Traders work on the floor of the NYSE the morning after Donald Trump
won a major upset in the presidential election. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Since election day there has been an enormous shift in the U.S. stock market. The Dow (Dow Jones Industrial Average – DJIA) has hit new highs. But simultaneously the NASDAQ 100 is falling. In short, most tech stocks have been creamed, while out-of-favor laggards have been bid up.
I 100% favor long-term investing. Anyone who tries to be a trader, or otherwise time the markets, is most likely going to get burned. If you want to share in the growth of America’s economy the best way is to buy stocks in good, growing companies and hold them a long time. As Warren Buffett said after the election, the American economy will be bigger, and stocks will be worth more, in 10, 20, 30 years regardless who is president.
Traders make decisions on the smallest bit of information. Often information that is nothing more than an unproven thought. Looking into the future they try to have a crystal ball, but they rarely use trend information and often use guesses.
So, after the election, the trader theory goes that tech companies will be burned
. Trump apparently doesn’t use a computer, so he doesn’t use the Internet
. And he doesn’t actually tweet, or use social media, he just blurts things out and someone else enters the blurts. So his lack of interest in technology is bad for tech companies. Further, his trade policies will create havoc with tech company supply chains that rely on manufacturing across Asia, and much on China, dramatically raising costs. Additionally these policies will cause foreign markets to purchase less tech products, damaging tech sales.
As a result, rapidly, big, successful tech stocks have been massacred:
Apple from $118 to $107, a drop of 9%
Facebook from $133 to $116, a drop of 13%
Netflix from $128 to $115, a drop of 10%
Google from $815 to $755, a drop of 7%
Amazon from $840 to $730, a drop of 13%
Yet, nothing has happened. These companies are still doing exactly the same thing they did a month ago. Apple is still the no. 1 maker and seller of mobile devices. Facebook still dominates social media, has a huge lead in social media advertising, and continues to launch additional functionality to make its site sticky for users. Netflix is still the leader in streaming and developing new original content outside of networks. Google is still the king of search and no. 1 in search advertising. And Amazon still leads all competitors in online commerce, and will have another great holiday season the next six weeks.
None of these businesses have been destroyed by the election. And the trends that drove their long-term growth remain in place. People will continue to use mobile devices for more applications, turn to social media for communicating with friends and finding information, download movies and other shows via the web, search for answers to most of their questions via search engines and buy more and more stuff online. These trends will not change, as there is pretty much no way Donald Trump or Congress can stop them.
Meanwhile, valuations of long-time laggard companies are suddenly hitting new highs. Somehow the trend to globalization will be ended, budget problems will be immediately resolved leading to greater spending capability by Congress and concerns about long-term debt build-up will disappear encouraging massive new investments in traditional infrastructure like roads and bridges. New trends will suddenly emerge that will return the basics of the U.S. economy, the sector balances, to something akin to 1984.
Thus, traders have bid up prices of old-line manufacturers. Despite exiting financial services as well as its oil and gas business, making GE much smaller than it was a decade ago, GE has jumped from $28.25 to $30.50, a gain of 8%. Caterpillar Tractor has had five straight years of revenue declines, yet it also rose from $28.25 to $30.50 for a similar 8% gain.
Remarkably GE’s P/E (price/earnings multiple) is now 24! Cat’s is an even more remarkable 53! Companies that rely on manufacturing are being priced like tech stocks – or even greater! Apple’s P/E has fallento 13, Google’s is 27 (about the same as GE) and Facebook’s P/E of 46 is lower than Caterpillar’s.
Really? In one day major, global trends have reversed course, steering the economy back to the days when Jack Welch ran GE, and Caterpillar was selling gear to a booming U.S. forestry business as well as massive volumes to China and India for building their fledgling infrastructures? People will stop buying smartphones and give up their reliance on the internet for a vast array of daily tasks? And droves of young workers trained for tech jobs are going to staff up a massive rebuilding of U.S. manufacturing plants? Displaced workers, trained on equipment now wildly antiquated and uneconomic, will be retrained overnight to operate plants with far fewer employees and lots more high-tech equipment? And boomers will quit retiring and undertake retraining – not for tech jobs but for manufacturing or equipment operator jobs?
Don’t diminish the power of a president. And don’t diminish how structural changes in tax codes, military spending and international relations can alter course. But, simultaneously, don’t diminish the power of trends.
Trends propel forward, and take people to greater productivity and a higher quality of life. All those people who voted for Donald Trump are not tech avoiders. They are mobile, socially active people who are as linked to the trends as everyone who voted for Hillary Clinton. They don’t want to return to a pre-information economy lacking in technology that has made their lives better. They still want technology in their lives, and they want that technology to become better, faster and cheaper.
