Hillary Clinton

Richard Bruce Cheney: Now More Than Ever

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The New York Sun goes where lesser neocon broadsheets do not dare.

Lawrence Kudlow wrote a column a while back saying he hoped President Bush asked Vice President Cheney to run for president in 2008.

Kudlow also wrote a column arguing that the stock market rises or falls based on whether we capture the assistants of top terrorists.

It was a fine idea then and it still is — not because the current field is particularly weak, but because Mr. Cheney is so much more experienced and shrewd a figure, one who could help settle some of the arguments about the Bush years in favor of Mr. Bush.

I like this definition of "experienced" and its complete disconnect from whether Cheney has been successful. If Cheney flirts with 10,000 women and gets rebuffed or slapped by 9,900 of them, he would be the most experienced lover of all time.

A White House aiming to get Mr. Cheney elected could also avoid some of the hazards that befall lame-ducks — drift, brain drain, irrelevance. Such a campaign might lift Mr. Cheney 's own standing in the polls.

There's actually been some polling done on this question. A mid-2005 Zogby poll asked how Cheney would fare in a GOP primary. He came in fifth, with 6 percent. A mid-2006 Gallup poll asked if Cheney would be an "acceptable" nominee, and 61 percent of Republicans said he wouldn't—the highest in the field, higher than even George Pataki. A Fox/Opinion Dynamics poll that tested Cheney against Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Al Gore had him losing to both by double digits.

But the biggest fault with the Sun's editorial—which could be the spark of a nationwide "Draft Dick" movement, who knows—is that the selection of a charmless technocratic VP who'd never run for president was one of the most agreeable things George Bush did in 2000. The usual presidential trick of choosing young, bright-future running mates who can run for president themselves has rotten consquences. The heir apparent demands a larger and larger political role as the terms wind on; his inevitability bleeds out the debate that's usually badly needed about the direction of the party after eight years in power. How much stronger would the Democrats have been in 2000 if, instead of Al Gore lumbering past a weak insurgent (Bill Bradley), the party had staged a brawl between the liberal, new Democrat and conservative wings? How much stronger is the GOP right now for the chance to dump the corpse of the Bush White House?

NEXT: Welfare Pearls

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  1. “…one who could help settle some of the arguments about the Bush years in favor of Mr. Bush.”

    Well, just as long as they’ve got their priorities straight.

  2. joe,

    I’m surprised you could type that post, I figured you would be too busy giggling at the prospect of the GOP nominating Cheney. I mean, there probably is someone they could nominate that would have a worse chance of winning the election, I just can’t think of any right now.

  3. Cheney has long ago lost it. I could have seen it after Bush I, but even without the heart problems he simply doesn’t have what it takes any more.

  4. In 2000, I figured Cheney was going to be the puppet master of the administration. I counted that as a strength. I still think he’s got his hands on the strings, but the Pinocchio has been pulling back.

  5. Remember when people found Cheney comforting?

    Sure, W. is inexperienced and not too bright, but he’s got Dick Cheney, the Sec Def from his father’s administration, to keep him from doing anything stupid.

    No worries.

  6. President Cheney?

    [signs on internet, googles “Emigrating to New Zealand”]

  7. Cheney running is a joke, and I don’t dislike him near as much as everyone keeps telling me I should.

  8. Weigel is scraping the barrel bottom.
    Time to check yourself into rehab, David.

    Only 19 months till the election…

  9. Sometimes Republicans don’t understand that their image problems–even if undeserved–are giant albatrosses to their political ambitions. Gingrich and Cheyney are imbedded in the minds of average americans as either heartless bastards who would step over their own mothers to take a crust of bread out of an orphan’s malnourished hand.

    Reminds me when Dan Quayle formed a presidential exploratory comittee. When you’re the punchline of every stupid joke Letterman told in the last four years, save your exploratory comittee’s time and go quietly looking for consulting gigs.

  10. What’s amazing is that anyone would quote a partisan hack like Kudlow to reinforce their argument.

  11. ‘If Cheney flirts with 10,000 women and gets rebuffed or slapped by 9,900 of them, he would be the most experienced lover of all time.’

