Do we need a businessman in the White House?

Definitely not.

As Michael Lind writes in Salon:

Now, can we please hear no more bullshit about Romney’s (rather shameful) private-sector business-management experiences as if it were a selling point?!

And no more suggestions, please, that “Obama has never held a real job.” :rolleyes: Community organizer and law professor are real jobs, and much more relevant preparation for the president’s job than anything Romney has ever done, except serve as governor of Massachusetts – and he doesn’t even seem to want to talk about that.

That’s right. Obama is the fucking Messiah and all who oppose Him are evil. Second verse, same as the first.


I can’t think of any time I’ve heard a more blandly obvious bit of political punditry than this. Duh. What could be more obvious than the fact that business success doesn’t have much impact on success as president. (Of course, for the GOP, we should also emphasize that being a failure as a businessman – like Herman Cain or GWB – is also not a qualifier.)

I see the twelve-year-olds are out on summer break. Next time at least try to address the blandly obvious point, since your failure to do so leads to the conclusion that you couldn’t.

No more than we need another lawyer.

I have never particularly bought into the ‘The President is a CEO’ line of reasoning. I understand how it can be seductive though.

I don’t believe it’s good prep for the job because of this fact:

  1. The job of a businessman is to maximize profits.
  2. The job of government is to do those tasks that cannot be run at a profit.

In short, if it can be done profitably it’s possible that it should be done so. But many tasks are societal goods that don’t lend themselves to being profit-driven without compromises that society won’t stand.


  1. Public schools, with the mandate of educating all students (no cherry picking), can’t be run profitably.
  2. Roads can’t be run at a profit. While toll roads exist if all roads were to be such cost of transport would skyrocket and voters would rebel.
  3. Armed forces can’t be run at a profit lest they spend their downtime looking for things to do.

You get the idea. The tasks behind running a business (making money) and being in government (providing specific services) are so fundamentally different as to make the argument that one needs the other specious.

That’s not to say that such experience can’t be helpful. But it’s not an overriding qualifier.

Do you remember when the Iraq war was going to pay for itself? That worked out well.

Erudite and insightful in its brevity.

We were going to make it up in VOLUME! Thanks a lot Obama!

Nice, concise and accurate summing up of the OP.

No, wait, it was the other thing: complete and utter content-free bullcrap.
I gotcher :rolleyes: squared, right here.


Y’know, they may be onto something with this run the country like a business business, though. If people are ineffective as citizens, in terms of staying employed and being net contributors to the economy, FIRE THEM! I understand Mitt LIKES firing people.


The reasoning in the article is questionable at best. Your average non businessman politician is probably just as ignorant in those academic economic topics.

Truth be told, a lot of businessmen are morons. Romneys experience at Bain probably provides him more insight into global economic issues than, say…mark zuckerburgs experience running facebook or donald trumps experience as a glorified real estate salesman and promotor.

Eh. Romney is every bit as qualified, if not more so, than Obama was when he ran for president. His private sector experience is a selling point, especially since it is combined withe public sector experience as the governor of a state.

How about we not hear any more bullshit from Michael Lind?

Well, when Obama ran for president, he had a career as a professor and a legislator. His Senate stint was pretty short, but he was so QUALIFIED because of his IDEAS.

The hopey changey thing is working out decent enough for a politician, I suppose, so I really don’t think I’m going to give Romney crap for being a businessman. I already know his politics aren’t my politics. For the Republican party, a businessman running for president is a good thing.

The article doesn’t say it’s a bad idea to elect a businessman. It says it’s not a factor in Romney’s favor - an argument made by many on the right. “He can save the economy because he knows business!”, etc.

That said, it’s worth noting that our last three non-lawyer POTUSes were the Bushes and Reagan. Of the three, which one had the least business experience? Which had the best economic record? Hint: they’re the same person.

I never hear Romney talk about his time as governor. I have no problem with people questioning him on a subject that he, himself, is choosing to emphasize.

Having not read the article by Lind, only the pieces quoted here - I think Lind misses a crucial point that makes successful business people attractive to voters: that they have been successful leaders. The have proven the ability to “get things done”, to marshal people to accomplish goals, etc.

Now, on that point - it was noted that one of the reasons Obama won over Hillary in the primaries was his effective ground organization. You may say that he did not necessarily personally build and organize this team and run it’s efforts day-to-day, but he was essentially in charge. So, by that measurement, he has proven experience in leading prior to being elected.

The mayor of Lakewood Ohio (a Cleveland suburb) is a former businessman and recently posted a good blog about the differences between government and business,


At what point did the OP, quoted article, or anyone on this thread (or even on this board) assert that Obama is a “Messiah”?

Well, yeah, but a case could be made that the sheer enthusiasm generated by Obama’s nomination was the essential factor in that “ground game”. An enthusiasm reflected in the number and amount of smaller donations for his campaign.

As far as business experience being essential to government, that is a central theme of the Republican myth, that successful business persons have a proven ability which is directly applicable to government. Its a leap of faith, you believe it, or you don’t, and I don’t. We tend to think that “smart” is a broad-spectrum characteristic, if you are smart at business, you would be smart at government. But we don’t think that if you are an excellent engineer, you would make a very good doctor.

I don’t know if Romney is smart or not. Offers some very stupid ideas, so either he is stupid or he thinks we are, or both. Mostly what I see is the Candidate, sculpted out of frozen mayonnaise, carved to fit a niche. I don’t have any real idea what he thinks, or even if he does.

For getting us out if Iraq? Yes indeed, thanks a lot, Obama! :slight_smile:

You can read the whole thing – it’s linked, and addresses what you are saying. I just didn’t want to C&P any more than I did, for fear of the Mods.