Monday, August 09, 2010
Mitt Romney, the youthful once and future Republican presidential candidate, just welcomed his fifteenth grandchild in to the world. I say that is wonderful stuff, but your results may vary. Does knowing that Romney has so many progeny make him more appealing to you at an emotional level, less appealing, or is it irrelevant (perhaps because you never respond emotionally to facts about the families of politicians)?
I have great respect for Romney in all respects, except as a politician.
Sitting here today, if I were Obama I'd rather run against Romney that any other name Republican in 2012 -- Palin included. He's too easy a target in too many ways. If you're an Ivy League grad, in Big Business, or a Mormon you may not see it, but it's true.
"Romney 2008" had a low ROI. Why does anyone think it'll be different in 2012? His business acumen? Romney's business career is a political liability -- unfair, but that's life. "He's the guy who lays you off", as Huckabee put it so well.
But he'd make a great Treasury Secretary, which could be more the more important office come 2012.
Mitt Romney and family are doing their share to maintain the solvency of Social Security. Good for him and them. Politicians are skilled at faking emotions in front of the camera, but he does look genuinely happy. Again, good for him.
As for Mitt's prodigious progeny - I do think it shows that he has a considerably more to think about than say one who just turned 49 and his oldest is only 12 years old...I would also say it is good to see Mitt with his hair a bit dishelved and seeing him sporting the white socks.
I thought after the financial melt-down Romney found his voice and I feel that American's found confidence in a guy who had deep experience in complex financial transactions with bankers, lawyers and dealmakers. I thought he was particularly powerful when he spoke about the auto industry and the very strong case for bankruptcy.
As for how he will fare in 2012, I think it is way too early to cast him aside. I think once the Democrats fail to renew the Bush Tax cuts and the economy goes deeper into the tank, Romney's experience in creating businesses - and yes - jobs will be very valuable.
His key will be to get in front of the number of jobs his portfolio company's created and what happened to all of those firms after he owned them. I believe on the whole his marks will look good versus a few company's that did not do well. (Which by the way, I helped turn one of those company's around that had not fared well under Bain Private Equity ownership.)
Progeny does not correlate with likeability or competence.
Romney would be a great president if we actually had an entrance exam rather than an election.
...or even a job interview.
But, alas, no. We have elections. So we keep putting populist buffoons in the most powerful office in the world and let them completely screw things up until we revert back to sanity every third or fourth cycle.
Hopefully 2012 will be one of those years.
After McCain became the presumptive nominee but before the 2008 convention, I said that McCain should pre-announce his choices for key Cabinet positions together with his VP nominee. This could have addressed concerns with McCain's age and seeming lack of experience in some areas like economics. McCain might have brought in some big names, like Rudy. Romney would have been a natural at Treasury. These nominees could have added tag-team help during the campaign. Obama would have looked small and inexperienced in comparison.
As we get closer to 2012, the idea of electing a team of competents may have appeal.
Obama has hardly surrounded himself with a team of well-qualified rivals. There's Axelrod and Jarrett. Rahm's around to execute the legislative program. Geithner does what he's told. That's it.