The Corner

The Fantasy of the Businessman-President

This just in from Andy Ferguson, mainstay of The Weekly Standard and the author of one of the best books of 2007, Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America (if you have yet to read Land of Lincoln, be sure to buy a copy for your stocking):

Lincoln was a terrible manager and businessman who had at least two enterprises go bankrupt underneath him, probably three. There are several pages on the subject in…”Land of Lincoln.”…[See] pages 172 – 174.

The idea that the dispositions and skills that make a man successful in business and money-making are somehow identical to, or even compatible with, the gifts that make a great democratic leader is simply preposterous. Would Ross Perot have been a good leader, or Henry Ford? Anyone who thinks this knows nothing of human nature, democratic politics, or corporate management. In my opinion.

Peter Robinson — Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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