Patterico's Pontifications

3/24/2015

To Those Who Say Executive Experience Matters

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:51 am

Sure, it matters if you are a leftist dolt like Barack Obama and haven’t figured out basic common sense principles about government.

But we’re not talking about dolts.

Name me one GOP governor who became President, and whose vaunted executive experience allowed them to accomplish great things with a Democrat Congress.

If you say Reagan then your assigned reading is “The Triumph of Politics” by David Stockman.

134 Responses to “To Those Who Say Executive Experience Matters”

  1. Governing a state never translates to success with Congress. Governors just think it does.

    Patterico (f71c30)

  2. Governors at least have experienced the adversarial relationship between executive and legislative branches of government (even when their party controls both there is friction). My biggest concern with candidates who only have congressional experience is that they are too accustomed to the “collegial” atmosphere of a legislative body.

    mark (f9c745)

  3. Okay, Patterico, let’s turn the tables a bit: name a successful Republican President who had been only a Senator before.

    Even better: name the five most successful Republican Presidents, and what you think made them successful.

    Chuck Bartowski (3e0e89)

  4. How about a former GOP governor with a GOP Congress, even though it is infested with Progressives ?

    Does Calvin Coolidge ring a bell ?

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  5. If I recall correctly, Harrison, Harding and Richard Milhous Nixon were the only Republican senators ever to win the presidency. Is this what you want to hang your hat on?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  6. Building and maintaining a governing coalition is different than building a winning campaign. Isn’t that what distinguishes governors from legislators? Obama’s governing coalition would have been completely exposed had he been governor of Illinois, for example. Instead he surrounded himself with the illusion of moderation while disguising his radical actions.

    crazy (cde091)

  7. Executive experience is a must have, in my book.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  8. David Stockman is a self-serving individual who – the last time I saw him interviewed – was in bad need of a good barber.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  9. Patterico, on some level what you’re saying is that executive experience doesn’t matter for conservatives because conservatives are just naturally good executives.

    On the one hand, that strikes me as normal human behavior = members of your tribe don’t need experience in your mind because you can assume that tribal membership is a good replacement for experience.

    On the other hand, I would hope that *that level* of trbalism would be something we all aspire to putting aside when it comes to high-level politics.

    I will admit that I voted for President Obama in 2008 despite his lack of executive experience. But that lack of executive experience was a real worry, and it has turned out to be a real flaw in his administration. It was a flaw that I was willing to accept given the circumstances – but I have to admit that it was a flaw and that it was a flaw I could have predicted.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be disappointed that you aren’t able to say, with respect to Senator Cruz: yes, his lack of experience is a flaw and a potential problem, but it’s outweighed by all of these good things about him.

    aphrael (50ee60)

  10. “When I spoke to Stockman that day, he was still laughing about a tidbit he had read earlier that morning: The owner of a specialty food store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side—Maureen’s Passion—was touting the top-income tax cuts the GOP had shoved into Obama’s compromise. “It all turned around when the tax bill passed,” he’d told a financial news website. “Caviar! It’s jumping off the shelf.”

    “So there you go,” Stockman scoffed. “That’s a real economic recovery.”

    Beyond goosing caviar sales, Stockman says, the Republicans are not sincere about boosting the economy. (He also chastises Democrats, but his most trenchant criticism slams the GOP.) He contends that the party of Reagan has spent the last three decades compounding the errors that he had a hand in engineering in the early 1980s—and a reckoning looms.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  11. “I will admit that I voted for President Obama in 2008 despite his lack of executive experience. But that lack of executive experience was a real worry, and it has turned out to be a real flaw in his administration. It was a flaw that I was willing to accept given the circumstances – but I have to admit that it was a flaw and that it was a flaw I could have predicted.”

    I don’t know how you voted in 2012 (I have my suspicions), but do you feel any remorse about how things have turned out, aphrael?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  12. Colonel Haiku – I continue to think that the votes I cast in the 2008 general election and in 2012 were the preferable choices given the options in front of me.

    I do wonder from time to time if voting for Senator Obama in the primary in 2008 was a mistake; I supported him in the primary because (a) i’m queasy with ex-spouses of Presidents running for President as I think it skirts very close to the intent of the 22d amendment, and (b) I thought that Sen. Obama would do far more than Sen. Clinton to dismantle the parts of the modern security state which offend me. He hasn’t in fact done so; and while I may have been right in the *comparative*, it still makes me feel like voting for him in the primary was futile.

    aphrael (50ee60)

  13. Executive experience learns you that you can’t know everything.

    Nobody can know every inch of a ship. There are just too many nuts and bolt.

    You have to rely on your chiefs and petty officers.

    Steve57 (a8e3e8)

  14. it still makes me feel like voting for him in the primary was futile.

    aphrael (50ee60)

    Will it bother you at all when the middle east becomes an Iranian fiefdom ?

