What is it about Obama that makes otherwise intelligent people so dumb?
Politico has a headline for the ages up right now: “Management Experts Knock Obama.” Management “experts” are just noticing now, after five years, that Obama’s lack of experience is significant. Maybe these “experts” aren’t so expert.
The heart of the issue, many of these people say, is that Obama and his inner circle had scant executive experience prior to arriving in the West Wing, and dim appreciation of the myriad ways the federal bureaucracy can frustrate an ambitious president. And above all, they had little apparent interest in the kind of organizational and motivational concepts that typically are the preoccupation of the most celebrated modern managers.
“No one asked you to write code or be a technical expert, but the expectation is you can set up a process,” said Kellogg School of Management professor Daniel Diermeier. “Companies do it every day.”
This was obvious to most everyone who wasn’t smitten with the leg-thrilling prospect of a handsome liberal black man in the White House. Even the Politico piece pulls its punches, and is really a rather mushy piece (with the obligatory David Gergen quote) that takes pains to disguise the fact that the media was totally in the bag for Obama. It just gets better and better:
Being a skilled practitioner of executive-branch power doesn’t necessarily demand the same skills as top executives in the private sector. But it does require knowledge that is hard to learn except through experience.
Now you tell us.