I certainly hope this is a willful misinterpretation of Mitt Romney’s politics and political philosophy based on my natural suspicion of all politicians. I don’t want to be correct here in my suspicions given the odds that this man may be the Republican candidate for President.

This is a clip from CBS’ “Face the Nation” aired on January 13th, 2008. Bob Schieffer interviews Governor Romney and the central focus is on Michigan’s recession and the automotive industry. Governor Romney talks about not “sitting back” and that’s indicative of a bad idea in general. He talks about “getting together” with private sector leadership in the automotive industry, especially regarding how the government will regulate the companies. That is, instead of interfering outright, he’ll enter into hostage negotiations before organizing government interference.

When he means that “we” will “fix” Michigan it generally means more government involvement. Government involvement already is Michigan’s problem. That’s a philosophical argument though. It’s a libertarian view.

Just past the three minute mark we see Mitt Romney’s notion of investing in science and technology. By “investing” he means government subsidies, grants, and payments in the (probably vain) hope for technological, scientific growth and generally positive constructive results. He will take your money and my money and lots of people’s money and put it somewhere based on his judgment, which really isn’t an idea that appeals to my better instincts.

Clip 2 boasts the last four minutes of the interview. He talks about his expertise and experience in the private sector, and that while he isn’t an insider in Washington (I’ve heard that rhetoric before from a lot of people) he is knowledgeable how the country work, based on his leadership success in the business world, the private sector. (Mike Huckabee’s quote probably won over Mr. Schieffer to some extent; populism and victim-politics are ugly things but persuasive). Governor Romney has done many good and wonderful things in the private sector and generally shaped companies, and thus human lives, for the better. He was even willing to cut people off as necessary. “Don’t cast rocks at people who are trying to create jobs and turn around businesses.”

I have no problem with ideas such as cutting positions and other data-heavy pursuits and I’d love to see that role being fulfilled.

Now, I’m one of those folks that is fond of the expression “run America like a business”. That is we wish it to be not wasteful, especially given the investments are somewhat absolute in nature, and we don’t care for redundancies. The fact is though I don’t like the notion of a President being akin to a corporate CEO to the ultimate logical extent of the notion. A corporate head may or may not have flexibility in the extent of his own power to fulfill his vision of an improved company. That depends on who is empowered to limit his abilities and how much controlling stock or controlling ownership the corporate leader has in the company. The President of the United States, on the other hand, practically and historically can expand the power of the Executive branch quite extensively and so the limits of Presidential power are not very tangible. Yet Constitutionally and ideally the President has a specific role to fulfill and the wisest of the citizens don’t want the President to work his ways especially as he sees fit.

We’ll see how this fits in with Mitt Romney and why that makes me uncomfortable in Part II.


Wow. There is someone out there that watches “Face the Nation.”

Although I do respect Bob Schieffer, K. Oberman, not so much.

Its bad enough B. Gumbell is on the NFL network. Oberman… sigh.
Scott | 01.15.08 – 12:59 pm | #