Saturday, September 22, 2012

Romney's Rolling Calamity Roadshow

"The Romney campaign has to get turned around," she wrote. "This week I called it incompetent, but only because I was being polite. I really meant 'rolling calamity. (...) In her column, Noonan said Romney has the opportunity to gain momentum during the presidential debates. The month between the first debate and Election Day is enough time for a "healthy spiral" to begin, she said." (Condon, CBS Campaign 2012)

Not likely. Nothing appears to be of any help for the CEO who's been thinking he's a candidate for the last seven years or so. The Electoral College odds say so. And Wall Street seems about to be putting their next batch of ill gotten gains anywhere but in Mittwitt's mouth.

“There are only about 50 days left for the presidential campaigns,” says Doug Kass, a hedge-fund manager at Seabreeze Partners Management, ”and regardless of one’s political views, as we move closer to the first week of November, time brings greater clarity as to who will win the election. It is generally recognized that the Romney campaign is now in trouble.” (Vigna, WSJ, Sept 18, 2012)

(Vigna, WSJ, Sept 18, 2012)  "The general Street wisdom is that Republicans in the White House do better by the stock market than Democrats (President Obama’s count on this score notwithstanding). But in this case, a Romney implosion and clear Obama victory might help the market (we have no horse in this race, mind you, so keep your shirt on). Why? Because of the fiscal cliff."

(Vigna, WSJ, Sept 18, 2012) "The fiscal cliff is a daunting headwind on its own, but imagine how much worse it would be, our colleague Kathleen Madigan writes over on Real Time Economics, if there was a protracted legal battle after Election Day to figure out who actually won (think Bush-Gore 2000)"

Even the Rasputin of evil in American politics Karl Rove cast his curse upon Mittwitt's campaigning:

“You have to shake your head. Gov. Romney went to the London Olympics at invitation of the International Olympic Committee. It was a great opportunity for him to talk about his experiences, look, he stepped away from the leadership of Bain Capital for three years in order to step in and save the floundering Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. I bet there is lots of stories he could be talking about what a wonderful experience that was and how uplifting and inspiring it was. Instead he got stuck making a, somehow or another that the comments the Brits took as insult, and walked it back pretty quickly and walked it back adroitly but nonetheless the damage was done." (Francois, July 28, 2012)

"The trend over the last three days is clearer: Mr. Obama’s forecast is up from a 72.9 percent chance of winning the Electoral College on Tuesday. However, he remains off his highest point in the forecast early last week, when he topped out at 80.8 percent." (Silver, NYT, Sept 21, 2012) (Yahoo News 2012)

So we have a winner. Can anyone even remotely suggest a chain of events that might lead to the likelihood of the Mittwitt  getting a bump, or even regain his lead after the debates? I didn't think so. Yes, of COURSE this is not the time for liberals and the primarily progressive thinking American public to lay back on it's laurels. The danger of a further Teapublican theft of democracy by way of civil rights still looms large, and needs to be thwarted. These favorable polls are only a harbinger of things to come from those likely to vote, not the actual turnout which appears to favor those Teabillies enthusiastic of making a last stand. 

Now why has the Mittwitt proved to be such a poor candidate ? Well that's simple, and has no need of long winded explanations by now. While businessmen have nearly always made poor presidents and few have even tried being such strange bedfellows, now it is abundantly clear that CEOs do not both a candidate and campaign director make. 

(Condon, CBS Campaign 2012) "{Peggy Noonan} suggested the campaign should look to James Baker III, who served as chief of staff in both the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, for inspiration and insight into how to run a campaign. 'Mr. Baker's central insight: The candidate can't run the show,' Noonan writes. 'He can't be the CEO of the campaign and be the candidate." 

"Joe Scarborough agreed, characterizing Romney as a “control freak” who can’t let go or delegate to others." (Alvarez, Sept 21, 2012) Finally, something I agree with "Morning Joe's" unfortunate namesake. 

Romney's style at Bain never even included the usual corporate board of directors process, usually retaining all these posts for himself and directing his company in a manipulative and dictatorial style of management, not easily described as leadership. 

“The Boston-based venture capitalist likes to be in control. ‘(At SLOC) I don’t have the kind of control I’m used to in thebusiness world,’ he said. ‘When I was involved in (the resurrection of the beleaguered international firm BainConsulting), I insisted on having almost dictatorial powers. … That was essential.’” (Lisa Riley Roche, “Mitt ExemplifiesThe New Openness Sought For SLOC,” Deseret News , 2/12/99)

As a corporate cultist as it were, "cults have a shared commitment to a charismatic leader and uphold a transcendent ideology, the nature of which varies dramatically from group to group but which is as likely to be secular in nature as it is religious". (Lalich, 2004).

"In particular, Maccoby (2000) suggests that many charismatic leaders are narcissists. They have a strong need for power, high self confidence and strong convictions (De Vries et al, 1999). However, whatever their virtues, narcissists tend to be overly sensitive to criticism, can be poor listeners, lack empathy, have a distaste for mentoring and display an intense desire to compete (Maccoby, 2000).

In addition, Conger (1990: 50) has argued that charismatic leaders may find themselves prone to:
Exaggerated self-descriptions.
Exaggerated claims for the vision.
A technique of fulfilling stereotypes and images of uniqueness to manipulate audiences.
A habit of gaining commitment by restricting negative information and maximizing positive information.
Use of anecdotes to distract attention away from negative statistical information.
Creation of an illusion of control through affirming information and attributing negative outcomes to external causes."

 (Tourish and Vatcha, "Charismatic Leadership and Corporate Cultism at Enron: The Elimination of Dissent, the Promotion of Conformity and Organizational Collapse" 2005) 

"People suspect, perhaps correctly, that Romney really doesn’t believe all the things he’s saying. … [S]uch 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." ((Daniel Gross, “The CEO Candidate,”, 2/26/07) 

And so we no longer need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows from Tampa. It blows against thee, Romney. Pass the grey poupon s'il vous plait ? 


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