    That’s only 100 women, man, nowhere near my record of 10,000.

    Wilt Chamberlain

  12. Abdul you are absolutely right. Once your public image is set you will never change it especially if you are a Republican. Ford will always be a klutz even though he was a two way all American football player at Michigan. Bush will always be stupid, that is of course when he is not an evil genious bent on world domination, even though he has a Harard MBA. The general rule is liberals are smart and conservatives are heartless an stupid. Thus a law school drop out from Tennessee is an expert on global warming and Micheal Crighten, a Harvard MD and former recipient of a Salk Fellowship, is a science fiction writer who knows knothing about science.

    Cheney is a bit different in that is accused of being the evil genius after being a solid boring technocrat before 2000, but it makes no difference. The public image is set and no reality will change that.

  13. Goood point, John.

    I just wish I didn’t spend the last two decades of my life as such a disgraced pariah.

  14. John: The thing is that some of us are smart enough to see past Bush’s “Harvard MBA” for what it really was… a paid degree for a blue blood that barely had the brain capacity to finish high school. I think you’d have to look pretty hard to find a person that doesn’t understand that about Bush’s supposed credentials.

  15. John,

    I’m not following you. Do you really believe that Harvard MBA candidates are admitted in purely meritocratic fashion? Especially in the 1970s. Bush may be very intelligent, but his holding a Harvard MBA degree is irrelevant to the argument – connections count quite a bit in the business world and Harvard knows that. And again – a Harvard MD qualifies one in no way whatsoever to opine on global warming. Just as I would not trust a climatologist to recommend my cancer treatment. And your point doesn’t hold up to any scrutiny anyway – liberals – any public figure – suffer from the media’s relentless pressure to simplify and stereotype. Gore is still being mocked for “inventing the internet”, a claim he never made; Dean is still considered a crazy wacko leftist even though he was probably the Dem candidate furthest to the right on economic issues; Hilary Clinton will always be a cold witch no matter what she does. Libertarian candidates will always be portrayed as the type of marginal gold-standard loving crank you avoid at nice cocktail parties. What is to be done?

  16. Bush is a scofflaw criminal in full ass-covering mode. Providing he makes it to the end of his term (not a given considering his AG, while loyal to a fault, is an awful liar), the Bush league thinks it would really be keen if the next POTUS was someone who’d give Bushie a flier for the law breaking committed on his sophmoronic imperious watch.

    Someone like Cheney….or Hillary…

  17. a paid degree for a blue blood that barely had the brain capacity to finish high school.

    Bullshit. Bush got something like 1060 on his SAT. Hardly genius-caliber, but well above average, especially since (I believe) the SAT scores were normalized lower than they are today.

    Another way of saying this is that Bush has all the brains of a career middle manager.

  18. Hm. If this link is to be believed, Kerry is a pretty big dumbass as well.

  19. “It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.” – Hindrocket

    I just love that quote. It makes me smile on even the greyest day.

  20. Holy crap, Gore got a 1655 – old scoring – on his SATs, including a 730 math.

    No wonder he invented the internet.

  21. Whoops, I meant to type 1200 above, not 1060. 1060 would make him a dumbass. And joe means 1355. Stupid fat hand-nub things.

  22. If getting into grad school at Ivy’s were just a question of buying your way in John Kerry, a millionaire with a good military record, wouldn’t have gone to BC law, he would have gone to Harvard. Unlike the undergraduate programs that take legacies and people who give big money, the graduate programs at Ivy Leagues really do go on merit. You can buy your dufus kid an undergrad at Harvard, you can’t buy him an MBA or a law degree. Further, you can only buy him so much even if you could. Stupid people don’t get MBAs at Harvard. That doesn’t mean they are right about everything or even that they would make good Presidents, nuclear engineer Jimmy Carter was a disaster. The idea that Bush is stupid is just crap, but people would rather beleive that then actually think about issues. So I guess the myth provides comfort for some.

  23. No, Wary, 1655. 730+625 = 1655.

    What’s that? My math SATs?

