Skip to main content

Obama: the Content-free candidate

Presidential Race #7

I had written McCain off.

His campaign has seemed dismal to me and not much of a message. Obama has been a rockstar campaigner (note Euro love fest tour).

However, the Democrats' stubborn clinging to an anti-oil, anti-anything practical concerning energy, policy may just be backfiring. We aren't so stupid as to believe drilling in Anwar and on the continental shelf means cheap gas forever; but it does mean we don't have to return to an agrarian society until clean coal, biomass, wind, and solar have critical mass. (I want to scream build nuclear power plants here but I'll likely be dead before the court cases would be settled).

The Obama campaign has been Marshall McLuhan based (the medium is the message) and therefor content-free. This may sound critical but it's not: content-free has prevailed over Biden, Clinton, Edwards, Dodd, etc. But it isn't so clear that it will continue to work against a real platform presented clearly and concisely.

McCain is slowly awakening to the fact that this is a real campaign issue. Obama is being too cute on nuclear - "I'll support it when the disposal of nuclear waste is resolved" - that means: "I'll vote for nuclear power right after Barney Frank is named the Pope".

So this obstinacy by the Democrats to facing the first of a string of Republic-threatening issues (Islamic jihad, Social Security bankruptcy, unrivaled deficits, failed public education, etc.) may just be breathing some life into McCain and the Republican Party's lungs.
Of course, the Republicans have plenty of chances yet to blow it....

A platform of (1)real energy programs (not just drilling), (2)win in Iraq, combined with a (3)no-earmarks-pledge might just turn the tide...

Comments

Kim Whitler said…
Not sure I agree -- fully. I listened to Obama's energy speech last week. It was focused on identifying real, long-term solutiona vs. the expedient, "put more money into the hands of the oil barrons" solution. It was more than puffery and had real content. The Dems position is that the oil companies are already have the right to explore land that they aren't exploring. Moreover, Barack indicated that it will still require 7 years to get the oil out of Alaska / etc. In this time, with the right focus /incentives / motivation, we can create renewable solutions. It seems to me that Barack's POV is that we need to for once, focus on the right solution and not get distracted with the expedient, wrong long-term solution. I'd like to see the country be able to do both, but if we can't, than a renewable resource solution is more important than finding new oil.

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: What Matters Now by Gary Hamel

Interview of Eric Schmidt by Gary Hamel at the MLab dinner tonight. Google's Marissa Mayer and Hal Varian also joined the open dialog about Google's culture and management style, from chaos to arrogance. The video just went up on YouTube. It's quite entertaining. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Cover of The Future of ManagementMy list of must-read business writers continues to expand.Gary Hamel, however, author of What Matters Now, with the very long subtitle of How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation, has been on the list for quite some time.Continuing his thesis on the need for a new approach to management introduced in his prior book The Future of Management, Hamel calls for a complete rethinking of how enterprises are run.

Fundamental to his recommendation is that the practice of management is ossified in a command and control system that is now generations old and needs to be replaced with something that reflects an educat…

Book Review- Stretch by Scott Sonenshein

Have you ever watched, or been involved in, a business failure, where, despite the best efforts of hardworking people, the business doesn’t survive? Scott Sonenshein lived through it, as he describes in the Introduction to his engrossing book Stretch.  (In some books, the reader can skip the intro- not this one; the introduction is a must-read part of the book.) He was hired by start-up Vividence in Silicon Valley at the very apex of the tech boom.  Despite prestige VC backers, top-tier hires and $50 million, Vividence didn’t make it. As his career continued, that experience led to an interest in why some well-funded operations don’t succeed, while other, more resource constrained, do. Peter Senge wrote about reinforcing cycles as part of his book The Fifth Discipline, which I consider one of the finest business books ever penned. In it, Senge describes the downward cycle that some companies fall into, and why it is so difficult to reverse. Sonenshein explores those cycles from diffe…

Tax Inversions

A savvy businessman once told me “it’s important to know what problem you are trying to solve”.
Let’s ignore for the moment whether or not Treasury or the IRS had the power to change the rules on so-called tax inversions without Congressional action. (The power they said they didn’t have only a few months ago.)
Rather, let’s focus on what problem we are trying to solve. That is, why is the greatest country on earth chasing companies away? Shouldn’t the U.S. be the place that companies want to locate their headquarters?
Imagine this: the U.S. legal structure and tax regime was so attractive that Mercedes, Toyota, Astra Zeneca, Samsung, Total, Singapore Air, Banco Santander, Petrobras, Fujitsu, Nokia, SAP, Audi, Tata Group, Lenovo, Pirelli, Deutsche Bank, Honda, LG, Hyundai, Roche, Credit Suisse, Four Seasons, Siemens, Phillips, Bridgestone, Anglo-America, DeBeers, Volkswagen, Canon,  L’OrĂ©al, Swatch, Armani, LVMH, Toshiba, H&M, Mahindra, Aldi, Kubota, Onex, Ducati, Pemex, Saudi-Ara…