The list of things wrong with the Romney campaign is ignominious and pushing Mitt toward the precipice. He has had innumerable foot-in-mouth episodes, told many hand caught in the cookie jar lies, managed self-inflicted gunshot wounds, and made the worst Veep choice since McCain sent himself well and truly off the rails with the Moose Momma. The reasons for this ineptitude are manifold, from sheer stupidity to being as likable as a haggis buffet, but perhaps that last one might explain it best.
In general, Americans don’t like lawyers. They aren’t too hot on reporters either. And when it comes to politicians Congress can’t get any lower than their 12% approval rating. And right up there in the Pantheon of the Hated are CEOs. Your average citizen thinks they are arrogant, greedy, out of touch, and completely devoid of morals. When a factory worker screws up they find their ass on the street. When a CEO screws up they get a hefty bonus and stock options equal to the combined incomes of Nebraska’s entire middle class. Then, they close the factory, send the work to Chinese reeducation camps, and collect another bonus for how well they handled their own failure. To everyone other than CEOs, and the people who inexplicably love them, it’s easy to see why they don’t give people the warm and fuzzies.
Saving America by Gutting and Selling it to the Highest Bidder
Mitt wants to be a CEO President in the worst way. He wants to be the brilliant turnaround artist who saves America by gutting and selling it to the highest bidder. We had another CEO President not long ago and that didn’t work out so well. He bragged about his business acumen too. It consisted mostly of running an oil company into the ground, helming the Texas Rangers, and lots of frat parties. You know, pretty much the standard CEO resume.
People don’t much trust Mitt. Even his brethren in the Grand Old Pogromites (GOP) don’t like him and they are of the same Brook’s Bros. cloth. He has the uncanny ability to make someone like Mother Teressa hate him by telling a few jokes at at $50,000 a plate rubber chicken dinner. However, that might not be completely his fault. I question the character-smelling ability of a person willing to shell out $50,000 for a vulcanized chicken breast.
Mitt has all the worst habits of the CEO-class. If there is one place he excels, it’s acting nothing like a human in thought, word, or deed. That is baggage my friends – the sort of baggage that makes it hard to hornswoggle people into believing that giving them less is somehow more. Like most CEOs, he never met a piece of good advice he could take. His massive, well-coiffed ego won’t allow it. Give him a rope, he’ll gladly set his eyes bugging out, then ask for your vote because he’s the CEO dammit.
His former friends are running away from him while shouting advice over their shoulder to let someone else run the campaign. You’re not the worker bee, just find someone who can competently tell lies and get out of their way. Wasn’t that why you chose Paul Ryan?
There’s something else common to all CEO Presidents – not understanding government is not a business. Government’s purpose is not to turn a profit for anyone – even the people who hide more in offshore accounts that the 53% pay in taxes. Businesses are dictatorships, which every CEO will remind anyone ill-advised enough to cross them. In business, you can’t hand-select Congress, the courts, or voters like a stacked Board of Directors…yet. Government is messy and the electorate often lacks the same goal of business – money. Regardless of how it is made.
Voters Really Appreciate Fire Trucks Traveling Fast Down a Taxpayer-Funded Road
The one way governments and businesses are alike – budgets – even differ. CEOs routinely miss theirs by considerable amounts. Governments routinely go way over theirs…because they are bigger. CEOs can get things under control easier. They can eviscerate half the company and cutting off unprofitable products because they only have to suck marginally less than their competitors. Government doesn’t have that advantage. When your house is on fire, the average voter really appreciates a fire truck traveling fast down a taxpayer-funded road. No amount of telling those lazy-ass victims that living in blackened rubble is better than getting off their dead asses and getting a job in a country where all the jobs are in Bangalore is better than water and ladders.
Mitt is the penultimate personification of a CEO and reaps all the ill that brings. He came out of the campaign gate toting more baggage than Kim Kardashian on the way to tennis lessons. He targeted his campaign at 1% of the population and it’s hard to carry that much baggage without a sub-minimum wage bellhop that will inevitably embarrass you.
There are only a few weeks left to pull the limo out of the fire and close the deal. There will be more mistakes, as there are in any endeavor, but he can overcome them. Rather than employing the normal CEO reaction to failure – deny, deny, deny, blame it on someone else – he could simply employ some (I know this is going rouge) common sense.
Stop envisioning yourself as the potential Potentate of Romnistan, put on the throne by the Council of 500 Fortunes. The country doesn’t need any more CEOs, they are the skeevy bastards that got us into this mess and we’re awash in them. Using that as the only plank in your platform is a non-starter, so (I know this a mavericky thing) stop it. Stop telling people with three jobs they are whining little goldbrickers. Start saying, “You know, that must be hard. I don’t really know about it first hand, but I trust your word for it and I’ll do something specific about it.” Stop telling people you will create 18 billion jobs during the first dance at the Inaugural Ball because no one, not even Ann Coulter, believes it.
Admit you know shit all about foreign policy. The fact you can see New Hampshire from Massachusetts is not foreign policy, no matter what Sarah Palin says. Empty the tea pot and throw those bat-shit crazy, spelling challenged nitwits out of the big tent. They scare the hell out of people and will stab you in the back as soon as you won’t support a ban on condoms bought only with prior approval from the Texas legislature.
We’re told – though most people doubt it – that you have a tiny smidgen of human left in you. Step out into the sunshine of Temple Square and let your love light shine. Treat people like (I know this is all roguey and mavericky) people instead of fully depreciated assets. Trust me on this, people really hate it when CEOs do that. Mitt, there is hope for you. You could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and not shove defeat back into the jaws if you’d stop acting less like the CEO of BushCo and start acting more like the CEO of People.
Better yet, stop being a CEO at all. We neither want nor need any of those.
Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.