And no manufacturer is going to go back to labor-intensive manufacturing. Whether they make things in the U.S. or offshore, state-of-the-art equipment means manufacturing simply uses fewer people. And the growth of e-commerce will not stop, thus continuing the trend of declining demand for retail workers. These trends may alter slightly due to tax and trade policies, but they won’t reverse.
Smart investors don’t lose sight of long-term trends. They invest in companies where the opportunity exists to grow revenues and profits because demand for those company’s products and innovations are growing. With shares of the technology leaders beaten down, one should really consider if this is a time to sell, or buy. And with shares of companies that have terrible growth records, and stagnated earnings, bid up to extraordinarily high P/E multiples one should consider if this is the time to buy or sell.
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
November 9, 2016 – Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States. It is a stunning upset. What are the lessons for marketers?
First, notice that candidate Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote. With just under 120 million votes cast, Clinton gathered about 160,000 more votes than candidate Trump. A victory of just over .1%. So it is fair to say that on this metric, number of votes, there was a win for Clinton.
But, of course, the complexity of America’s electoral college means that Trump won more electoral votes, and thus the election. Non-Americans struggle to understand the electoral college – heck, a lot of American’s don’t understand it. Put simply, it was the founding father’s method of making sure different geographies achieved representation so that more dense population areas would not control an election.
Given that everyone knew that in the end it was these votes – electoral votes – that mattered, it is important to think through the marketing implications.
Monday, pre-election, I wrote that it appeared the marketing campaign of candidate Clinton was superior to that of candidate Trump. And, given that it achieved more popular votes, it may have been a superior campaign. But since it did not achieve the goal, its worth revisiting to see where that analysis erred, and what can be learned.
Product: Candidate Trump was very, very negative. He had nothing good to say about anything the incumbent president had done, nor anything good to say about candidate Clinton. He was the epitome of negative. Although the Clinton campaign claimed it would “go high” as the Trump campaign “went low” this really did not happen. Clinton’s campaign tried to duke it out toe-to-toe on who was worst.
In the end, this hurt both candidates. Neither had great appeal to voters, and both had extremely high negatives. But by succumbing to a bruising bad-on-bad punching match the Clinton campaign missed an opportunity to present the candidate as very favorable. The candidate that punched the hardest – and no doubt with his constant attacks, including threats to indict candidate Clinton this gave candidate Trump a bit of an edge – was going to win.
Lesson -Firstly, make your product favorable. Make it something people really want. Don’t say bad things about the competition until you’ve staked your favorable position. Clinton never really achieved a favorable position with enough voters.
Second, if you’re going to get into a dirty fight, don’t bring a knife – bring a gun. In a competition of negatives, you have to be every bit as negative as the competition. No holds barred. The meanest, ugliest, hardest hitting competitor will win.
Price: Candidate Clinton absolutely failed to make the case that the incumbent’s economic policies had favored most Americans. Despite tremendous job growth, declining unemployment, record low layoffs and record high equity values there persisted a notion that the American economy was in the tank. The campaign completely failed to make the case that the policies enacted previously, and anticipated to continue with Clinton, would be good for people’s pocketbooks.
Meanwhile, candidate Trump hammered away saying that the American economy was a wreck. His appeals to reducing international trade and limiting immigration in order to create more higher paying jobs in America convinced a large number of voters that these policies would be better for the economy and most workers.
Concerns about potential debt increases and an extension of income inequality were poorly made, and did not counter the overriding sense that more jobs would come from Trump’s policies. Thus, a lot of people were swayed to Trump’s xenophobic view of how to improve America’s economy. They remain convinced that Mexico will pay for an immigration limiting wall, and scaling back (or eliminating) trading pacts like NAFTA will somehow cause an inspired growth in American manufacturing jobs, and higher levels of good paying employment.
Lesson – you have to make the economic case for your product. You have to deliver a winning value proposition. Don’t expect customers to figure it out on their own, or assume they believe in your value proposition.
Place: This is where the breakdown was greatest for Clinton, and most beneficial for Trump. On Monday I noted several indicators that the Clinton campaign would do far better at getting out the vote than Trump. And, one could say they did given that Clinton won the popular vote.
But the Clinton error was relying too heavily on dense population states. New York, Illinois, California – states with very big cities that dramatically overwhelm the rural population produced landslide votes for Clinton. But in states with a more balanced population density, such as Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania there was an insufficient effort at making sure non-city counties turned out for Clinton.
