Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The CEO Candidate

Slate’s Daniel Gross has an article where he links Romney’s business background to his current political trouble:
It's easy to conclude that Romney lacks core principles and will say or do anything to get elected. But I think there's something deeper at work. Romney's behavior—and the fact that he doesn't think his obvious flip-flopping should arouse suspicions—suggests that he may be the first real CEO/MBA candidate.
I applaud Gross for his great intellectual insight and courage to look beyond the easy answer to find the deeper issue. Gross continues by saying that Romney’s “flip-flops” are blasé in the board room:
But such hypocrisy, which turns off voters, is something like a job requirement for CEOs. In the executive suite, abandoning deeply held attitudes and reversing positions are job requirements.
Gross shows more about his own attitudes about corporate America than he does in proving his thesis about Romney. Indeed he speculates as to future occurrences and attributes positions to Romney:
His wife, Anne, has multiple sclerosis, yet he's opposed to embryonic stem-cell research. If an MS treatment derived from embryonic stem cells were to be developed overseas, it's a pretty sure bet that Romney would use his influence and funds to get that treatment for his spouse.
He then characterizes this hypothetical situation as some sort of hypocrisy for which Romney can be condemned in the present, as though it has already happened.

Gross is clearly advocating for an ideologue: someone who has had his same positions for his whole life. And yet at the same time wants someone to follow public opinion. He criticizes Romney for moving right when he says the public is moving left. This conflict shows the true colors of Gross’s intent. Indeed it seems that Gross just disagrees with Romney's positions. He disagrees with Romney's stance on gay rights, abortion, and stem-cell research. All of which has little to do with Romney's previous executive experience, but provides an easy link for to two targets he apparently disdains: corporate America and conservatism.

The fact is that Romney is not an ideologue. Romney understands the importance of nuance and complexity. Romney understands that while his healthcare plan in Massachusetts works for that state it may not work nationwide, that respecting gay people does not translate to recognizing gay marriage, and that there are other ways to accomplish stem cell research that doesn’t devalue the sanctity of life. These are thoughtful positions on difficult issues. Indeed Gross does get this, without recognizing its significance:
It is clear that Romney approaches politics not as a crusade.
Isn’t this the type of leadership that America is looking for?

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Anonymous A.T. said...

It's good to see you looking at Romney's business background with some intellect.
The legal profession and the business world have a long history together, obligatory and beneficial to both sides. 3 Nephi 6:11

2:36 PM  

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