It’s hard for me to think of more frightening words than those in Thomas Friedman’s column this morning on running mates for the two presidential aspirants:
Come August, though, I predict both men will be looking for a financial wizard as their running mates to help them steer America out of what could become a serious economic tailspin.
Check what passes for a financial wizard in the U. S. Congress these days, indeed, in the universe of politicians, generally. If it includes anybody who can balance his or her own checkbook, I’d be greatly surprised.
This reminds me of Dr. Johnson’s comment on meeting Lord Chesterfield, praised as a great wit. He came away from the meeting saying he had thought to find a lord among wits whereas he had found a wit among lords.
Both Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama will select a running mate from among current political officeholders. The overwhelming preponderance of those are professional politicians, many of whom have never held a real private sector job, few of whom have ever taken an introductory economics course (or, at least, exhibit no evidence of having done so), and, of those few who’ve done both, have ideas that are a generation or more out of date.
Hire financial wizards. Don’t put what passes for financial wizards in the Congress one heartbeat away from the presidency.
Just for fun, let’s pretend that Tom Friedman is right and both Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain look for financial wizards as running mates. Please leave nominations for current officeholders who would be tapped solely for their financial or economic expertise, i.e. not because they might help carry a swing state.