Maiello: Defeat the Press
Wolraich: Obama at the Gates of... Gates
I spent the better part of a decade commuting to work in an executive recruiting firm in Manhattan. We focused on senior management assignments, including in the finance industry. In ten years I had lived the corporate suite vicariously and any yearnings I might have had to play the executive role were well sated. After I left I spent fifteen years in artistic and teaching pursuits and then founded a small manufacturing services business which today keeps me off the streets.
One seldom hears about the really fine executives. But somewhere along the line the top tier began to be confused with actors and are essentially loudmouths---encompassing three prototypes: The flamboyant; the super hero; and those who are simply boorish and full of themselves. Trump, Dimon and Romney.
Actually there is a fourth type, the seedy. In my former lifetime we once introduced an uptown candidate with a public persona of squeaky clean, upstanding family man. Nice guy, really. But he wasn't right, either for L.A. (his wife would never have moved) or for a job in Hollywood. The Chairman who interviewed him was a cigar chomping, crude individual (think casino magnate). When our candidate asked about benefits the Chairman's face screwed up and he chewed half way through his cigar. "The benefits are a pension program, health plan and all the show girls you can eat." Seedy doesn't quite nail it, does it?
If Romney had walked into our NYC offices brandishing his one page stapled resume it would not have been a sign of odd or careless behavior because just the words Private Equity and the look of the man would have had us salivating over a potential fee of 30% of his remuneration. While he was being distracted the partners would have huddled to find the most lucrative job we had, and perhaps have called a former client like John. "John, you remember that assignment last year which we discontinued because we both felt we were chasing the impossible dream? Well he just walked into the office. Can you meet him for lunch?" Forget about the resume and the actual job description. We would hustle to get this guy in front of a client by noontime. Money in the bank.
Today Romney isn't being introduced as a candidate for a corporate or business executive job. He is being introduced as a candidate for President of our country. We need to take a thorough look at all the pages of his resume. Come to think about it, a one page resume with staples in it is--- in fact--- odd. What does it signify? Trying to draw attention to all the entry-level jobs created at Staples? Lack of attention to detail? But the truth is that there are many pages of detail missing. And there is a certain subliminal message contained in the staple, like shooting oneself in the foot unnecessarily. Barney Fife.
In tearing off the other pages of his resume, Romney has asked the American people to elect him solely because of his business career. Through his own failure to define himself more broadly ---and due to the fact that there are so many aspects of Private Equity which are not resonating with a populist anti-big business and corporate over-reach sentiment in the country---Romney has backed himself into a corner. In effect, Romney is even running from the remaining page of his resume, his business career at Bain. Even the back dating to 1999 is a disservice to his own aims---to wit, if a candidate walked into a job interview anywhere in the country with a resume showing his last relevant experience was fourteen years ago, he would be laughed out of the interview, or worse.
The one page resume and the unanswered questions about Bain lead inexorably to Romney's tax returns. How else will we know how much he earned in the 99-02 period? His disclosure form indicated "at least" $100K. How much more was it and how does that relate to his claim of non-involvement? Aside from the financial numbers themselves, there is simply a question of how his handling of his own finances inform us about his predilections toward policy making, particularly tax treatment broadly and for the 1% specifically. With the drama surrounding the release of his tax returns, I feel I'm watching "Who shot JR?", or who will win American Idol---can't give you any specifics there, plus, after hearing Romney performance I might slit my wrists if I hear any more off-key singing.
Being in a national drama about releasing his tax returns is not where Romney ever wanted to be. The intensity of this trap, of his own making, is evidenced by the early resorting to gutter tactics---for example, surrogate Sununu's despicable remarks, and throwing out the politician's play book by announcing a Veep now instead of at the convention.
Mitt, give us the rest of the pages of the resume, plus twenty years of tax returns. How bad can it be?
With respect to resumes, I can offer a few tid bits of advice. Resumes which arrive at a head hunter's office on colored paper, in a fancy folder, or are on one page with a staple left carelessly on it will be thrown into the waste basket by the receptionist. Pull two pages out of your Brooks Brothers' brief case and hand them over in a subdued manner, hint of flourish. Expose to the head hunter a fresh folded dress shirt or blouse and a toothbrush in the brief case, and one thin, important looking file---you are ready to travel and you don't read long treatises. And never, ever, talk about benefits in the initial job interview and not until your future boss has at least scheduled a second interview, had you meet prospective colleagues, or suggested dinner with you and your spouse.
As for Romney's one-page stapled resume? I'll leave it up to you to figure out what is going through this guy's head, why he is shooting himself in the foot, and more importantly, why this walking Life Like doll was ever introduced to the American people in the first place as a candidate for President.