    Why do you ask?

  24. Actually, there is something to having to meet certain minimum criteria, even as a famous or rich person (or scion of such person). For instance, John John couldn’t get into Harvard Law, despite being who he was. Combine that with the stories that made the rounds about his “special” help in taking the NY bar, and one must conclude that he must’ve been pretty dim.

    I’ve always figured Bush to be moderately intelligent, though not particularly passionate about knowledge or especially self-disciplined. Without Papa Bush and the fellowship, he would’ve stumbled about, I think. Why you people voted him into office or talk about voting in someone equally unimpressive is beyond me.

    joe,

    Joke at own expense, or are you insane, mathematically speaking? 🙂

  25. Interesting link about the Bush Gore SAT scores. The fact is that while neither one of them are stupid, if they had been the sons of a typical middle manager out in Kansas City or Denver, they would have ended up at State U and we wouldn’t know who either one of them are. The fact is family means a hell of a lot more in politics in this country than it should. An appalling number of our political leadership are the sons and daughters of political figures. It is a really crappy system that way.

  26. John,

    Have to disagree. In case you haven’t noticed, this brilliant man you see has failed at everything he’s ever done. He wouldn’t have gotten in to an ivy league grad school if his father weren’t a high ranking GOP official.

    Was John Kerry a millionaire before he married THK?

    John, forgive me for being a results-oriented person, but GWB2 is a poor planner, does not see the consequences of his actions, misjudges the effectiveness of his justifications, and has seriously miscalculated the merit of those surrounding him. Sounds brilliant to me. Seriously, your reliance on objective indicators of merit is the weak spot in your argument.

  27. The idea that Bush is stupid is just crap

    The idea that he deliberately dumbs himself down to reach the common folk is still going strong. Which I believe is worth mocking, certainly more so than if he were actually dumb rather than pretending.

  28. Getting into HBS was much easier in the 70’s than today. Bush would never get in now. He’d be a nobody if he didn’t win the birth lottery.

    stu?pid

    Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.

    Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.

    Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless

  29. Besides, both Bush and Gore are related to Dracula and therefore, related to each other.

    As John said, Family is everything.

  30. The fact is family means a hell of a lot more in politics in this country than it should. An appalling number of our political leadership are the sons and daughters of political figures. It is a really crappy system that way.

    John,

    Absolutely goddamn right.

  31. Gore’s SAT scores put him in the top 2% nationally, John.

  32. TWC,

    That’s a damned lie. Invite me in so I can nail your hat onto your head. No, really, it’s okay.

  33. Hey joe, it seems that it may be a myth that the SAT scores were lower 40 years ago. The scores from 1968 look more or less the same as the current scale. Does anyone know enough to give a real answer on this?

  34. I daresay that intellect is not a quality we Americans seek in our politicians. Some have had it, but most don’t. . .not in the absolute sense. I think Gore is bright enough (though often wrongheaded) for a politician, but he’s not brilliant by our standards. By “our”, I mean he’d be mocked for his intellectual limits here at Hit & Run. Assuming that he was doing the posting and not someone else. Naturally, we are the pinnacle of intellectual achievement hereabouts.

    Intelligence is too tough to measure to give SATs, IQs, etc. a whole lot of weight. I agree with the comment above–judge them by their actions and words. Not that I think Bill was a super genius, either, but he did have the ability to finish Times’ crossword puzzles in very short order. Whether that ports into actual brilliance beyond crosswords is another question 🙂

  35. Two percent is a lot of people Joe. Mine were better than Gore’s and I didn’t go to Harvard. Those scores alone, especially as a white male are not going to get you anywhere near an Ivy League school in this country absent a lot of money and family juice. Like I said, if Gore were the son of an average person we wouldn’t know who he is.

