2012 GOP Presidential Campaign…More Comments

Our blog lifeblood, GBJ, reacted to a post I made (see below) about the GOP field. I thought it might be more fun to take the comments above ground, so-to-speak, and include some of my comments in his post. Weigh in with your thoughts!

Jeff – I love the angle. An interesting challenge/question for you and our readers. Let’s take a shot at categorizing the past several Presidents as Managers or Idealogues and see if any success or failure trends are apparent!

From Jeff K: First, I think it’s important to define those terms. They really change with the times, and a classic MBA “manager” is not a manager in my book — when I say manager, I mean someone who knows how to manage politically, and someone whose approach is focused on getting things done, moving a political and policy process, opposed to being an ideologue, like George W. Bush (cat’s out of the bag) and managing a process in pursuit of, or to conform to, an ideology. It’s not to say managers don’t have ideologies — that’s what makes this different from the MBA world — some of them have grand visisions, but they are at heart skilled at moving a process politically and managing these policies in the context of, not beholden to, an ideology. Finally, it’s important to note that certain times call for certain kinds of presidents. Here are my thoughts…

Obama — manager (poor one at that)
Bush II — ideologue
Clinton — manager
Bush I — manager
Reagan — ideologue
Carter — poor manager
Ford — manager
Nixon — nuts
Johnson — manager
Kennedy — ideologue
Eisenhower — manager
Truman — ideologue
Roosevelt — manager

I think I’m only sure about 2 of them???

What do you think?

Guest Blogger Jeff



2 responses to “2012 GOP Presidential Campaign…More Comments

  1. and my response….

    Obama — manager (poor one at that) – nope ideologue c’mon -he wears Che Guevara underwear
    Bush II — ideologue – nope manager – and a darn good one
    Clinton — manager – yep
    Bush I — manager – yep
    Reagan — ideologue – yep
    Carter — poor manager – not sure, I remember lots of faith stuff!!!!
    Ford — manager – yep
    Nixon — nuts – totally
    Johnson — manager – great society? that spells ideologue to me
    Kennedy — ideologue – yep
    Eisenhower — manager – yep
    Truman — ideologue – yep
    Roosevelt — manager – yep

    So whats the trend – who’s more successful a manager or ideologue?
    Get off the couch and weigh in ya’ll – its just a cut and paste!!!!

  2. Nixon early on promoted the image of being a tough manager, especially through folks on his staff like Haldeman, but then focused on foreign policy. Agree on the “unbalanced” assessment and wonder what else will come out in future tape releases.

    I think Johnson was nuts too by all accounts (as well as Woodrow Wilson, who had to take time off to cool the nerves as in younger days). As for the great society, well it was a very managerial approach, kind of an organization man’s New Deal aspiration in some ways. The guy sacrificed a number of Democrat machines in the South for civil rights, but not sure that makes him an ideologue.

    Not sure how Kennedy was an ideologue? Maybe earlier support for Mcarthy? Or believed in his dad’s alleged view thatthe state will predominate (and hence acquire a leading role). He was tentative on civil rights, pushed tax cuts, but also had to focus inordinate time and effort on foreign policy (like Nixon and LBJ).

    Truman was a political hack; and was seen as more conservative in his day (compared to Wallace – the left wing one, not the segregationist). I guess desegregation could have been viewed as a left-center cause back in that day though….

    Roosevelt was a manager who could talk up the red meat for the center-left when it suited his purposes.

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