    Obama is the worst disaster we have seen since Madison and the War of 1812.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  15. Being a adult is sorta important:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/keder/status/578654611017478145

    DNF (8028c5)

  16. at this rate, there won’t be much “state” left worth securing, aphrael. Obama hasn’t stopped with “fundamentally transforming” America, he moved on to the world and it hasn’t been a change for the better.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  17. ==That’s a question of electability. I’m not good at that. I’ll leave such questions for others. As I mature, I have learned my limitations, and I simply have no expertise in figuring out who is “electable” or why. I know something about economic policy, though, and about constitutional law, and Cruz is as solid on both as they come. Patterico (9c670f) — 3/22/2015 @ 8:12==

    Sunday evening on another thread Patterico asserted that he was supporting Sen Cruz on the basis of his policies and fealty to the Constitution, and was not opining on electability because he knows he is not good at that. This post suggests, however, that Patterico is starting to examine issues of electability and is opening the floor to that discussion. Still, the wording also suggests that he’s not particularly interested in hearing or considering reasons why thoughtful, intelligent voters out in the world might be reluctant to vote for Cruz. Ted Cruz is impressive, so it’s easy to see why any of us might decide to vote for Cruz in a primary a year from now. It seems to me that useful discussion of 2016 also requires looking respectfully at reasons that some might not vote for him.

    elissa (5e68fe)

  18. Here’s part of that change, aphrael. Is there any doubt who is behind it? http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/204040/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  19. I forget. Who ran agin’ the Son of Lies? Jim Jones mebee?

    DNF (8028c5)

  20. 15… good one, Gary!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  21. David Stockman is constipated with self-righteousness

    it’s a fearsome blockage

    happyfeet (831175)

  22. Colonel Haiku at 18 – that’s part of a long-term cultural change that we’ve all been watching evolve over the course of several decades; it seems absurd to me to lay that at the feet of a particular politician.

    Mike K – I’m sorry, any time *anyone* says “[x] is the worst president”, I have to struggle to be able to keep paying attention. Hyperbole repels me rather than convincing me. I never engaged with the people spouting that kind of rhetoric about President Bush, and I’m not inclined to engage with that kind of rhetoric about President Obama; overstating the problems of today by comparison with the problems of yesterday is a natural human trait, but it’s not productive. And, anyhow, the worst President was Buchanan – *nobody else* presided over the dissolution of the union, and nothing else anyone has done comes close.

    aphrael (50ee60)

  23. I been outed. Where de panic room?

    DNF (8028c5)

  24. Chuck Bartowski (3e0e89) — 3/24/2015 @ 8:21 am

    Republican Presidents who were Senators, and then you want the five most successful GOP Presidents?
    IIRC there are only about five Presidents that have been elected while members of the Senate in our history.
    It is not historically a solid route to the White House, and the legacy of Kennedy and Obama do not add any glitter to it except in the minds of the Glitterati.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  25. 22. Moral relativism in the post-literate present repels moi.

    DNF (8028c5)

  26. is it for reals that there’s cheese popcorn in the panic room?

    i heard there was cheese popcorn

    happyfeet (831175)

  27. Steve57, at 13 – one reason why I’d be a mediocre executive is that, while I can rely on the other members of my team, and while I *can* assess what they are good and bad at, I value loyalty really highly, and so would find it next to impossible to *fire* someone if I needed to.

    aphrael (50ee60)

  28. Here’s the skinny on Senators becoming President, from the Senate website:

    “To date, sixteen senators have also served as president of the United States. (Only)Three senators, Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama moved directly from the U.S. Senate to the White House.”
    -(emphasis added)

    askeptic (efcf22)

  29. Lincoln spent a term in the House, forgotten until his peripatetic debates with Douglas.

    DNF (8028c5)

  30. A notable point, Aphrael. After all, the first job of the next Republican president will be to fire everyone he possibly can in the federal government.

    luagha (e5bf64)

  31. Hiring, and Firing, are the two most difficult tasks undertaken by conscientious managers.
    Success in the former prevents a lot of heartache in the latter.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  32. DNF- Kudos. I think you are showing good insight to bring up the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The debates got national attention and highlighted both Lincoln’s name and his brilliance in extemporaneous oration. I’m absolutely sure that today’s debate format (candidates having to answer stupid questions from barely literate media dolts with a 2 minute time limit ) does not offer the same opportunity for any candidate to shine on his/her own power, but I think Cruz will very much excel in the televised debates compared to most other candidates he faces in them.

    elissa (5e68fe)

  33. 22… I was not so much laying this sad state of affairs at Obama’s feet, but indicting those who are behind it – namely, the Left – as well as those who act as cheerleaders (e.g., Barack Obama) and who do their best to thwart any/all pushback against it… again, e.g., Obama. His actions speak louder than his words.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  34. I have no idea, really, if he is the second coming of Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan or James Buchanan. The bigger problem is going to be can whomever the Republican nominee is bring out the people to vote for him. Hillary is not an exciting candidate. The question of his governing is also in question but less so, because the age of artful compromise in Congress seems to be dead. But with the New Imperial Presidency, our American Caesar can just use executive action to decide the law. In that, both Walker and Rubio seem to be able to articulate a position with some strength in respect to one or two problems we face.

    MunDane (a48cc0)

  35. It would be hard to recall a POTUS who was more useless, arrogant or dangeroushttp://ace.mu.nu/archives/355691.php

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  36. the worst President was Buchanan – *nobody else* presided over the dissolution of the union, and nothing else anyone has done comes close.

    A fair comparison. I’ve been reading Conrad Black’s US History. He has an interesting outsider POV. He is too fond of FDR and too dismissive of Coolidge and Harding in my opinion, but he did remind me of how bad Madison was. Buchanan was up there in the pantheon of bad people but the Civil War was coming since the Kansas Nebraska Act and maybe since the founding. Buchanan was a place keeper. Madison lost a war he needn’t have started. Black also reminded me of how good a president Polk was.

