We must hope that US voters don’t follow in Australia’s footsteps and elect a lightweight to govern them – that could prove fatal for us all.
The great strength of the American polity is its scope for grooming potential presidents by having them run states – some of which are bigger than, richer than, and more powerful than, any European state.
Managerial competence appears in many forms – from Roosevelt to Reagan, from Churchill to Thatcher. But, whatever its form, it’s a essential for a successful president, since without it nothing can be achieved.
For a scary lesson, Americans can look at the poor Brits, who after over a decade of managerially incompetent leaders have experienced constant tax raises, military downsizing, uncontrolled immigration, appeasement of enemies, loss of civil liberty, and (in Ireland) defeat.
None of the Democratic runners has managerial experience, so offer America the Brit experience.
The Republicans are in better shape. Romney and Huckabee have run states, and Giuliani has run a very large city.
Of these three, Romney is the most experienced – he’s run successful businesses, turned round the Winter Olympics, and of course governed the State of Massachusetts. He’s probably the best leader for a nation facing grave threats from Islam, Russia, China, and uncontrolled immigration.
But Bush’s low ratings and Obama’s rise suggest US voters are tired of dealing with the nasty real world, and may go the Australian route and elect a lightweight.
There are good signs – Iowa Dems rejection of the inexperienced and mildly crooked Hillary Clinton shows remarkable good sense. And Ohio Republicans made governors their top choices.
Still, it’s going to be a long, cold Spring.