Why the Presidential Election Cycle doesn’t interest me a whole lot.
(1) I’m in California. By the time we have our primaries, the GOP selection process will be mostly over. At this point is it sort of over anyway: barring a disaster it will be Mitt Romney, and the primary process is only now deciding how big a seat everyone else will have at the GOP table when it comes time to setting overall policy.
(2) The GOP primaries is an interesting soap opera, and it’s fascinating to watch the candidates not only gain experience battling each other, but refine their message. Mitt Romney is definitely positioning himself where he needs to be to win Republicans in a general election, though the wildcard in all of this is the Internet: how will increased transparency and better communications effect the general election?
But the endless and breathless reporting over the latest polls in some random state asking stupid questions like “will Romney’s business experience hurt him with GOP voters”–it’s all meaningless prattle, designed to fill newspaper inches. I can’t bring myself to care.
(3) And even once we get into the general election, my own personal politics and interests lie with the economy. And while President Obama has certainly messed things up by introducing regulatory uncertainty, which increases long-term perceived risks to businessmen interested in making long-term hiring and purchasing decisions–effectively President Obama’s efforts have been, at best, a minor inconvenience.
The current recession is the latest in a major economic shift to a software and Internet-based economy. As was famously noted, all companies are software companies now; most just don’t know it yet. Those who can make the transition to a software-based business will succeed; those who fail to make the transition will fail. And you can see ripples in this everywhere: from the decimation of music stores by Apple’s iTunes and other on-line offerings, to the rise of Internet retail stores, to the increased use of software to optimize productivity to the use of embedded software in place of discrete circuits in electronic components.
Our President is, at best, along for the ride.