    Lamar,

    You are just saying you don’t like what he has done as President. Without highjacking the thread into a discussion of the Bush Presidency, intelligence and success at any particular job are two different things. I doubt there has ever been a President with much more raw intelligence than Wilson, but you would be hard pressed to find many people who consider him a good President. Same goes for Jimmy Carter. Carter was a failed President who recently wrote a book on the Israeli Palistinian problem that was so slanted and grossly inacurate that numorous members of the board of his own library resigned over its contents. Does that mean that Carter is stupid? I don’t think so. It just means that he is narrowminded bitter and prejudiced to such an extent that it overroad his considerable intelligence in writing that book. You may think Bush is a bad President, that is your right and history will tell, but even if you are right about that, that does not make him stupid anymore than Carter’s bizzare opinions of Palistine make him stupid.

  36. Never mind, I’m a dumbass…Gore’s 1350 would be in the top 7% now, but he was in the top 2% then.

  37. “Like I said, if Gore were the son of an average person we wouldn’t know who he is.”

    Bush is different how?

  38. Bush is different how?

    He is not. Look at what I said above. Neither one of them are stupid but neither one of them would be where they are absent their family connections.

  39. The post above about the pointlessness of measuring intelligence is correct. As far as I’m concerned, an intelligent person is one who succeeds, and that’s all that matters.

  40. Warty,

    Some time in the early 1990s, they rejiggered the scoring of the SATs. They went up by about 90 points, although I don’t know if that’s per section, or for both verbal and math.

  41. Based on the evidence thus far, I would say that W has filled out the definition of stupid pretty well.

  42. “filled out the definition of stupid pretty well.”

    you mean, “stupid is as stupid does”?

    *removes stapler from nose

  43. Anyone who says you can buy an MBA from Harvard, or get one based on family connections, is merely displaying their ignorance.

    Harvard wouldn’t even admit JFK Jr. to the law school, and I defy anyone to say that the Bush clan has more stroke at Harvard than the Kennedys.

    And trust me on this, Harvard Law is much more susceptible to the blandishments of wealth and status than the B School, which already has more money than God.

  44. John,

    Firefox has a built-in tool that corrects spelling as you type.

    You can get it here:

    http://www.mozilla.com

    Thought that might help. It appears you are making a career of being a Reason commenter, you may as well have the proper tools.

  45. “Like I said, if Gore were the son of an average person we wouldn’t know who he is.”

    Bush is different how?

    Well, simply because he couldn’t have been born to anyone else. It was destiny. 🙂

    You know, Milton Friedman always praised Nixon for being one of the most intelligent presidents he ever knew, yet no less one of the worst. And I guess the opposite for Reagan, more or less. Anyway I guess both results and merits are good to look at, but don’t necessarily add up. The only way to be know for sure is The Water of Life.

    Besides, the more powerful of thought and knowledge a President becomes the closer he gets to Cthulhu anyway. Or something like that.

  46. “Thought that might help. It appears you are making a career of being a Reason commenter, you may as well have the proper tools.”

    I need to go to firefox, it is a much better browser. I don’t make a career of this, I just have ADD and can only work on one thing for about a minute. This provides intermitant distractions from actually doing real work. Some days the real work takes over, some days I have little to do and just steal my wages.

  47. I know you are all dying to know what I got on the SATs, but I’ll never tell.

    What would the Cheney for President platform be?
    “We did it to Saddam, and we can sure as Hell do it to you.”?

  48. Cheney’s not so bad, he’s just not a wartime consigliere.

  49. “We did it to Saddam, and we can sure as Hell do it to you.”?

    That is almost as good as “Why Change Dicks in the Middle of the Screw? Tricky Dicky in 72!!”

  50. Headlines: Cheney beats Draft second time!!!!

  51. Those scores alone, especially as a white male are not going to get you anywhere near an Ivy League school in this country absent a lot of money and family juice.

    Not true. My SAT was slightly below Gore’s and I–a nobody white male–got into an Ivy League.

  52. After having another look at that photo, I find it more plausible to envision Cheney eating babies rather than kissing them.

  53. “Not true. My SAT was slightly below Gore’s and I–a nobody white male–got into an Ivy League.”

    Are you a jock? Did you pay for school outright with no financial aid? Did you go to Harvard, Yale, Princton or Columbia or one of the other Ivies? That said, perhaps I didn’t give myself enough credit and should have applied more places.