    Polk was the last strong pre–Civil War president, and he is the earliest of whom there are surviving photographs taken during a term in office. He is noted for his foreign policy successes. He threatened war with Britain over the issue of which nation owned the Oregon Country, then backed away and split the ownership of the region with Britain. When Mexico rejected American annexation of Texas, Polk led the nation to a sweeping victory in the Mexican–American War, which gave the United States most of its present Southwest. He secured passage of the Walker tariff of 1846, which had low rates that pleased his native South, and he established a treasury system that lasted until 1913.

    I am very worried that Obama, in his narcissism, is leading us into a disaster with Iran. There is an argument that he is following Iraq Study Group recommendations but that means James Baker who I do not trust either. Khamenei is sick with prostate cancer and Rouhani is not a “moderate.” I just fear we will lose the middle east. Egypt and Israel are our only friends now and Obama is trying to punish both of them.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  37. America, where having credentials is more important than having wisdom when it comes to being president.

    We are finished.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  38. That condition infects more of society than just the Presidency.
    “Credentialed, not Edumacted!”

    askeptic (efcf22)

  39. askeptic, this is what I fear Obama may be unleashing.

    You may say that he is trying ally us with Iran but they are two sides of the same coin.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  40. Khamenei’s sickness runs deeper than prostate issues…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  41. 39- Mike, I read that yesterday, and it confirms all that I have known about militant IslamoFascism since the Iranian Revolution 36-years ago.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  42. And, I will still say Reagan and to Hell with Stockman.

    Reagan accomplished the following, despite Tip O’Neil:

    * Ended double-digit inflation in a manner that has stood for two generations, and stands despire Barack Obama’s best efforts.

    * Opened the world to [fairly] free trade.

    * Freed the US economy from over-regulation and made capitalism the default system world wide.

    * Reestablished the United States as the predominate world power

    * Won the Cold War by breaking the enemy financially.

    * Freed Eastern Europe.

    * Made the constant threat of nuclear war, that I had lived with since birth, fade into the background.

    * Restructured Social Security to make it work for at least two more generations.

    * Cut top marginal tax rates for 70% (!) to 28% and simplified the tax code.

    * Re-established the federal model, for a time.

    * Transformed the Supreme Court from 7-2 liberal to 5-4 Conservative.

    * Moved the public from a Johnson-Nixon big government mindset into one based on local- and self-reliance. For a time.

    * Got people to believe in the United States of America again, both at home and world wide.

    * Ended the idea that public employyee unions could strike with impunity. The original Sistah Soljah moment with PATCO.

    * Made conservatism into a viable doctrine again.

    So, there were deficits. So what? We were at war and there were aholes who had to be yanked out of the way. Small price. It was a tiny deficit compared to Obama’s and Obama has, as yet, nothing to show for it.

    As I said, to Hell with Stockman.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  43. The Reagan deficits were O’Neill deficits as Reagan had to buy the Democrats with spending to do his other priorities. He thought the increased revenue from tax cuts would cancel it. He was wrong but revenue did go way up. Unfortunately, so did spending.

    I still think GHW Bush paid the Democrats for the Gulf War with the tax increases that cost him his second term.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  44. Stockman was fired for being a myopic small-minded green-eyeshade twit. He could not see the big picture past his columns of numbers. Reagan was not a man to be humbled by a bean-counter.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  45. Mike, as I said: “So, there were deficits. So what? We were at war and there were aholes who had to be yanked out of the way. Small price.”

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  46. ““So, there were deficits. So what? ”

    No argument but there are many who try to abuse Reagan with them as though it was his fault.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  47. Reagan signed on to the tax-adjustments to get the Dems to sign-on to the Defense refurbishment.
    Unfortunately, the Dems were spending faster than the IRS could tax.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  48. Obama’s problem is that he does not know how to leverage power. (Thank God.) All he knows how to do is apply brute force, or if that fails, dishonorable subterfuge and weaseling inveiglement.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  49. every major company that goes into bankruptcy or closes has experienced executives in charge … that is hardly a proof of the value of “executive experience” … most of the Federal government runs on autopilot … electing a President with executive experience won’t make one bit of difference on how the Federal Government performs its job …

    The presidents “executive” function is to have a vision and give direction … 2 things that don’t require any “executive” experience to do …

    KaiserDerden (12e7ab)

  50. KD–

    Interesting assertion. Evidence? Why was Clinton so much more effective than Carter?

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  51. 7. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 3/24/2015 @ 8:27 am

    Executive experience is a must have, in my book.

    Richard Nixon didn’t have it.

    Taft, Hoover and George Bush the Elder had it, but not in a leadership position, and they were failures. Jimmy Carter was a Governor and also was a failure.

    Being a Governor, can give someone some experience in learning – or maybe not learning – how and when a bureaucracy is malfunctioning, and doing something about it – or not – and maybe give him a handle on supervising things where it’s too much for one person to manage in detail, and he doesn’t even have any idea what they are doing.

    Nixon was overwhelmed with data and then quickly cut off access and let Haldeman be the gatekeep

    Sammy Finkelman (033fec)

  52. electing a President with executive experience won’t make one bit of difference on how the Federal Government performs its job …

    I disagree. The fact that Romney rescued the Salt Lake City Olympics is evidence. He knows what to do to rescue failing enterprises, not just private companies.

