Someone calling him/herself HendersonRainKing threw down the gauntlet at me in the most recent comment thread:
Tomasky: 1) Have you ever actually run or started a business? 2) Have you ever tried to raise venture capital or gone to friends, family or associates to raise tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for a new business? 3) Have you ever written a formal business plan for investors or a bank, or even for a landlord? 4) Have you ever put together a pro forma which estimates revenues, expenses, profits and profit margins? I'm sure you have never done any of those things and you will never be honest enough to admit it.........
Nope, never done any of those things. So what? Some people do those things, and others don't. It takes all kinds. I was interested in reading about history and politics when I was young, and I seemed to be able to write, so I took the skills and interests I had and did what I could with them, and I can't imagine HRK or anyone would suggest that that is some kind of dishonorable course.
I do have an idea that would make me filthy rich, HRK, so if you can suggest a venture capitalist who's interested in revolutionary green packaging, lay it on me. I'll even overlook your rudeness and give you 2.5 percent. Meanwhile, the serious point here, if there is one, is once again the question of Romney's real-world experience vs. Obama's, and the central claim of Romney's campaign--that because he was in the private sector, he can fix the economy.
Even Murdoch now says he thinks that claim is not adequate and that Romney has to be more specific, which is true as far as it goes, but there's a different point here, which is that capitalism at the level at which Romney plays the game has lots of features that many people find shocking or at least inhuman in some way. Outsourcing, offshoring, hiding money in the Caymans and elsewhere. If these things are legal, sure, people can do them. But they are not qualiications for the presidency.
There are millions of Americans, HRK, believe it or not, who prefer Obama's experience. It's often said that this election is a referendum on Obama, and sure, to the extent that every election is a referendum on the incumbent, that's so.
But interestingly, this more than most presidential elections is also a referendum on the challenger. Do we want a president who has lived the values of high capitalism? To people on the right, it's axiomatically the case that of course we do. Exactly what we need. But to many others, that isn't so clear. People will be voting on this question, in addition to questions about Obama's performance, and outsourcing and offshoring and accounts in the Caymans and all the rest go drip drip drip.