Experience is one of the most important aspects to examine when looking at candidates in any election, whether it’s as low as dogcatcher or as high as the President of the United States. And of course, different positions require different experience. People want to know what you’ve done in the past that you’ll be able to apply in the future, what you’ve learned from, and what you’ve had success at doing. I personally believe that one of the most important types of experience in relation to any office is managerial experience.
I suppose that’s why I’ve always favored businessmen in politics. Businessmen seem to understand what needs to be done, what needs to go, what needs to stay, and what needs to be changed. In my own state of Alabama, Bob Riley is a successful businessman who has done amazing things for our state, revealing a stark contrast between Republicans like himself and the fatcat Democrats like former Governor Don Siegelman (convicted felon) who have run our state into the ground for decades.
So when I look at the current field of GOP candidates, I want to know what they’ve done as managers. Have they ran a business? Have they ran a state? A city? I want to see if their success as managers makes them qualified to run this country.
First, let’s look at Rudy Giuliani. Obviously, the biggest thing that sticks out about him is that he has managed the affairs of New York City, one of the greatest and most heavily populated cities in the world. He was mayor during 9/11, one the most trying times in the history of his city, and of the country itself. He had great success at combating crime in New York, with the crime rate falling below the national average under his administration. So from a strictly managerial point of view, I would say that Giuliani does in fact have qualified experience.
Second, John McCain. He has been a member of the House of Representatives, as well as a Senator. He served this country well in Vietnam as a naval pilot. After being shot down in 1967, he spent 5 and a half years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi. His congressional experience is decent and his time spent as a POW is extremely heroic and admirable. However, despite possible managerial experience in the military, he seems to have spent little time in the role of a manager.
Third, Mike Huckabee. Just like Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee was born in Hope, Arkansas and eventually became governor of his home state, where he served 10 years (2 full terms and 2 years by special election). Under his administration, wellfare rolls were nearly cut in half and the economy grew by 4.4%, which was better than the national average. Needless to say, Mike Huckabee has a great deal of managerial experience.
Fourth, Ron Paul. Ron Paul has been a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force as well as an OBGYN. He has served in the United States Congress for roughly 17 years (non-consecutively). While his political career has little managerial experience in and of itself, his time as a doctor and his time spent in the Air Force as a captain could constitute a significant degree of managerial experience.
Fifth, Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney’s managerial experience is extensive and varied. He spent 6 years as Vice President of Bain & Company, a Boston management consulting firm. After that, he co-founded a equity investment firm known as Bain Capital, which he headed for 14 years. Bain Capital has invested in or purchased companies like Staples, Brookstone, Domino’s Pizza, Sealy, and the Sports Authority. During that time, he also returned to Bain & Company as CEO to save it from financial disaster. In 1999, he took over the scandal-ridden 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Initially, he faced a $379 million initial shortfall, but by the time the Olympics finished under his management, they ended up recording a $100 million profit. In 2002, he was elected as governor of Massachusetts, where he balanced the budget every year in office without raising taxes. Obviously, Mitt Romney has exceptional management experience.
Sixth, Fred Thompson. Fred Thompson has been an assistant U.S. Attorney, an actor, a lobbyist, and a Senator. However throughout his interesting and diverse career, it’s difficult to pin down any specific evidence of managerial experience. I would be hesistant to say he had none, but I cannot find any myself.
If any of you are thinking I left someone out, it’s probably because they don’t stand a chance at winning the nomination and I did not deem it important to consider them here.
Out of the entire group, I’d say that Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney have the most managerial experience by far. Rudy has managed one of the greatest cities in the world, Mike Huckabee has managed a purple state, and Mitt Romney has managed a blue state, a successful business, and the Olympics.
Keep in mind, this is strictly based on managerial experience, not social issues, family lives, or media attention. Based on that alone, I think there’s a pretty good selection from among the three with the most experience.