    That’s why I thought he was our last chance in 2012. I still think so.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  53. 28. Senate website:

    “To date, sixteen senators have also served as president of the United States. (Only)Three senators, Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama moved directly from the U.S. Senate to the White House.” -(emphasis added)

    3 1/2.

    There’s also James A. Garfield, whose term as Senator would have begun on the same day he was sworn in as President in 1881.

    Sammy Finkelman (033fec)

  54. 53. Mike K (90dfdc) — 3/24/2015 @ 11:39 am

    Romney…knows what to do to rescue failing enterprises, not just private companies.

    Only when it’s obvious.

    Sammy Finkelman (033fec)

  55. his whole campaign was a failing enterprise

    happyfeet (831175)

  56. 31.Hiring, and Firing, are the two most difficult tasks undertaken by conscientious managers.
    Success in the former prevents a lot of heartache in the latter.

    As a reasonably successful businessman I would have to say training and firing are the two most difficult tasks by good managers. I was very good at both. I actually fired my own mother once.

    Hoagie (58a3ec)

  57. Are Obama’s issues really driven by lack of executive experience, or his hyper-vigilance in fundamentally transforming our country and ignoring the rule of law?

    JD (86a5eb)

  58. That’s why I thought he was our last chance in 2012. I still think so.

    It was him or Gingrich. And we knew what we were getting in Romney. Gingrich was far more interesting but proved a loose cannon in the end.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  59. Not as loose as the douche we got now, Kevin M.

    Hoagie (58a3ec)

  60. I think it’s about time we had a white Hispanic in the White House.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  61. Clearly, all else being equal, it is ideal that the top of the ticket be a governor, and that the VP nominee be a Senator. It is also ideal that the candidates be: great off-the-cuff speakers, never making gaffes; honest; principled; born in the United States; Good-looking, but not too good-looking; attractive to the base; attractive to independents; etc. No one is everything.

    David Pittelli (b77425)

  62. Let’s have a conversation about race.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzspsovNvII

    Steve57 (a8e3e8)

  63. I like Cruz so I lean toward him, but I also think it’s important to look at a candidate’s experience and background in picking a President. Serving as a governor suggests to me that a person has management and leadership qualities, and those are important qualities in this era of big bureaucracy. I can understand why some people want to give former and current governors an edge in picking a President. All things being equal, I would, too. But all qualities aren’t equal when we’re talking about specific candidates. We not only look at background and experience, we also look for communication skills and adherence to American principles and values. I’ve called that charisma in the past but I think it’s more than charisma. It’s what Washington and Lincoln had, and it enabled them to lead America and Americans during difficult times. I think it’s vision.

    All Presidents struggle at times but I believe the Presidents who struggle the most are the ones who haven’t had a vision or goal of where they want to take America. Washington and Lincoln knew what they wanted for America, even if they didn’t always know how to achieve it. Obama has a vision, too. He has accomplished many of his goals and that brings me to a related point: Successful Presidents have a vision that is grounded in America’s core principles as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, because those principles are path to justice and prosperity.

    I think all the GOP candidates are dedicated Americans. I think several have shown they are skilled managers, have strong characters, are intelligent, and are good men. Most of them would serve America well as President. But I think Ted Cruz has the vision based on America’s core principles that would enable him to lead us in the very best sense of the word.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  64. Not as loose as the douche we got now, Kevin M.

    Well, to be fair, we knew what we were getting in Obama, too. Or at least those of us who went out and voted for Romney did.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  65. Steve, that might get you tossed out of OU.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  66. DRJ,

    Sure, you have to look at all kinds of things. The arguments I might make favoring Walker over Cruz would not be the same as arguments I would make favoring either of them over Jeb, Christie or, even worse, Kasich.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  67. “Are Obama’s issues really driven by lack of executive experience, or his hyper-vigilance in fundamentally transforming our country and ignoring the rule of law?”

    JD – I think Obama’s issues are largely related to his ideology rather than lack of experience, but incompetence has played a large role in a number of failures over the past six years.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  68. food stamp does what he’s told

    if he do it good they let him go golfing

    happyfeet (831175)

  69. Presidents who struggle the most are the ones who haven’t had a vision or goal of where they want to take America.

    I fear Obama knows exactly where he wants to go. I didn’t until recently but I cannot explain his fixation on Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. China just hit with a big one with the new Development Bank and the next step is to change the reserve currency, When the dollar is no longer it, we are in deep trouble. Maybe that is why gold is climbing the last two weeks.

    The middle east may be lost now. Naipaul is telling us where it is going.

    Picture queues of helpless men and women being marched by zealous executioners who nail them to wooden crosses and crucify them, howling and bleeding to death as crowds watch.
    Then picture thousands of girls and women, their arms tied, being marched by hooded and armed captors into sexual slavery. And then, if that is not enough, picture men being thrown off cliffs to their deaths because they are accused of being gay.

    Yes, all these scenes could have taken place in several continents in the medieval world, but they were captured on camera and broadcast to anyone with access to the internet. These are scenes, of yesterday, today and tomorrow in our own world.
    I have always distrusted abstractions and have turned into writing what I could discover and explore for myself.

