, he clung rigidly to his program, became more and more defensive, tried to convince himself and Americans that things were getting better, and lost the support of the nation. Why?
Partly, it was his personality. Joan Hoff Wilson, a Hoover biographer, maintains that Hoover was always unable to admit defeat or failure throughout his entire life.
That sounds familiar.
. . one question for which Bush was evidently not prepared invited him to name his biggest mistake since 9/11.
“I wish you’d have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it,” Bush joked before taking a long pause.
“I’m sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn’t yet.”
Mitt Romney, you know, is an exact replica of these geniuses.