GOP needs a bigger boat

I dimly remember reading a news article about Richard Nixon a long time ago. I’m not even sure if it was before or after he was President, but the writer grudgingly acknowledged that Nixon realized there were some problems you can’t solve by throwing money at them. I was reminded of this by two Dish readers’ perceptive comments about the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns.

A reader writes:

“For all the big talk about their GOTV efforts, what the Romney campaign really could have used was a community organizer. Oh the irony.”


“Obama executed quantifiable long-term plans, adaptable short-term planning, an innovative GOTV initiative and plotted better ad strategies, while Romney had the ORCA trainwreck, inaccurate internal polling, poorly informed managers and insufficient fiscal planning (e.g. coffers too low in July to react to the Obama ad blitz seems so minor league!).  Not to mention its upper management was rewarded with bonuses in September, right after the languid convention and the embarrassing European trip.

On the macro level, if you take the entire campaign at its face value as a business – a job creator, even? – the Obama campaign had a higher return on investment, ran a better strategy, implemented better tools and metrics to achieve its targets, spent its money more wisely, had a more efficient staff org chart and better managers.  In the free market system, it was a strikingly successful example of entrepreneurial acumen.  Romney and Rove were beat at their own game.”

Of course Romney and Rove play a game like musical chairs, or maybe the Apprentice, in which there is only one winner at the end. Obama plays a game in which everybody works together towards a larger goal — the whole team wins at the end.

Without getting into Total Quality Management, what they’re actually talking about is getting people to do, or letting people do, good work. In my field, I’ve learned a few hints about doing good work over the years. First is that you don’t let a bad set of drawings get out of the door. The client will thank you for getting the drawings fast, but then complain bitterly as the mistakes are discovered. Second is that it is a bad idea to throw too much staff at a project that is running late. The people that already know the project will be distracted as they try and inform the new staff. Third is that megalomanic management leads to paralysis as everyone below the tyrant is afraid to take a decision. I’ve worked for a lot of guys that said they wanted to grow, but wouldn’t let anyone else do their jobs.


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One response to “GOP needs a bigger boat”

  1. Nancy L. Seibel says :

    Good observations about doing good work!


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