Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The President as CEO

Look, far be it from me to defend the McCain campaign, which I find personally disgusting on a number of levels. But people are making too much of McCain surrogate and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina's statement that Sarah Palin is unqualified to run Hewlett-Packard. In fact, she's totally right when she says that none of the four major candidates are qualified to run HP. That's why they're running for political office and not running a company.

We need to get over this President-as-Ubermensch thing. The President needs to be good at one job - managing the executive branch of the federal government. That's it. Though it's a complex, intensely important and significant job, it is still, after all, one job and not every job. Does the President need to know how to put up drywall? Or write complex mathematical proofs? There's a big difference between "being a highly skilled, intelligent, rational and responsible individual" and "knowing how to be a good CEO."

So why does a President need to know how to run a multinational corporation again? This "President as CEO" metaphor gets trotted out a lot, but they're entirely different jobs. Sure, they're both managerial in nature, but a lot of jobs are managerial in nature, adn I wouldn't turn over the Lakers to Joe Biden either. And the entire purpose in the position is vastly different: The presidency is about public service, Chief Executive Officers are about pleasing shareholders/investors.

Also, need I remind you, both our President and Vice-President at the moment are former CEO's, and frankly, they're not really up to this task. Cheney may have been a kickass businessman, and I'd definitely hire to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, but I'd never want him to be President. NO THANKS. I'm okay with a President who's good enough at politics to get some things done and who has similar goals for American policy as myself. That's it.

Plus, can we get over the "Sarah Palin is inexperienced" thing? SARAH PALIN IS FUCKING CRAZY. I mean, Amy Winehouse isn't experienced enough to be President either, but that's not the first thing you'd say if I nominated her for the job.