Contrarily, the Trump campaign won the battle for place by realizing they could win the rural states with limited effort. Large geographic swaths with low population density allowed Trump to pile up electoral votes (the ones that matter) almost unchallenged. Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota – all states benefiting precisely from the electoral system the founding fathers created – were key states that the Clinton campaign ignored in its distribution strategy.
What appeared to be a Clinton campaign advantage, largely strong support by the Democratic party, overly-relied on winning population dense counties. This was effectively countered by a very good job by the Trump campaign of acquiring votes in more rural, less dense, counties. This ground game, of making sure the votes were captured county-by-county, was decisive for Trump.
Lesson – distribution matters. It may seem boring. It’s a lot less sexy than writing ad copy or focusing on PR. But it really, really matters.
Promotion: It turns out money, and extreme messaging, still matters.
The Obama campaign was masterful at using modern marketing techniques, including internet marketing, mobile and social media, to obtain support. The Bernie Sanders primary campaign also proved adept at using these tools for gaining a good following. While the Clinton campaign lifted this part of the playbook, their implementation was not as integrated, nor effective, as either Obama or Sanders. The pieces were there, but the appeal was not as targeted to specific groups and therefore not nearly as effective. Clinton’s team used these tools, but they did not invest in them with the skills exhibited by Obama or Sanders, and they failed at bringing enough minorities, youth and women to the polls.
Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign once again made the case that money matters. Large advertising programs still make a difference. Marketing is changing, but in a winner-take-all, and you only get one chance, campaign classic advertising and PR used since the 1960s really matters. Things are changing, but they have not fully changed. If you are willing to spend enough money on traditional promotional tools, they still reach most of the people. It may not be efficient, but they are still effective.
Simultaneously, the old adage “any press is good press” proved valuable once again. Tapes of Trump saying outrageous things, and outrageous tweets, served to provide ample free promotion for the candidate. While many people complained about the message content, in the end simply being constantly in the news helped people get used to a very unusual campaign style. An unorthodox approach, letting outrageous behavior become so common that customers were able to look past the negatives, allowed the constant access to become an advantage.
There are great lessons here to be learned by marketers today.
- Distribution really matters. In the internet, Amazon.com age it is easy to think that if you build it they will come. But success still requires a lot of effort to make sure your product is in the right place when people are ready to buy. And that means on the web, on social media and eventually physical location.
- The trend is toward micro-marketing with targeted messages to targeted segments. But during the evolution old, brute force tools still make a difference. To make a trend work for you, you have to work hard at building on that trend. You cannot expect success merely by adopting the trend, you have to master highlighting the trend, and making it useful for your campaign to reach customers.
- Even messages built on myth cannot be ignored, and in fact must be fought extremely hard. Chipotle’s has struggled to convince customers its food won’t make them sick, because the message was not effectively countered. Similarly, despite ample evidence of a strong economy Clinton failed to convince customers that claims of a weak economy were unfounded. The message may be mythical, but it remains important if not addressed and countered.
- Make sure customers know how they benefit from your product. Don’t be “good enough” or “comparable.” Make sure the real benefits to customers of your product are front-and-center. As Clayton Christensen says, make sure you know what job the customer wants from your product and clearly fulfill that job better than alternatives. Don’t rely on the customer to figure out why your product is superior, make the case quite clearly for them.
- Don’t expect customers to understand your pricing. Make clear your value proposition. Regardless how you price, the value proposition must be immediately understood. Link how you will get the job done for the customer to the value you provide.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump debates Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the third presidential debate. (Mark Ralston/Pool via AP)
Whoever wins tomorrow’s election, their success will have a lot to do with how they marketed their campaign. And in many ways, selling a candidate is not different from selling anything else.
Do you remember the “four Ps of marketing” from Marketing 101? They are product, price, place and promotion. Every newbie is taught not to overly rely on any one, and greatest success comes from a well planned use of all four.
Product: The candidates are about the same age and health. And while they represent very different parties, both have spent less time talking about what a great president they would be, and a lot more on what a terrible product the other candidate is. Message after message has denigrated the other, to the point where we hear most of the electorate is now less than happy with both.
Most marketers know that negative marketing is risky, because it tends to tar all products with similar negatives. Greatest sales happen when you convince people your product is superior in its own right – not just compared to alternatives. Barack Obama figured this out in both previous elections, and he was able to convince the majority of people he would be a good president. Unfortunately, in this election the competitive attacks have cancelled each other out, and neither candidate has a majority of people liking them. An opportunity lost by both candidates to make their product more appealing, and thus bringing out more people to vote for them based on policies and the core of how their presidency would make voters happy.
