Friday, January 16, 2009

Jobs and Bush; eulogising

The reaction to the imminent departure of both Steve Jobs and G W Bush couldn't be more different. Whereas sharemarket analysts fear Apple's future without Jobs, my sense is that political prognosticators see only an upside from a new Leader of the Free World.

Back in May 2006, I posted this countdown clock for the Bush administration. It currently shows only a few days left. At that time, the discussion focused on potential replacement Presidents (it's remarkable to think that none of the commenters, myself included, identified Obama). It seems inevitable that G W Bush will come to be seen as a poor president. The 9-11 attack was not, of course, personal and he shares responsibility for the invasion of Iraq . He couldn't have foreseen Katrina. He probably inherited the financial crisis - like some cruel pass-the-parcel - from former administrations. Still, he sought to be the "decider" and has not once, in my opinion, proven worthy. A point well made by the NY Times columist, Gail Collins:
The White House has promised that in his final address, the president will be
joined by a small group of everyday American heroes, which means that the only
person on stage with a history of failing to perform well in moments of stress
will be the main speaker.

Jobs, on the other hand, appears to have been a man ahead of his times. A man whose experience, knowledge and judgment were suited to his role. Clearly, no meaningful comparison can be made between the requirements of running a company and running a country. Nevertheless, were I asked, I'd rather be succeeding Bush that Jobs.

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