Several times I have mentioned that nothing in Kerry’s career required more than a smidgen of management skills, and this is a serious weakness for him as a potential US President. It seems that even managing a campaign organization is a task that is pointing out this weakness.
Sunday’s NY Times has a story by that is focused on John Kerry’s management style, such as it is. It is more the management style of a college dean than of an experienced business executive. The article literally damns Kerry with faint praise in most every paragraph. When coming from a press organ so highly predisposed to present him favorably, this story is disturbing. I suggest reading the whole thing and then asking yourself if you can imagine somebody with this temperament managing the several million people in the executive branch of government. I can’t imagine it without a shudder.
Here are some samples that give the tone of the story (emphasis mine):
The morning Medicare call was typical of the way Mr. Kerry, a four-term senator with comparatively little management experience, has run his campaign. And, his associates say, it offered a glimpse of an executive style he would almost surely bring to the White House.
Mr. Kerry is a meticulous, deliberative decision maker, always demanding more information, calling around for advice, reading another document - acting, in short, as if he were still the Massachusetts prosecutor boning up for a case. He stayed up late Sunday night with aides at his home in Beacon Hill, rewriting - and rearguing - major passages of his latest Iraq speech, a ritual that aides say occurs even with routine remarks…
In interviews, associates repeatedly described Mr. Kerry as uncommonly bright, informed and curious. But the downside to his deliberative executive style, they said, is a campaign that has often moved slowly against a swift opponent, and a candidate who has struggled to synthesize the information he sweeps up into a clear, concise case against Mr. Bush.
Even his aides concede that Mr. Kerry can be slow in taking action, bogged down in the very details he is so intent on collecting, as suggested by the fact that he never even used the Medicare information he sent his staff chasing…
His attention to detail can serve him well on big projects, as it did when he sent aides scurrying across the country to find long-lost fellow Vietnam veterans who could vouch for his war record. But sometimes, his aides say, it is a distraction, as it was in early 2003, when they say he spent four weeks mulling the design of his campaign logo, consulting associates about what font it should use and whether it should include an American flag. (It does.)