Price: One could say that the tax policies of Hillary Clinton make her a more expensive candidate than Donald Trump. However, the long-term cost of the debt increase from Trump means that the price of his presidency will be costlier than Clinton. Let’s just be practical and say that neither candidate has positioned themselves as the candidate better for everyone’s pocketbook.
Again, an opportunity lost. Ronald Reagan did a superb job of positioning himself as being good for people’s pocketbooks, and it helped him unseat Jimmy Carter. Barack Obama made hay out of the economic crisis as Republican George Bush left office, helping him convince voters that he would be far better for their pocketbooks – via job creation – than his opponent.
Place: This is all about “get out the vote.” Here the advantage clearly goes to Clinton. Candidate Clinton has done a superb job of building a “machine” that has turned out a record number of Democrats to early vote. And she has worked diligently with her party to make sure local support exists across the country to help take people to the polls, and encourage voting on election day. By making sure her constituents make it to vote, she will likely do far better at collecting votes than her opponent.
Additionally, candidate Clinton is not only campaigning, but she has a two former presidents campaigning for her, a sitting first lady, a sitting vice president and her key opponent from the primaries. This breadth of support, canvasing across multiple states, further puts her message into voters ears right before the election, and encourages people to go vote for her tomorrow. Her large fundraising, and ability to offer funds to down-ticket candidates, has helped make sure her message was clear at the local level.
On the other hand, candidate Trump is walking a nearly singular path, with precious little party support. While he swept the primaries, he has not built a strong machine to make sure that those beyond the party faithful – those who are undecided or independent – are going to make it to the voting booth to help him be elected. It is one thing to excite people about your product, it is another to make sure people actually invest the resources to obtain it.
In Trump’s case the advertising has been relentless, but the local machine support to turn out registered party voters, and everyone else who might enjoy his candidacy, is quite weak. One reason candidate Trump keeps saying the election is “rigged” is because he’s now realizing he failed to put in place the distribution system to get his voters to the ballot box.
Further, those who are helping candidate Trump secure his message are few and far between. Outside of family members there are few making the case to get out the vote. Despite two living former Republican presidents and one vice president available, none is helping him be elected. Likewise, despite a large number of primary opponents, most of which pledged their support for whoever won the primary, there is only one (Chris Christie) that has been a notable advocate for candidate Trump.
And the party itself has not been mobilized to get out the vote for candidate Trump. His personal wealth has allowed Trump to implement a credible campaign. But his inability, or unwillingness, to raise lots of money to invest in down-ticket races has meant he has not garnered support from other candidates running for Congress, Senate, governorships, etc. to promote his message at a more local level.
For months we have been inundated with polls. But on election day it is not someone calling your house to hear for whom you might vote. Rather, people have to leave their houses, make time in their busy days and go to the election booth – then stand in line and vote. Mr. Trump has not done the sort of job one would expect for building the support necessary to make sure voters turn out for him.
Promotion: This might be where the two marketing programs most differ.
Candidate Trump has relied on advertising. Years ago marketing programs often relied on huge ad budgets to build a brand. Companies quickly learned that if you spent a lot on advertising you could drown out a competitive message, and bring your brand to the forefront. Simply on the basis of a big ad spend, heavily reliant on television, success was once possible. And the Trump campaign has used advertising like a soap company launching a new brand. Lots and lots and lots of advertising.
Notably, there has been little use of digital, internet and mobile advertising. Little use of social media to build trends and increase brand effectiveness. The candidate himself has gone almost entirely against modern thinking about social, mobile and internet marketing by unleashing tweets which have been simultaneously shocking, and often opposed to the brand message the advertising set out to create. While entertaining, this has not met even the minimum standards of modern marketing.
Candidate Clinton has matched candidate Trump in television and other traditional media advertising. Thus, her candidacy has not been overwhelmed by competitive spending While most people are likely tired of the ads from both candidates, it is clear that when it comes to traditional ad programs Clinton’s marketing has met the competitive level necessary to neutralize any possible Trump advantage.
But internet, mobile and social marketing has been much more successful for Clinton. Barack Obama did a splendid job of using these tools to mobilize young and minority voters in previous elections. This sort of marketing often touches people much closer, and has a greater “one-on-one” appeal, even if it is a modified “one-to-many.” And the Clinton campaign has lifted those guidelines, perhaps not as effectively as the Obama campaigns, to convert Sanders constituents to her as well as independents and undecideds.
The Trump campaign relied almost wholly on advertising, and an effort at achieving greater public relations via outrageous messaging. This has kept the candidate squarely in the public eye. But every marketer will tell you that it is not possible to build high commitment for your product with advertising alone. It takes an ability to touch people on a more personal, closer to home basis. It is critical now, more than for many years, to create identification with local issues within the home and workplace, and often reinforce social relationships.
