Back to Business

Soon enough, I’ll be back to making observations about the market, structured finance, economic trends and policies.

I just have to put the “coda” on the election results before I go.  If you would rather believe that America just doesn’t get it, or that Romney wasn’t conservative enough, don’t follow after the break.

Even Fox News Admits It

Obama is a better manager than Romney, and that’s why he won the election. At least, that’s how the Fox News commentators explained Tuesday’s defeat.

While some might say that the economic and social policies the GOP offered were just an inferior product, the reality that a President got re-elected while unemployment is nearly 8% and household income for the average working person continues to decline was a complete repudiation of the pundits’ core beliefs about economics and politics.

So the pundits were stuck admitting that the Obama campaign had a better “ground game” and that the strategic marketing and execution of the business goal (getting elected with our antiquated Electoral College system) was light years ahead of the competition.

What isn’t in dispute is that Team Romney was better at executing a winning election strategy than any other candidate who came forward during the extended primary. Romney literally destroyed a half dozen competitors who led him in the polls at various times through the primary season.

Romney sells himself as a business manager. By Tuesday night, he had been running for President more than six years, a period longer than most Bain investments. He should have had the best campaign execution we’ve ever seen if his management skills were as good as advertised.

As noted in my earlier column, Obama had twice as many people working for his campaign, and more than three times as many field offices, while spending less money than Romney. And Obama had a day job. A job he was doing pretty well, especially if you look at how well he did that job compared to the last Harvard MBA who worked out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The George W. Bush administration’s response to a US city devastated by a hurricane comes to mind, and so does the effort to capture or kill Bin Laden. By contrast, Obama’s management has been stellar, even without an MBA.

Maybe the country wasn’t ready to have another Harvard MBA run things. I personally think Romney was trying to sell a lousy product, so even really good marketing wasn’t going to work.

No, that couldn’t be it. It must be, as Fox News tells us, that Obama is just a better manager.



12 Responses to Back to Business

  1. Mel Helfand says:

    It could also be that the Republicans committed political suicide by overtly alienating all Blacks, Hispanics, Gays and at least young women.

  2. Conscience of a Conservative says:

    No doubt about it, Obama’s campaign organization were very effective on all counts. Axelrod’s should be able to command even more impressive fees the next go around. Personal opinion here is that both contenders are managed in part by their handlers during the contest and that abilities displayed in organizing a political campaign do not necessarily translate into Chief executive skills. That said viewing Obama’s past four years and the rhetoric of what Romney was promising, neither candidate was all that impressive and the in all probability the economy will not be all that impressive four years from now and debt concerns will undoubtedly be just as great if not worse.

  3. Bill Jordan says:

    I won’t be convinced re: Obama’s management / leadership skills until he leads us out of this 16 trillion debt. Increasing taxes on people making over $250M won’t do it.
    Seems to me we have every chance of becoming another Greece unless we tell the American people the truth and ask for sacrifices, stating that if we don’t make these hard choices the outcome will be worse eventually. I think Obama could sell this. The question is will he try? I think a true leader would.

    • Conscience of a Conservative says:

      I’m with Ron Paul here who said “Pure Democracy is dangerous”. That the majority who are receiving some form of government check simply look to dictate the problem to a minority. Obama selling sacrifice is not realistic expected to include sacrifices on those receiving benefits and as Bill said taxing people who make over $250,000 won’t solve it.

    • hhill51 says:

      I fully expect such an offer, if anything, to be made at a 2.5-to-1 or 3-to-1 ratio. Let’s not forget that the “sacrifice” we’re talking about at the top of the income pyramid is a whopping increase from 35 cents on the dollar to 39.6 cents on the dollar for those incremental dollars.
      Would you agree that removing $2.50 in spending from discretionary programs for every dollar of top-earning income tax increase is, indeed, requiring sacrifice from more than the top 2%? If you agree with that principle, then we have the basics of a balanced deal.

  4. Godspeedblue says:

    We can neither tax nor cut our way out of the deficit. It took a combination of tax increases (enacted with Gore’s tie-breaking Senate vote in 1993) and steady growth over half a decade to balance the budget and put us on a path to paying down the deficit in the ’90’s. Commenters lamenting Obama’s failures vis-a-vis the deficit who do not recognize the simple fact that NO president, ever, has reduced the deficit while dealing with a recession are missing a critical point.

    As an aside, this president has presided over the single largest sustained decline in public sector employment in thirty years. Not Reagan, not Bust I, not Clinton and certainly not Bush II were able to do what Obama has done. It is the reason that unemployment has remained stubbornly high but it may also be the foundation for period of growth, particularly now that the homebuilding sector is starting to take off, in which public sector productivity improves and the share of the economy devoted to the public sector can start to drop.

  5. Conscience of a Conservative says:

    Bruce Krasting had an interesting table on the difference between extending Bush Era tax cuts to those making 250k and those beyond. His conclusion is it’s just politics.

    Here’s his quote , “The tax that Obama wants to increase will result in a lousy $42Bn in 2013 and $38Bn in 2014 according to the CBO. That’s peanuts to a government that spends $3.6T a year. The tax increase that Obama is insisting on comes to three days of spending.”

  6. jim says:

    “A job he was doing pretty well, especially if you look at how well he did that job compared to the last Harvard MBA who worked out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The George W. Bush administration’s response to a US city devastated by a hurricane comes to mind…”

    Perhaps you should come see the devastation and lack of response for yourself. Your ideology has overwhelmed common sense.

    When Bush was President, Anderson Cooper was on CNN every night mocking him about Katrina.

    Where is Cooper now? I haven’t seen him in Far Rockaway or Staten Island. Why not?

    Even the ultra liberal Staten Island Advance can not cover up this President’s failure:

    I am sorry your tree fell down. Must have been quite painful for you.

    • hhill51 says:

      Excuse me, Jim, but perhaps you’re the pot calling the kettle black here. Nearly all the criticism I see is aimed at the power companies… so extreme, in fact, that the people in Far Rockaway and Staten Island have been calling for the National Guard. But if you’ll recall Romney’s policy preference for disaster aid, it was to break up FEMA and leave it to the individual states, unless private enterprise could turn a profit on it, which would always be preferable in the ideological world you and your boy “mitt” inhabit.

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