  54. pssst:

    Hey Rhywun – look who wrote that. Obviously got nowhere close to any Ivy league school….

  55. This article from Hoover on the genesis of the A Nation At Risk report describes the decline in SAT scores in the late 20th C.

    Between 1967 and 1982, students’ combined math and verbal scores fell by nearly 30 percent of a standard deviation, a troubling slide that precipitated the writing of Risk. Scores began to rise again in 1982, but the gains were modest: only about 15 percent of a standard deviation by 1999, or less than 1 percent per year, leaving the country well below its standing in 1967.

    In the mid-1970s scores a little on the high-side of Gore’s would make you a National Merit Finalist.

    I did think that this part of that info from the Globe was funny:

    Gore’s lowest grade of D came in a natural sciences course..

    .

    I don’t know who paid Kerry’s way through Yale. Maybe it wasn’t that hideously expensive back then, so a State Department functionary like his Dad could swing it. But a Winthrop aunt of his helped pay for his prep school tuition. Kerry’s family was in that unenviable position when he was a kid – the relatively poor branch of a well-to-do family. it was nothing that marrying the occasional heiress or rich widow couldn’t fix.

    Kevin

  56. John,

    Bush may be quite smart – but you are 100% completely flatout wrong about HBS in the 1970s. Sorry. Maybe you’re too young to remember, but B-School was NOT considered very prestigious in the 60s and early 70s. Better than the Ed school sure, but not even in the same league as law or medical school. It was quite easy to get in if you could show you had connections to important people. This was not a secret, I remember my father – a Harvard Law grad – making wry remarks about B-School students bringing down Harvard’s rep, because they weren’t all that bright and acted like frat boys. Again, Bush could well be a genius but you won’t prove it by flinging around HBS as if admittance were the equivalent of winning a Rhodes scholarship.

  57. Four years of a Cheney presidency would almost be worth it, just to read joe’s apoplectic posts every day.

  58. Vanya,

    Where did I ever equate and MBA with winning a Rhodes scholarship? My only point was that people who get Harvard MBAs are not stupid. I don’t think the fact that it is easier to get an MBA than a JD or an MD, something that is still true today, takes away from that point.

  59. . . .a troubling slide that precipitated the writing of Risk.

    What does Risk have to do with SAT scores? Sure, the smart player always takes over Australia, but you don’t need to do well on the SAT to know that. Good thing Bush doesn’t play, because we’d be occupying Canberra about now.

    The idea that the MBA is worth anything is a triumph in marketing. My fianc?e is getting an MBA/MIS degree, and she is amazed at the uselessness of the program. At least, the non-MIS portions. Interestingly, her professors and fellow students make Chavez look like a Bush-loving fanatic. As much as I think law schools should be embargoed for a few years, I do think that a legal education actually gives you a real leg up as a business person, if you can afford three years of fun and games. A few of my friends actually got JDs just for that purpose and have never practiced law. Also, the MBA differs little from the BS in the same subject from what I’ve heard. Fraud!

  60. Mediageek,

    Eschatology according to Joe definitely involves a Chaney Presidency. The only possible problem is that I am not sure Joe would have internet access from the bunker he would lock himself up in the day after Cheney’s inauguration.

  61. Are you a jock?

    No.

    Did you pay for school outright with no financial aid?

    Heavens, no.

    Did you go to Harvard, Yale, Princton or Columbia or one of the other Ivies?

    It was Cornell, and actually I didn’t go because the financial aid, while generous, would have still put me in more debt than I wanted. I had good grades in high school; maybe that’s how I got in. Otherwise there’s nothing outside my control that could explain it.

  62. Pro Liberate,

    People who are too stupid to do the math required to get an economics masters, can’t write or read well enough to make it through law school, and are not good enough at the natural sciences to go to medical school, go to business school. There is a whole book to be written about the rise of the MBA in the 70s and 80s and the downfall of traditional American companies like AT&T, IBM and GM during those years. It is no coincidence that the mainline companies got all of the hot shot MBAs and ended up watching upstarts made up of people who could actually do something pass them by. Where my father worked at AT&T for example, there was a whole generation of people who came of age in the 60s and 70s, who started at the bottom working on and understanding the equipment in working in lower and middle management who were usurped in the 80s by MBAs who had never done anything productive in their life and knew nothing about the telephone business. Sure enough the company went in the toilet. I doubt AT&T is an isolated story.