    I post this link twice because it is the future, at least of the middle east, including Saudi Arabia.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  70. Kevin M,

    I think this part is important:

    Successful Presidents have a vision that is grounded in America’s core principles as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, because those principles are the path to justice and prosperity.

    I don’t think many people, including current GOP candidates, appreciate how important those documents and principles are. Many of us, including many Presidents, believe events or luck make Presidents popular or historic. That may be true in the short-term but it isn’t in the long-term. A successful President has goals that are based on America’s core principles and that inform almost every decision s/he makes. These documents set forth the principles that have led America and Americans to justice and prosperity throughout our history. Adherence to those principles makes American succeed and makes the Presidents who embrace them succeed, even against the greatest odds.

    Think about the candidates you mentioned. Which ones have goals or a vision that are explicitly based on our core American values as set forth in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence? Which ones have the ability to frame and relate those principles to our lives? Ted Cruz is one to me. I think Rubio can also do this.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  71. I think the issue with experience is how much and what kind. Obama arrived in the White House via a brief and light on substance visit to Congress. Shrillary wants the White House on the strength of two terms in the Senate where sha acted mostly as an irritant, and a stretch as Secretary of State in an administration that bungled just about every aspect of foreign policy.

    The question is always going to be; what is a candidate’s actual record. NOT what does the Media say, as that seldom has any relation to reality. Let’s, whatever we do, avoid another Fresh Face With No Record. Especially idf they belong to a protected group we’re not allowed to criticise.

    C. S. P. Schofield (a196fd)

  72. daleyrocks, Obamas issues are driven by the fact he thinks America is a flawed nation of racist white men of privilege. That both the Declaration and the Constitution are themselves flawed and now outdated. That whites, Jews and Christians are to be forever and perpetually punished for unleashing their political and religious beliefs on our population as well as the Demon, capitalism.

    Once again: name anyone who is Christian with the name Hussein.

    Hoagie (58a3ec)

  73. Daddy Soros knows exactly where he wants his bought and paid for little boy to go

    happyfeet (831175)

  74. I absolutely do not believe our search this time out will settle on a consumate manager, able to work through a fractious Congress to move the ball forward to ‘get things done’, tweaking the prevailing regime.

    We all hope to coalese behind a house afire America’s prospects having so turned to scheisse.

    DNF (8028c5)

  75. This Tulsi Gabbard(D-HI) bears watching, just now on Cavuto, holding forth on Iran and the Sunni supremacists.

    DNF (8028c5)

  76. I dread all the “I have a plan” speeches, and promises to get things done. Instant things undone, and the less they do the better.

    JD (f9f658)

  77. In the past, GOP Presidential nominees were defined as conservative based on which side of hot-button issues they chose. So being pro-life or against SSM = conservative, and being pro-choice, etc., = liberal. That’s a losing formula to win elections and, more important, a losing formula for defining conservatism. Furthermore, with that limited view of conservatism, the only metric to choose a nominee would be to look at which candidates have the best managerial background and experience. Romney was that person in the last election. Walker is probably that person in this election.

    But I think being conservative means embracing the principles of our founding documents and principles. Now that the GOP has a couple of candidates who do that, I hope Republicans pick one of them.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  78. Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine addressed this topic today, too. He seems to take a middle ground:

    Ted Cruz’s announcement that he’s running for president was greeted by some Republicans with a warning against electing a first-term Senator to our highest office. Didn’t we just try this? How has it worked out?

    I agree that, other things being about equal, a governor (or former governor) is preferable to a Senator, when it comes to fitness for the presidency. And an experienced Senator is preferable to an inexperienced one.

    But it’s a mistake to suppose that Barack Obama’s ruinous presidency has anything much to do with the fact that he entered the Oval Office after only a few years in the Senate and with no relevant administrative experience.

    The supposition rests on the premise that, because he was still wet behind the ears when elected, Obama wasn’t competent to handle his big new job. However, to paraphrase Michael Dukakis, the overriding problem with President Obama is ideology, not (lack of) competence.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  79. DRJ, occasionally Paul finds an acorn.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  80. Republican Presidents who were Senators, and then you want the five most successful GOP Presidents?
    IIRC there are only about five Presidents that have been elected while members of the Senate in our history.

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear: I wanted Patterico to discuss the merits of Republican Senators who went on to become President, and as a separate issue talk about the five most successful Republican Presidents (regardless of whether they were Senators, governors, or dog catchers), and what made them successful.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  81. As a reasonably successful businessman I would have to say training and firing are the two most difficult tasks by good managers.
    Hoagie (58a3ec) — 3/24/2015 @ 11:51 am

    I, too, am a successful businessman and I concur.

    felipe (56556d)

  82. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) just said Illinois “wouldn’t be Cruz country” in 2016 and slammed him for the ’13 govt. shutdown.

    oh my goodness

    game over before it even started

    happyfeet (831175)

  83. The success of training is determined by the input of both the trainer, and the trainee.
    Determining the dedication of the trainee is part of that hiring process.
    But, your point is valid.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  84. If I recall correctly, Harrison, Harding and Richard Milhous Nixon were the only Republican senators ever to win the presidency.

