Fred Barnes–What Mitt Romney Must Learn from South Carolina

Mitt Romney needs a big idea. And it’s not the one he cited at the beginning of his speech after his humiliating loss to Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina primary Saturday. Executive experience matters, Romney said. He has it and Gingrich, like President Obama, doesn’t.

That’s not a winning argument””far from it. Voters in South Carolina rallied to Gingrich because his campaign is based on a big idea: he’ll crush Obama in debates and win the White House. And he’s fervent and tough in pursuing the presidency, as he showed in denouncing CNN debate anchor John King for raising charges by his ex-wife that he wanted an “open marriage.”

A big idea and passion trump experience….

Read it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Office of the President, Politics in General

10 comments on “Fred Barnes–What Mitt Romney Must Learn from South Carolina

  1. Catholic Mom says:

    Still don’t understand how being a big business whiz is “experience” for running a government. In big business, if things aren’t going well, you just lay off a pile of workers and close a division, or outsource the whole thing to India. In an interview with Apple in the NY Times last week, an executive said (this is almost an exact quote) “we’re not responsible for helping the U.S. economy, we’re here to run a business” (in response to a question about why 700,000 jobs that support Apple are outside the U.S.). He’s right of course. It’s not Apple’s job to figure out how to support U.S. businesses or increase job opportunities for U.S. citizens. It’s just their job to maximize profits. If they decided to leave three people in Seattle and move all the rest of their operations to China, they’d being doing what was best for Apple. But remind me how that qualifies the CEO of Apple to run the U.S. government?

  2. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    What must Mitt Romney learn?

    Uh, Southerners don’t like slick New England Yankee carpet baggers. There’s not much he can do about it but move on.

  3. fvanzant says:

    Well, Florida is full of retired liberal New Yorkers, so we shall see how Newt and Mitt fare there. Should be werrry interrrresting, as the old Gestapo agent on Laugh-in used to say.

  4. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    I think Romney will fare much better in Florida for exactly those reasons.

  5. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    “Still don’t understand how being a big business whiz is “experience” for running a government”.

    It’s probably not but it IS the experience of running something, anything. Romney does also have the experience of running a state. One of my good friends is very well-acquainted with him. Based on some pointed yet cordial conversations, I do believe he’s capable of running the government, but I also agree with what Chris Christie said recently; Romney’s greatest challenge is that he is not the best communicator. There’s more to this than looking pretty; you have to get your ideas and policies across to all. And I think one is doomed if one gives the impression of just saying what one thinks everyone else wants to hear.

    Frankly, Newt is smart and experienced but he appears too much of a smart aleck. And his marital history is not going to help him, despite all the people who want to bill marriage/family and work/politics as two separate issues. Someone who lies to his/her spouse will lie to anyone. The people who are currently cracking me up are the ones who denounced Clinton but are now supporting Newt.

    As another aside, note that Obama never had the experience of running ANYTHING prior to being elected president. “Nuff said.

  6. Katherine says:

    #1 said: “In big business, if things aren’t going well, you just lay off a pile of workers and close a division, or outsource the whole thing to India.” This really indicates a lack of understanding of how big businesses are run in general, if they are well-run, nor does it describe the overall performance of Bain Capital during Romney’s tenure.

  7. Catholic Mom says:

    I was a vice-president at Merrill Lynch for 13 years so I have at least some slight clue of how big businesses are run. But the point is simply this — the CEO has an obligation to the shareholders and ONLY to the shareholders. In fact, they are remiss if they put any one else’s interest before the shareholders. Certainly they have no obligation to the employees whatsoever, nor would it be ethical to run the corporation for the benefit of the employees at the expense of the shareholders. A big business is not even remotely “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Nor should it be.

    I agree, however, that you should have some experience running something before you get elected President. Best of all, you should actually have some governmental experience.

  8. Katherine says:

    My apologies, Catholic Mom. I am really enraged by the attacks coming from my own party on what appears to have been a successful and on balance very constructive business career for Mr. Romney, and to some extent by comments in my own family about the evils of corporations and corporate mangers, my husband being an allegedly evil corporate manager who has saved and created far more jobs than he has eliminated.

    The conservative argument, very simply put, is that a collection of business mangers, corporate or otherwise, who manage for profit and for the benefit of shareholders will produce as a group far better and more equitable results for the whole society than will a group of central planners attempting to manage for the good of “the people.” This assumes a legal environment in which outright fraud and abuse are punishable and punished, and in which basic decency in employment contracts is established as it has been in our country. The central planning model sounds more compassionate and better-intentioned, but its results are usually not.

    I agree about executive experience, and I favor governors in general for the Presidency.

  9. Charles52 says:

    I can’t think of a two-term president in the last century who wasn’t a governor, except Eisenhower, of course, who’s a special case. The last senator elected before Obama was Kennedy.

  10. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    Yes, generals and admirals certainly have the experience of “running something”, even if it’s not a state. 🙂

    I will give Romney a lot of credit–he was governor of MA when I lived there. A Republican governing MA is not an easy row to hoe. He was probably one of MA’s only experiences with ethical politics.