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Articles by Donald E. L. Johnson

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Is Mitt Romney a leader or just a salesman?

I've spent a lot of time considering whether i'll back Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty or Mitch Daniels. 

I first met Mitt back in the 1980s when I wrote a cover story on Baxter's "value improvement" service for hospitals that Mitt and Bain had developed for the company. Then I met and heard him at the NRO 2008 post election cruise. He is pretty impressive in person, and he has an impressive resume—outside of politics. 

 

So I've been following his presidential campaign since 2006 or 2007. Only now do I think I get it.

 

Mitt is good at organizing consultants to tackle problems. He immerses himself in data. But ultimately, he uses other peoples' ideas and recommendations. 

 

He's not really a detail guy nor an ideas guy. And he's not a street smart politician, as the Wall Street Journal's lede editorial, Obama's running mate; Mitt Romney's ObamaCare problemexplains today.

 

And he is a salesman and pr guy first, not a leader. 

 

He goes for the sale first, the solution second. 

 

This is why he comes across as shallow, pandering, cautious and as a flip flopper. 

 

He believes in private industry, consumer choice and Big Government. 

 

Big Government Consumer Choice is an oxymoron, and, I'm afraid, so is Mitt Romney.

 

I should note that up till now I've believed that Romney is the most electable Republican followed by Pawlenty and Daniels. 

 

I'm trying to not let my familiarity with Romney breed contempt while I'm still learning more about Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels. 

 

Having read Pawlenty's campaign book, I have problems with his record and pandering to Iowa ethanol supporters as well as with his blatant exploitation of his religious beliefs for political purposes. 

 

As for Daniels, he looks like the smartest and most accomplished politician of the three guys, but I know less about his record and beliefs than I know about Romney and Pawlenty. 

 

And Daniels "muddling" through the process of deciding whether to run frosts me a bit. 

 

I'm still waiting to see which of the three guys has the best chance of beating Obama. 

 

So far, none of them are looking very good to me as candidates, but they all are better potential presidents and candidates than Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Palin, Cain and Bachmann.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 05/12/2011 at 09:22 AM

'12 President

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