Neither is running Bain Capital
While running the Olympics and running Bain Capital are not akin to optimizing return on national resources as is the job of a US president, they are at least operations management experience. In neither instance are they representative of the scope and scale of responsibility like managing the disparate departments and agencies of the United States government.
Obama had no government or private sector executive experience and for that reason my system for evaluating candidates omitted credit for that. He still scored higher than many candidates on other criteria, though Mitt Romney does well too.
Now that American voters dodged the bullet by taking a big risk that Obama’s intellectual power could enable him to perform, his performance has earned him the valued credit for incumbent experience.
Romney has a very high hurdle to overcome incumbency even though the economy detracts from the Obama presidency.
The Washington Post article highlights barriers.
- Running on repealing ACA, something that is needed in America, is a negative.
- Picking a VP running mate is a critical success factor.
- Staying in the spotlight will be challenging.
I want to take this opportunity to describe the considerable management job that presidents must perform:
The number of departments and agencies for which the President is ultimately responsible is frankly overwhelming. See the referenced alphabetical listing at this link: http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/All_Agencies/index.shtml
The President is responsible for an immediate staff at the White House and has 14 direct reports from various departments.
At the White House Executive Office: Vice President, Office of Management and Budget, Envrionmental Quality, Science and Technology, Trade Representative, Drug Control Policy. (Alphabetically)
- Health and Human Services
- Housing and Urban Development
- Veterans Affairs
(In order of succession to the Presidency)
Vice President of the United States
- Department of State
- Department of the Treasury
- Department of Defense
- Department of Justice
- Department of the Interior
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Labor
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Energy
- Department of Education
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Department of Homeland Security
The following positions have the status of Cabinet-rank:
- White House Chief of Staff
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Office of Management & Budget
- United States Trade Representative
- United States Ambassador to the United Nations
- Council of Economic Advisers
The term, “President’s Management Agenda,” was introduced by President George Herbert Walker Bush in 2001. The notion that a sitting President has a contemporary agenda reflecting the current set of needs is a practical idea. Today, President’s use the White House website as a place to present the organization of their approach to managing President’s responsiblities such as shown below from the Obama White House:
- Civil Rights
- Energy & Environment
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Foreign Policy
- Health Care
- Homeland Security
- Seniors & Social Security
- Urban Policy
- Additional Issues
The fact is that the nation faces pervasive challenges and needs that persist from one administration to the next. However, there are dynamic swings in immediate priorities that are largely influenced by the economy and threats to national security. Observe that “Jobs” is not explicitly present in the current list.
At present, resulting from economic collapse of historic scope and scale, the U. S. Government faces challenges to the economic model under which it operates. Some describe the problems as systemic failures that will require considerable analysis and new solution development that again will persist over multiple administrations to come.
American Presidents are immersed in economics and systems engineering to address pervasive needs to advance the economy and to generate jobs in the private sector. Doing this requires engaging the global community to a level of interaction that is unprecedented in modern times outside war. It also requires government collaboration with the private sector to ensure that regulations are correct and that incentives are appropriate to promote growth and security.
Presidents that are equipped with knowledge of the legal process, systems engineering, and economics are better prepared for their job, and this requires high intelligence.
The president’s general job model as described at the high level here is applied to address a host of specific details that come from the president’s interaction with each department of government and in cooperation with Congressional leadership.
Often, in dealing with matters such as immigration and homeland security, the president will need to consult with the court through the Department of Justice. There are a host of issues regarding individual privacy, safety and security that require resolution in the context of modern law.
The nation has a legacy of responsibility in the realm of Social Security and is in the process of addressing the needs for healthcare for all Americans. There are economic issues as well as public and private partnership issues associated with these and a host of other subjects. Government policy development, implementation, and interpretation are a persistent requirement.
It would be useful for voters if President’s used a consistent term such as “President’s Management Agenda” to identify the specific priorities of the administration such that continuity can be tracked from one administration to another as well as noting changes, additions, and deletions. Otherwise voters must decipher each administration’s unique terms when a more standard approach would be more helpful. As it is, voters must interpret each candidate and attempt to make comparable sense of what they are saying.
Mitt Romney faces summer of hurdles, opportunities
By KASIE HUNT Associated Press
Posted: 07/15/2012 06:00:26 AM PDT
Updated: 07/15/2012 06:11:23 AM PDT
WASHINGTON—As the White House challenger, Mitt Romney can seize on the attention that accompanies the selection of a running mate. When the London Olympics get under way, he can use that spotlight to play up his leadership of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
His candidacy also is benefiting from the fundraising power of outside GOP-aligned political groups that are spending millions on TV ads to promote him and undercut President Barack Obama. The weak economic recovery offers the chance for Romney to make inroads among unhappy voters.