Believe it or not, we actually found a Romney supporter in academe, and at a state university no less.
“Selecting Romney is not an indictment of the Obama presidency,” Professor Bentley Whitfield wrote on November 2, 2012. “Romney will simply bring a vastly different skill set to the oval office.”
“That skill set is better suited for addressing the economic disease that currently weakens our nation, preparing for the economic battles of the future and breaking the political gridlock that frustrates and infuriates us of all.” Throughout the column, which he distributed, Professor Whitfield goes to great pains not to denigrate the president, who he supported in the last presidential election.
“As the governor of Massachusetts, Romney a Republican, worked in a civil and productive manner with a state legislature that was 87% Democratic,” Professor Whitfield notes. “In addition to his healthcare legislation his accomplishments included a school system ranked among the best in the nation, cutting deficit spending by $1.6 billion, improving efficiency in state agencies and bureaucracies, updating jobs programs and improving the permit approval process.”
“So, the first skill that Romney will bring to the White House is that he is accomplished in the art of domestic political diplomacy; he can work with both sides of the aisle.” Whitfield is a professor with the State University of New York (SUNY).
He also lauds the former governor for his business experience. “With more than a quarter century of experience as a hugely successful executive in a field that requires vast knowledge of multiple businesses and industries, Romney is a compelling presidential choice for a nation with a floundering economy and facing brutal economic competition,” Professor Whitfield argues. “Romney began his career with the consulting firm Bain and Company.”
“In 1984 he formed Bain Capital, a private equity firm, along with two other Bain and Company partners, T. Coleman Andrews and Eric Kriss. He was encouraged and supported by Bain and Company leadership.”
A former Wall Street executive, Professor Whitfield does not take the same dim view of Romney’s business experience that many of his colleagues might. “When most people buy a stock we know the story behind the company and we may study some technical data such as earnings per share, price earnings ratios, and dividend yields,” Professor Whitfield explains. “The research conducted by equity funds, such as Bain Capital and other institutional investors, is far more thorough and exhaustive. Their research involves multiple visits to each company they will invest in, multiple meetings with management, reviews of audited financial statements and internal financial documents, legal reviews of existing contracts and obligations, projections of future performance, reviews by outside experts to verify the quality and quantity of natural assets, background checks of management, evaluation of competition and reviews of political and legal conditions that may affect overseas operations. Following this intense research, and before an investment is made, often complex contracts and corporate structure documents are executed.”
“It is important to understand that Romney engaged in this voluminous type of fundamental research, not only for the hundreds of companies that Bain Capital invested in, but also for companies that Bain Capital declined to invest in. This is what consumed his life day after day for decades. He understands what is good and bad for business in all regions of the country. The result of his undergoing this quarter century crucible is that with respect to economics and business, Romney will be the most knowledgeable president to ever occupy the White House. Essentially Romney is an economic specialist who can take office during an economic crisis.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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