    Nixon at least had the benefit of being VP for 8 years before becoming President. Harrison and Harding came directly from the Legislative branch.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  85. Happy, I bet you a $2 bill that Sen. Mark (Tiberius?) kirk comes to regret his prediction.

    felipe (56556d)

  86. Harrison was a Whig.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  87. Askeptic – there were two Harrisons. William Henry Harrison was a Whig; his grandson Benjamin, a US Senator who served as President in the 1880s, was a Republican.

    aphrael (50ee60)

  88. he’s such a tool

    him and that creepy child molester Peter King guy

    happyfeet (831175)

  89. On paper, Lincoln was a poor candidate–very unimpressive resume for someone aspiring to the presidency. On paper, Bush the First was a great candidate–outstanding resume. Their presidencies provide striking illustrations of how little probative value one’s resume has. Judge the candidate by principles and intellect, and you’ll make as wise a choice as can be made.

    Alan (3b2860)

  90. 75. Not an expert on the founders but I think any distillation of Conservatism would at its heart turn on Reagan’s “government is no part of a solution, it is our problem”.

    We went way wrong a good piece back, prolly with Andrew Jackson and his populist Democratic party.

    The Federal government is an insidious evil and cannot be incrementally ameliorated.

    DNF (8028c5)

  91. Senator Mark Kirk (Ill R-Ill.) is a North Shore Republican a/k/a Liberal Democrat, with a very clotty brain to boot.

    nk (dbc370)

  92. If that’s what you do to clotty brains.

    nk (dbc370)

  93. DRJ, you were a supporter of Rick Perry in 2012, right? I know this is sort of a silly question because it is so early in the process, but if you had $1000 that you had to give to one and only one Republican candidate today for a Presidential run in 2016, would you give it to Perry or Cruz? I like both men and am not sure how I would decide between the two them (though right now my leading candidate is Scott Walker).

    JVW (a1146f)

  94. Hoagie @70 – As I said, that would be his ideology, not his experience.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  95. Homer Simpson’s excellent adventure:

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/03/24/white-house-on-ayatollahs-death-to-america-intended-for-domestic-political-audience/

    And your point every autocracy only always lies to its detritus?

    DNF (8028c5)

  96. on balance, wouldn’t Jackson’s party be an improvement to the current circumstance, they were pro free trade, pro military, pro religious followers,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  97. Some of us have not given due attention to our priority:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-24/best-place-live-united-states-here-are-9-maps-consider

    There is not a lot of time remaining.

    DNF (8028c5)

  98. 94. Indubitably.

    DNF (8028c5)

  99. narcisco, on balance Carter would be an improvement.

    Hoagie (58a3ec)

  100. 95. A BMI map would be useful, too. For pounds of food per bullet.

    nk (dbc370)

  101. How does he overcome the demographics problem to beat hillary. He would need to get 65% of white vote. No republican has ever gotten more then 61% nixon 1972 reagan 1984 romney 2012 the other 39% of white people hate republicans as much as the minorities.

    truther (1e3dad)

  102. JVW,

    I’m sure I supported Rick Perry but I don’t remember the details of my support. He still strikes me as the Republican who had the best record to run on in 2012. It’s a shame he imploded, but not entirely surprising. Running for President takes planning and apparently Perry ran as a spontaneous decision. However, I would be surprised if I said anything that could be interpreted as strong support for Perry, and I don’t recall giving to his campaign. Cruz is my favorite politician and has been since he first ran for office. I not only would give money to Cruz, I have. IMO Cruz is light years ahead of Perry (and virtually everyone) when it comes to understanding and being committed to conservative ideology.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  103. Stockman wasn’t originally part of Reagan’s staff. he was originally with Connally, he turned out a backstabbing weasel, regardless, much like O’Neil in W’s

    narciso (ee1f88)

  104. and apparently Perry ran as a spontaneous decision

    that wasn’t my sense

    I think that Palin h-word person did her Hamlet thing so long that by the time she made her intentions known Mr. Governor Perry had to ramp up more quickly than was realistically within his scope

    that is what i believe in my heart

    happyfeet (831175)

  105. he shouldn’t have run so soon after the operation,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  106. Reagan was good at surrounding himself with “heavies” that absorbed the public’s dislike and left him to shine on in the leading role. Very formula Hollywood. You see it in just about every movie and TV show.

    nk (dbc370)

  107. 27. …one reason why I’d be a mediocre executive is that, while I can rely on the other members of my team, and while I *can* assess what they are good and bad at, I value loyalty really highly, and so would find it next to impossible to *fire* someone if I needed to.

    aphrael (50ee60) — 3/24/2015 @ 9:20 am

    If it helps, if you have to fire someone, remember you have good workers. They’re not going to appreciate it if you keep bad workers around. You’re just making their job harder and eventually they’ll leave.

    Steve57 (b5a4f5)

  108. Cruz is my favorite politician and has been since he first ran for office. I not only would give money to Cruz, I have. IMO Cruz is light years ahead of Perry (and virtually everyone) when it comes to understanding and being committed to conservative ideology.

    Thanks DRJ. Rick Perry always struck me as a good guy who probably misjudged his ability to pull together a last-minute campaign, and then was unfairly maligned because he didn’t come off as overly rehearsed during the debates. In retrospect, he might have been smarter if he had waited until this year, but of course in 2011 it sure seemed like Barack Obama was vulnerable.

