A businessman or community organizer for the Oval Office?

Alan S. Blinder, a liberal economist who advised John Kerry and Al Gore during their presidential campaigns, and who supported President Obama's "Cash-for-Clunkers" program, has gotten a lesson in how things work in the real world -- courtesy of pro-Mitt Romney readers of the Wall Street Journal. In the paper's weekend edition, they savaged the Princeton University professor's recent Journal Op-Ed , "The Case Against a CEO in the Oval Office."  

Here are highlights of letters that dominated the letters-to-the-editor section:

*"My experience with companies large and small suggests that Alan Blinder's view is wrong, for two reasons: He fails to understand how and why companies succeed based on how they are led, and he misstates the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. president. Companies succeed not because they are greedy or "brutally efficient," but because they satisfy the needs of their customers better than their competition. Successful CEOs and their subordinates focus on how to best accomplish this by setting clear priorities and guiding the efforts of their employees while operating within the constraints of government regulations, available capital, competition and technological change.The overarching goal is to successfully deliver services and products leading to satisfied customers..."  

"The primary responsibility of the president is to provide for the defense of the country, effectively securing the rights and property of citizens and providing an environment conducive to individual growth and widespread prosperity. "Fairness" is achieved through equal protection under our laws, not through government "harmonizing" outcomes through regulation and taxation."

"Successful CEOs are leaders of men, effective at communicating and dealing with multiple constituencies, and they adapt well to change-foreseen and unexpected..."

Jerry Grossman,
Great Falls, Va.  

*"Mitt Romney led Massachusetts, a liberal state controlled by Democrats. President Obama could not even get his budgets approved in his Democratic-controlled Senate. Not a single vote. Mr. Blinder says Mr. Romney does not have the patience, but the time for patience is over. .."

Thomas E. Paulson,
 Little Falls, Minn.

*"If Prof. Blinder's premise is true that a private-sector CEO is a poor candidate for president, then by the same token the president should quit trying to be a businessman and keep his nose out of the private sector."

Gordon Dickerson
Medford, Ore.

* "Well, Prof. Blinder has convinced me that a CEO cannot make a good president. What we need is a community organizer: one who spends every waking minute campaigning for the next election, one who flies Air Force One on a daily basis all over the country from one fund-raiser to the next and one who spends an inordinate amount of time playing golf and hosting White House parties..."

J.R. Smith
Level Green, Pa.

* "I don't need a gifted orator. I don't need someone with empathy. I don't need someone with fairness. What I need is someone who will get the government out of the economy so the private sector can go back to producing what people want, not what politicians want."

Robert Allan Schwartz
Lexington, Mass.

*"Knowing how to run a business and make money efficiently should not be viewed as a handicap, it should be viewed as an asset... "

Bill Daugherty

New Hope, Pa.

* "Our founding idea was not fairness, but liberty. Does Prof. Blinder think community organizing is the right career path for the Oval Office? From what I can tell, a community organizer convinces people they have an unmet entitlement and then bullies organizations to acquiesce to their demands."

Michael O'Guin
Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.