How Good a President Would Rick Santorum Be?

March 9th, 2012

 

Inspired by Obama’s textbook delegate operation (Dan Balz 3/04/12, A2), the highly-rated book referred to therein, Jeff Berman‘s The Magic Number, and Rachel’s report last night on Rick Santorum’s campaign management skills.

 

 

How good of a President would Rick Santorum be?

To know, we just have to look at his candidacy.

 

Back in 2008, one of the principal criticisms leveled against Obama was that he had no executive or managerial experience. Never mind that McCain didn’t either (his executive experience was dwarfed by his VP candidate Sarah Palin’s as part-time mayor of a tiny town and a half term as Governor of the nation’s fifth least populated state).

Nonetheless, the criticism kept coming, both from Hillary during the primary, and then from the GOP. And it stuck, in spite of the counter-example of an impeccably run billion-dollar campaign that pioneered new methods of organization and delivered a resounding victory.

As it turns out, Obama’s executive campaign was a good indicator of his governing style and ability: analytical, measured, methodical, disciplined, strategic, and detail-driven without losing sight of the big picture.

And Rick Santorum? Not so much. Poor event planning, missed deadlines and incomplete paperwork for ballot access filings, incomplete delegate slates, and just general bad planning.

But I’m operating on a shoestring, Rick says, as if that’s a badge of honor rather that an indictment in an of itself of Santorum’s overall campaign planning and fundraising ability.

But I was a struggling candidate who came from far behind. Yeah… and so did Obama.

But I’m up against a well-funded favorite whose “turn” it is, Rick retorts. And Obama wasn’t? If anything, Obama, an Illinoisstate Senator and the short-term U.S. Senator, was an even longer shot than Santorum, a  U.S. Congressman for four years and U.S. Senator for twelve. Are you saying that Obama developed better fundraising contacts in three years of federal office (not to mention better campaign management abilities) than you did in 16?

Not to mention, Rick, that you’re up against Moderate Mitt, who nobody really likes and your base hates, as opposed to Obama, who was up against a very popular and talented US Senator who happened to be married to a Democratic Party icon and the greatest campaigner of any party in modern history.

And discipline (also an important presidential trait)? Sorry Rick, but you haven’t shown it. If you had, you probably would have won both Michigan and Ohio, and would now be the hands-on favorite for clinching the nomination, or at least on your way to becoming that favorite.

So I’m sorry Rick, but if you were a good manager, you could have sown up the nomination by now. But you’re not. You’ve got passion, which is a big plus in both politics and life, and I admire your family life and sense of ethics (albeit disagreeing with many of your individual “moral” views). But a good manager? A good executive? A good President?

Sorry, but no.

***

Here’s Rachel’s 3/08/11 report about Rick Santorum’s poorly run campaign.

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