    Cruz’s ethnicity makes him an attractive VP candidate if he falls short of the nomination. That’s a cynical thing to say, certainly, but it is undoubtedly the truth. But if none of it works out I would like to see Ted Cruz become the Republican version of Ted Kennedy in the Senate — the rallying point for the right flank of the GOP who puts together a great staff and anchors the conservative movement for years to come.

    JVW (a1146f)

  109. since he’s performed reasonably well, since, I chalk that to the operation

    narciso (ee1f88)

  110. Just cuz you fire a guy from one job, narcisso, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep him around.

    I had this guy who kept having Vietnam flashbacks. Snake! Then he’d throw the kill switch just as far as he could. Which didn’t impress the inspectors.

    We had to move him.

    Steve57 (b5a4f5)

  111. I was speaking of Stockman, he wasn’t part of Reagan’s original team, then again as with Scott McClellan, W’s version of Tommy ‘the Dude’ Vietor, he was,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  112. that’s a great deal of category error, for one day:

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015/03/24/as_predicted_conservatives_attack_cruz

    narciso (ee1f88)

  113. My mistake.

    Steve57 (b5a4f5)

  114. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be disappointed that you aren’t able to say, with respect to Senator Cruz: yes, his lack of experience is a flaw and a potential problem, but it’s outweighed by all of these good things about him.

    It could be a flaw and a potential problem, but I think there are potential problems with those who have been governors too.

    I’m just not worried about it in his case.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  115. What we consider “executive” experience in public governance today amounts to little more than becoming institutionalized. This allows one to operate smoothly within the organization, but it comes at the cost of building expectations on a host of assumptions about how everything works. Obola runs rings around Boehner and McConnell because he has never bothered to learn how D. C. works, and his egomania and hubris insulate him from the cognitive dissonance that might temper his actions as he compounds each failure with a worse one. So the key to Obola’s effectiveness in ruining our country is in fact, his inexperience. LBJ would have never considered straying so far from the law and past practices. He built his empire by finding ways within the system to tweak it to his will. Like Obola, he also ruined the country, but he had the good sense, or knowledge of his terminal illness, not to parlay his first full term into a second.

    Being within the system today means you do not work on the basis of first principles. Instead you go along with CBO rules, acquiesce in the use of misleading terminology that counts anything but a bigger increase in the future as a “cut”, roll over to teachers unions at the expense of the kids, treat defense expenditures as a means of paying off major supporters, smirk when Roberts calls a penalty a tax, and are indifferent to the possibility that the Supreme Court might decide that the clear wording of a law is of little concern. And of course, you discount our heritage as a counter that can be traded for any temporary electoral advantage.

    Both Cruz and Walker do not fit this mold. They see the possibilities that still exist in our country, and they have a sense of what is not compatible with achieving those possibilities. They both are novelties.

    The system today requires administrators to become indifferent to a host of ailments. We will not get out of this mess by hiring better accountants or more effective PR firms.

    bobathome (ef0d3a)

  116. The argument for a governor is that the nation needs in a President a first rate administrator to manage and guide our bureaucratized state. Such an argument assumes that the bureaucracy is generally beneficent and productive and not a rapacious, authoritarian leviathan. At any time in our modern history (FDR and afterward), this would be a tough argument to make, but especially in our current bureaucrat-as-apparatchik world.

    At this moment, we don’t need someone to effectively manage the bureaucracy; what we need is someone who will dismantle it. Cruz and Paul appear to be the only ones who hold any promise to take on this critical task.

    ThOR (a52560)

  117. Cruz did himself no harm with that speech. It also got him past the network flappers who were controlling his access to the people and molding a perception of hot-headed extremism. I for one am more open to him now. If I had to choose today I would still go with Walker, but give it a couple debates and I might change my mind.

    I do wish we weren’t still flogging the core Christian values things so much though.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  118. 27. …one reason why I’d be a mediocre executive is that, while I can rely on the other members of my team, and while I *can*
    assess what they are good and bad at, I value loyalty really highly, and so would find it next to impossible to *fire* someone if I needed to.

    aphrael (50ee60) — 3/24/2015 @ 9:20 am

    If it helps, if you have to fire someone, remember you have good workers. They’re not going to appreciate it if you keep bad workers around. You’re just making their job harder and eventually they’ll leave.

    Steve57 (b5a4f5) — 3/24/2015 @ 5:02 pm

    It’s that old liberal afflication… placing more value on good intentions than acknowledging the damage caused by bad results

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  119. Kevin M – at Liberty, Cruz said that 50% of Born Agains stay home on election day – that’s a huge number. It is the number that Rove was looking at, or something like it, back in 2000. You better get used to more flogging.

    ThOR (a52560)

  120. Patterico, at 113: certainly. There is no *perfeect* candidate, for either side, and there is nobody who is without flaw; we are all humans, and much of the beauty of being human comes from how we handle the different flaws which we all have.

    Thank you for the response. :)

    aphrael (50ee60)

  121. With all due respect Patterico, I sense the presence of a straw man in your challenge. What has a Democratic Congress have to do with it? Obama’s lack of experience mattered when the Dems controlled Congress and it still matters today with a GOP Congress.

