Mitt Romney isn't the first presidential candidate to tout his business experience as making him most fit to lead. But he is seemingly the first to make it his platform, rarely mentioning his time as governor. Many presidential and congressional candidates have touted their business prowess and outsider status, especially if they are running against incumbents. Does business experience realistically transition well to the Oval Office?
Some argue it's an important asset in a candidate. From NPR:
There haven't been many businesspeople in the White House -- Herbert Hoover and George W. Bush are among the very few. Yale University's Jeffrey Garten, who served in several administrations in Washington, says knowledge of business is a real advantage for a president -- especially at a time of deepening anxiety about the economy.
"The most important thing when it comes to business is that whoever is president understands the business world and has the wherewithal to know what the private sector can do, when they're being sold a bill of goods, and how to surround himself with the right kind of private sector advisers," Garten says.
But when it comes down to it, Americans usually don't vote for the businessman. From National Journal:
The problem with this assertion is that there is little indication either in American history or in the current polls that the American people do, indeed, want a businessman in the White House. In fact, every time one has presented himself, the voters have turned their backs--often just months after the public seemed to be calling for the very candidacy they now were rejecting.
Barbara Perry, senior fellow at the University of Virginia Miller Center of Public Affairs, will join The Daily Circuit to talk about CEOs as presidents. Michael Hiltzik, business columnist for the Los Angeles Times, will also join the discussion.