What I've worried about over the holidays? The 2008 Presidential Race

We had an exciting holiday season at Spreadshirt. We hit records and had INCREDIBLE performance across our teams — marketing, production, customer service, and IT that keeps it all humming. Why can’t we have Christmas every few months? It is a real adrenaline rush! But, to the point of this post…

After the Christmas shopping days, we all got a chance to take a breath, and what did I do? I worried. I am not a political activist by any stretch, but I am a voter, and I take it fairly seriously. I felt uninformed, so I spent time reading about the candidates to check what I thought I knew and learn more.

Where did I end up? I don’t feel that I have a candidate for whom I can vote at this point. I’m concerned about our economy, not a steep decline, but a slow, anguished one that keeps us comfy until we hit the rocks. More people are swinging this way too, according to USA Today’s early December poll on important issues for the Presidential race. The war in Iraq was down 14% as an issue and the economy up 23%.

I know I’m more keenly focused on this, but have any of the candidates noticed the state of the US dollar in the world’s economy? The US dollar is at its lowest point in over 10 years compared to the Euro and Canadian dollar. [Note: I want all of these markets to remain strong!] My favorite “commentary” on this status is that US rap star Jay-Z flashes Euros in his latest video, rather than dollars.

I don’t see that any of the candidates get that the economy is the key issue — the war has a different light with a strong economy. Focusing on one issue is hard… remember Carville had to post a note to remind the (original) Clinton campaign about this: “It is the economy, stupid.” From my perspective, it is STILL the economy, stupid.

So on my wish list? To see the candidates answers to the question in the “Lessons in Leadership: The Three-Minute Manager” article from Fortune’s 12/24 edition. (Annoyingly enough, I cannot find a link to this online, but it was a good issue as a whole! My favorite article: 101 Dumbest Moments in Business.) The question posed to three management gurus was “What do you do if you discover a huge loss at your company?” Of course, for the candidates I would change this to “huge loss within your country”. The responses were broken into four categories:

  1. Assess. What is your first move?
  2. Fix. How do you clean up the mess?
  3. Take responsibility. Don’t pass the buck.
  4. Study others. Who’s done it right, and who hasn’t?

I’d like to see the candidates answer as succinctly and clearly as these gurus. Anyone have any pull at any of the campaign HQs?

Don’t worry, this won’t turn into a political blog this season. As I said, I’m not an activist, just thought I’d share what I did over the holidays.

What is on my shirt today? Well, it is a gift I gave for the holiday season:

Whine less
    Wine more

Done in Greg’s hand (1st line) and Santa’s Sleigh (2nd line) fonts, and Burgundy (a.k.a., maroon) flex on a white shirt.

5 thoughts on “What I've worried about over the holidays? The 2008 Presidential Race

  1. I’ve also had a hard time picking. There are some key issues that determine my short list, but beyond that, it seems like all we have are either career politicians saying whatever it takes to get votes from specific groups, or else we have otherwordly creatures in human form who slip out of character and give us a glimpse behind the public mask.

    Unfortunately, there’s no clear pick on my short list.

    – Matt

  2. Michel says:

    It is right: most people base their choice on personal sympathies. Sadly but understandably, politicians’ programs dont matter too much. To put it cynically: which face would annoy you least if it was broadcast in your living room every day? Which persona would you accept as parental figure and your country’s family leader?

    I would look for managerial know-how in advisors and staff, then, rather than poltical leaders themselves. In my eyes their function is representative and psychological in nature.

    Amazing how political marketing works these days. The PBS show “The Persuaders” gives a good overview (chapter 5) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/persuaders/view/

  3. Mirko says:

    Being new to this country and watching the presidential race, the whole campaigns are frightening me. Whatever candidate I see and hear (no matter, which party), everybody lies and makes promises he / she can never make come true. Basically I am used to that from my home country’s politicians, but the extent they do it here is really surprising to me.
    I can understand voters, who don’t know which one to elect. It’s the choose between pest and cholera, as we say where I come from. Which means to be faced with Hobson’s choice (according to my dictionary).

    Why don’t the Americans do it like the Russians? The old president chooses the new one, there is no race at all and the country could save billions of dollars for campaigns. The outcome probably wouldn’t be worse than it will be now. I agree that this idea is a bit absurd. But worth to think about it…(for a second only, please).

  4. Kevin F. says:

    Happy new year Jana. I’ve similarly been trying to catch up on the candidates and their views. Have you seen http://glassbooth.org? You pick what issues are of greatest importance to you then you go through a quick survey on those issues and it gives you an ordered list of who matches up to your views and how close they are. Of course there’s far more to picking a leader than just agreeing with where you stand on what the pollsters have decided are the key issues, but nonetheless it’s a nice tool.

  5. A question regarding your about page, I’m confused:

    “In apparel, as a CEO, being an American helping lead a German company… ”

    Isn’t it a German helping lead an American company?

    Btw, we share the same first name (not that often in people who are older than 15).

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