Matthews: Good businessmen don’t always make good politicians


Let me finish tonight with this.

Remember all those conversations we had about the difference between a businessman and a successful politician? You know, how one person has to focus on making profits, the other on leading lots of people? 

The idea was that the two jobs are very different, calling for very different kinds of competence. One person has to be good at numbers;  the other at all kinds of people. One has to be sensitive to market movements; the other sensitive to national moods and sensitivities. 

Well, we are now hearing the war whoops and shouts of indignation from the streets and corners of London, exposing the differences between a good businessman and a good political leader for all to see.

I don’t know why Mitt Romney told Brian Williams that he saw the British preparations for the Olympics as “disconcerting.” I don’t know who he was addressing there. Was he speaking to the British hosts who might be sensitive to an outsider’s criticism? Was he talking to the Americans back home — even the people of Utah, who might feel some satisfaction that their guy is saying the Brits aren’t quite up to what he, Mitt Romney, helped get done back home?

Anyway, this may just be what we’ve been talking about this year: the difference between a guy who can make a lot of money and the kind of person who can lead a patriotic country, a super power in a world of other patriotic peoples.  

Well, no big harm done. You could say that.  

You could also say that we’ve just witnessed a nice little harmless example of the difference between a leader in the money business and a leader in the people business.