  63. John, it’s not often I agree with you on something, but today I do. It irks me no end that someone can become President because of a family connection. And I don’t just mean GWB, hater though I am. Every Democrat who complains that GWB did not earn it on merit needs to be honest and reject Hillary for the same reason. I propose we amend the eligibility rules to say that only one member of any nuclear family can be President. Because seriously–300 million plus people, and the best we can do for our next President is somebody related or married to one of our last two Presidents? Really? Nobody else was more impressive? Puleez.

    Yeah yeah, I know this means we would miss out on the occasional John Quincy Adams. It’s a price I’m willing to pay. This is America, people. Our founding concept was a rejection of the notion that someone should be a ruler because their Dad was a ruler.

    Something else that conservatives and liberals should be able to get together on: Hate Reagan or (Bill) Clinton all you want, but you have to admit that each of them came from nothing and made it all the way to the top on their own.

  64. I stand corrected Rywyn. Perhaps Gore could have gone to an Ivy. Of course had he been from an average family like you, he would have had to have taken on some serious debt and probably could not have afforded a career in public service.

  65. The idea that the MBA is worth anything is a triumph in marketing.

    It’s especially worthless if you’re an immigrant looking for a green card and trying to compete against the fifteen gazillion other MBA’s out there.

  66. John,

    I mostly agree with your assessment of the real value of an MBA, but, to be fair, the perception that MBAs are worth something does exist. Therefore, if you plan to be a player in the business world, it isn’t such a bad idea to get one. And there are probably some MBA programs that teach more than a rehash of their senior-level bachelor’s classes, too. I imagine Harvard’s MBA program is reasonably rigorous, for instance. Or Chicago’s.

  67. I agree with you Power Forward. Clinton was a nobody from Arkansas who managed to get himself a Rhodes Scholarship. I would never call that guy stupid. I would extend your rule to include the Congress as well. There are a ton of mediocrities in Congress from both parties that got there because of their parents.

    Frankly our entire political class is made up of a lot of people who have no business being there. Go to any government agency and you will find a permanent staff where the top people tend to be very smart and dedicated and experts in their field. Then in the big corner office you will find some person of average or maybe better intelligence who chances are doesn’t know much of anything about what the agency does, but is in charge. That guy is the political appointee. Regardless of party, the more I work in government the more disappointing I find the people at the highest echelons to be. I have a good friend who is a political appointee over at the interior. He supervises about 500 attorneys in an area of law that he has barely practiced. He is a good smart guy and a dedicated public servant but has no business being where he is and is only there because his family knows the right people.

  68. Cheney has given ZERO indication that he wants to run.

    And contrary to the Sun’s hyperbole, his periodic trips to the GW Hospital indicate that he is considerably less healthy than Reagan was at around the same age. I doubt he’d survive a first term if elected.

  69. John, I hate to say it, but technocracies exist only in sci-fi. Big business is no difference. The grinning executives with the perfect hair and glib horseshit couldn’t operate the factory or design the machinery if their lives depended on it.

  70. ChrisO,

    The military is a technoracy to some degree. Every general started out as a lieutenant. Companies are technocracies when they are founded and remain so to some degree until their founders die off. At least at some point in the past Bill Gates and Steve Jobs could build a computer and write code. Henry Ford could actually build a car with his own hands. It is after companies mature and start hiring bean counters in lieu of people who understand the product that they fall off to newer competitors.

  71. One of my friends (brilliant businessman, great chess player–back in the 1950s went head to head with the top-seeded Russian chessplayer and the game was a draw) knew G.W. Bush from his time in Texas. Said Bush was the stupidest idiot he had ever come across.

  72. “Said Bush was the stupidest idiot he had ever come across.”