    And let’s look at GOP Presidents of the 20th and 21st Centuries:

    TR – Governor of NY, Vice President
    Taft – Federal Judge, Governor General of the Philippines, Sec. of War
    Harding – U.S. Senator from Ohio
    Coolidge – Governor of Massachusetts, Vice President
    Hoover – Head of the Food Administration and Sec. of Commerce
    Eisenhower – General of the Army, President of Columbia University
    Nixon – U.S. Senator from California, Vice President
    Ford – U. S. Rep from Michigan, Vice President
    Reagan – Governor of California
    Bush 1 – U.S. Rep from Texas, UN Ambassador, CIA Director, Vice President
    Bush 2 – Governor of Texas

    Of those 11 only three didn’t have high level governmental executive experience: Harding, Nixon, Ford.

    Sure ideology matters. Yes, brains matter. Yes, honesty matters. Yes, respect for our nation’s founding principles matter. Experience matters too.

    Mark Johnson (98db51)

  122. What that list tells me is that ideology and character matter more than jobs.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  123. JVW,

    I don’t think Cruz is likely as a VP unless the Presidential nominee is from the liberal end of the GOP spectrum — like Christie or Jeb (or Romney, if this were 2012). But if the GOP needs a conservative favorite son to balance the ticket because Texas in play, then the election is already lost.

    Rubio has much more to offer as a VP. He speaks Spanish (Cruz doesn’t) and comes from the battleground state of Florida. I think this is why Rubio will run for President. His path to the nomination is difficult but IMO he’s the frontrunner for VP. If Romney had picked Rubio, he might have won Florida and I think the campaign people will be loathe to see that happen again.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  124. Yet seven of those eleven had been either governors or CEOs of large government enterprises. The four who did not…Harding, Nixon, Ford, and Bush I…would not likely be members of a conservative Hall of Fame. The others are not all conservatives, of course, but the two Presidents who seemed to be most admired by conservatives were governors, Coolidge and Reagan.

    kishnevi (adea75)

  125. ==If Romney had picked Rubio, he might have won Florida ==

    I’ve wondered about that many times, myself DRJ. At the time, though, I think Romney felt he was intellectually simpatico with Ryan and that as a team they’d be able to hit the ground running, and would come across to voters as a potential administration who would finally be competent and serious after four years of such chaos. Unfortunately the voters didn’t want that. They wanted more Obama.

    elissa (5c8e92)

  126. the two Presidents who seemed to be most admired by conservatives were governors, Coolidge and Reagan.

    Those are the two on the list I admire the most. But, you see, they are the ones I think Cruz is most like. I don’t think Coolidge’s success was due to his ability to manage a sprawling bureaucracy with adroitness. There is a story about him that I can’t find online that illustrates why I admire him. He vetoed bills that would give government aid to farmers who couldn’t make money farming. When pressed on the point, he said — and I am paraphrasing because I can’t find the quote — “What does a man do when he can’t earn a living in his chosen line of work? He chooses another.” The idea being, if there was a glut of farmers, it was time to redirect the resources to something more productive. He understood this fundamental idea instinctively. So does Cruz.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  127. I do not see any similarity in Cruz to those two.
    But I do see an interesting parallel with Walker.
    You know how Reagan dealt with the air traffic controllers, but do you remember the Boston Police Strike?
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Police_Strike

    kishnevi (9c4b9c)

  128. elissa,

    I wasn’t trying to criticize Romney for picking Ryan. I agree Romney felt he could work well with Ryan and that they would be a good governing team. I also believe Romney would put the good of the country first, so picking the most effective VP would count more to Romney than picking someone who would help him win. But politics isn’t business, and this is an example.

    I like the idea of Presidential candidates who are former governors because they have practical experience with bureaucracies and they have management experience, but I’m not wedded to the idea. Romney is an example why. He is a former governor but it didn’t seem to help him manage his GOTV efforts, nor did his management skills help him succeed in his campaign. It might have made him a better President but because he lost, we’ll never know.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  129. kishnevi,

    I agree Walker has embraced conservative policies — especially regarding teacher and labor unions in Wisconsin — and that’s obviously important and commendable. I think Cruz and Reagan are alike because they both studied, believed in, and are/were committed to conservative principles, so they can/could persuasively explain to voters why conservatism is the best choice.

    DRJ (e80d46)


  130. I’ve wondered about that many times, myself DRJ. At the time, though, I think Romney felt he was intellectually simpatico with Ryan and that as a team they’d be able to hit the ground running, and would come across to voters as a potential administration who would finally be competent and serious after four years of such chaos. Unfortunately the voters didn’t want that. They wanted more Obama.

    elissa (5c8e92) — 3/24/2015 @ 8:32 pm

    Sad but true. Perhaps a rock-ribbed conservative will win it this time. If not – and a Democrat takes it – we will remain in a world of hurt. And we’ll see more than a few heads explode.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  131. IMO Cruz is light years ahead of Perry (and virtually everyone) when it comes to understanding and being committed to conservative ideology.

    That’s my sense of him too, which is why only the superficial aspects of him — but mainly how such superficial facets will affect all the sheeple throughout America — give me pause. IOW, when I assess a candidate, I, of course, immediately think of how that person will or will not be in sync with my politics. But then I ponder how such a person will be perceived by various cross sections of the US electorate.

    Beyond that, it will be helpful if plain-speak candor about a person’s ideology starts careening throughout the nation. Simply put, we need the antithesis of the situation in the past, where, for example, the participants of the cocktail-party circuit in Washington DC considered it bad form and poor manners to talk about the socio-political biases of a nominee to the Supreme Court. Pfft to that.

    Mark (c160ec)


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