Monday, January 08, 2007

Romney's executive experience

This from David Frum today on NRO:

These facts, impressive as they are, do not quite convey Romney's appeal. Romney built his business success on a voracious appetite for data, a willingness to hear contrary opinions and a cool and deliberate decision-making style. Although his politics broadly align with George W. Bush's, his intellectual and managerial style could not differ more. And nowhere did he display that intellectual style more than with his central achievement as governor: his universal health care plan.

Frum raises an interesting point in other parts of his article about the levels of executive and management experience of the top tier candidates on the Republican side. The question is: Does America value executive experience in Presidential candidates? With the ascendance of many governors to the White House, the answer would seem to be yes. However, how much of the popularity of governors was related directly to their success as chief executives is unclear. Did the record of success on the state level generate their popularity or was their success more due to skill as politicians? This will be especially important for Romney. He has had successes on the state level, but will that be sufficient to propel his candidacy? It seems more likely that, given his lack of name recognition, his success will depend on his appeal to those who have little knowledge of his record in Massachusetts. In essence he is given a blank slate, for good or bad, by which voters will judge him anew (thus the rehashing of the role of Mormonism and previous views on his candidacy) as they come to recognize what he stands for.


Blogger Marc said...

I think America undervalues executive experience. Ultimately, I think this experience is something that will distinguish Romney as a president if he is elected... especially when contrasted with the current administration. Romney needs to take care though because, like Barack Obama on the left, his lack of political experience could become a liability. I think his success depends, in part, on whether he is able to make his executive experience compensate in the minds of voters for his lack of political experience.

5:56 PM  

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