    Maybe so. I have never met Bush so I can’t say. Of course I have never met your friend either. So I can’t say whether or not your he is just an arrogant jackass who thinks anyone who disagrees with him is an idiot.

  73. Monster.com,

    You employer shill.

    As I said before, there’s the perception of value versus the intrinsic value. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the lion’s share of MBAs aren’t worth any more than the equivalent bachelor’s degree as far as knowledge gained goes. But they are most assuredly worth more money.

  74. Sir (I am assuming “John” is a military lawyer or some type of officer although he has hinted at other education and employment in the past),

    I believe you want the term meritocracy. And yes, somewhat, although the large number of generals’ kids who themselves make general is vaguely alarming.

    Have a great cav day.

    Yours,

    Trooper Jones

  75. In my company, which is only 15 years old, managers don’t know the details of the subordinates’ jobs at all. That’s why they’re managers. It takes certain skills and temperament. They’re probably bright people, just not in ways that I would appreciate. This whole “moving up the ladder” thing that they try to push on us is horseshit, if it means (in my case) going from creating software to counting beans. Mid-level managers are politicians more than anything else. No thanks.

  76. Since this thread has turned from Cheney to MBAs, I’ll chime in. But since my job is recruiting students for MBAs, take what I say with a grain of salt.

    But first a few thread comments:

    You can buy your dufus kid an undergrad at Harvard, you can’t buy him an MBA or a law degree.

    If you have the money, you can buy your dufus kid whatever the hell he wants, educationally speaking. My father was a middle class kid who went to HBS in ’65 (which was, incidentally, the first class to directly accept women). He has told me that there were a sizeable number of wealthy kids, often from overseas, being groomed as caretakers of family businesses. There were also a number of incredibly smart, hardworking people of all stripes. Trust me, WSJ writer Daniel Golden’s excellent Price of Admission book, while primarily undergrad focused, also applies to grad schools then and now. Which brings me to…

    There is a whole book to be written about the rise of the MBA in the 70s and 80s and the downfall of traditional American companies like AT&T, IBM and GM during those years.

    One of my father’s classmates was Lou Gerstner, who is widely credited with saving IBM from bankruptcy. If there is a “whole book” to be written about the 70s/80s MBAs who destroyed IBM, I’d be interested to know who those diabolical bastards are. Names, please?

    In any case, I’m not going to go overboard defending MBAs, but if you look at career mgmt statistics, you will find that top MBA programs do give grads a pretty significant earnings boost. Is that due to the pure educational aspects of the programs? Of course not. If anything, MBAs are the most market-based programs available, something I would hope most libertarians would recognize. Unlike most grads programs, MBA actively train grads to get better jobs – they teach you how to write resumes, interview, and network significantly better than virtually all other grad programs. They teach you the core business skills to do the management work that is in demand. If you are the right type of person, an MBA is the smartest way to accelerate your career. But for most people, it is neither right nor necessary.

    mccleary

  77. “The usual presidential trick of choosing young, bright-future running mates who can run for president themselves has rotten consquences. The heir apparent demands a larger and larger political role as the terms wind on; his inevitability bleeds out the debate that’s usually badly needed about the direction of the party after eight years in power. How much stronger would the Democrats have been in 2000 if, instead of Al Gore lumbering past a weak insurgent (Bill Bradley), the party had staged a brawl between the liberal, new Democrat and conservative wings?”

    Heir-apparent GHW Bush did OK for the GOP in 1988…

  78. Getting back to Cheney, something occured to me this morning; I can’t wait for the Repbulican Convention.

    Do they offer the sitting Vice President the prime-time speaking spot his position deserves, and thereafter be known as the Dick Cheney Party until election day? Or do they keep a lid on him, and deal with all of the stories about how embarrassed they are?

  79. Harvard wouldn’t even admit JFK Jr. to the law school, and I defy anyone to say that the Bush clan has more stroke at Harvard than the Kennedys.

    The Kennedy family didn’t make regular and large contributions to Harvard University; the Bushes did and do. And the fact remains, the University of Texas Law School refused Bush entry even though his father tried to pull strings, presumably because he just wasn’t that impressive.

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