At this, the Trump campaign has been out of step with modern marketing, and overly reliant on tools that were more effective in the ’80s and ’90s. Thus his appeal outside of European heritage, Christian, white and mostly male voter groups has struggled.
The Clinton campaign’s use of these tools has spread her base considerably wider. She has been able to connect with minorities, women, people of color, people of different religions and other groups much more effectively. In tune with demographic trends in America, this greatly enhances her opportunity to obtain the largest share of market. Tied to a superior placement campaign (to get out the vote,) this use of modern tools gives her a significant advantage.
These two campaigns have lessons for all business leaders. Too often we rely on product alone to think we will succeed. But product is only part of successfully luring buyers. You also have to make sure your product is in the right place, accessible to the most people, at time of purchase.
And today budget is only a part of good promotion, because effective use of social, mobile and internet marketing tools can help you connect with your targets more closely, and more personally. New promotion tools can expand your base, identify new target markets, develop strengths in niche groups and achieve greater loyalty at lower cost.
In history, there are almost no great campaigns that were won just because a product was superior. Nor because a product was cheaper. And despite some great ad lines (“Where’s the beef?” or “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz oh what a relief it is”) advertising has limited ability to actually make a product successful. Those that win build a marketing program using all four Ps most effectively to build on trends and excite customers.
Donald Trump has had a lot of trouble gaining good press lately. Instead, he’s been troubled by people from all corners reacting negatively to his comments regarding the Democrat’s convention, some speakers at the convention, and his unwillingness to endorse re-election for the Republican speaker of the house. For a guy who has been in the limelight a really long time, it seems a bit odd he would be having such a hard time – especially after all the practice he had during the primaries.
The trouble is that Donald Trump still thinks like a CEO. And being a CEO is a lot easier than being the chief executive of a governing body.
CEOs are much more like kings than mayors, governors or presidents:
- They aren’t elected, they are appointed. Usually after a long, bloody in-the-trenches career of fighting with opponents – inside and outside the company.
- They have the final say on pretty much everything. They can choose to listen to their staff, and advisors, or ignore them. Not employees, customers or suppliers can appeal their decisions.
- If they don’t like the input from an employee or advisor, they can simply fire them.
- If they don’t like a supplier, they can replace them with someone else.
- If they don’t like a customer, they can ignore them.
- Their decisions about resources, hiring/firing, policy, strategy, fund raising/pricing, spending – pretty much everything – is not subject to external regulation or legal review or potential lawsuits.
- Most decisions are made by understanding finance. Few require a deep knowledge of law.
- There is really only 1 goal – make money for shareholders. Determining success is not overly complicated, and does not involve multiple, equally powerful constituencies.
- They can make a ton of mistakes, and pretty much nobody can fire them. They don’t stand for re-election, or re-affirmation. There are no “term limits.” There is little to tie them personally to their decisions.
- They have 100% control of all the resources/assets, and can direct those resources wherever they want, whenever they want, without asking permission or dealing with oversight.
- They can say anything they want, and they are unlikely to be admonished or challenged by anyone due to their control of resource allocation and firing.
- 99% of what they say is never reported. They talk to a few people on their staff, and those people can rephrase, adjust, improve, modify the message to make it palatable to employees, customers, suppliers and local communities. There is media attention on them only when they allow it.
- They have the “power of right” on their side. They can make everyone unhappy, but if their decision improves shareholder value (if they are right) then it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks
One might challenge this by saying that CEOs report to the Board of Directors. Technically, this is true. But, Boards don’t manage companies. They make few decisions. They are focused on long-term interests like compliance, market entry, sales development, strategy, investor risk minimization, dividend and share buyback policy. About all they can do to a CEO if one of the above items troubles them is fire the CEO, or indicate a lack of support by adjusting compensation. And both of those actions are far from easy. Just look at how hard it is for unhappy shareholders to develop a coalition around an activist investor in order to change the Board — and then actually take action. And, if the activist is successful at taking control of the board, the one action they take is firing the CEO, only to replace that person with someone knew that has all the power of the old CEO.
It is very alluring to think of a CEO and their skills at corporate leadership being applicable to governing. And some have been quite good. Mayor Bloomberg of New York appears to have pleased most of the citizens and agencies in the city, and his background was an entrepreneur and successful CEO.
But, these are not that common. More common are instances like the current Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner. A billionaire hedge fund operator, and first-time elected politician, he won office on a pledge of “shaking things up” in state government. His first actions were to begin firing employees, cutting budgets, terminating pension benefits, trying to remove union representation of employees, seeking to bankrupt the Chicago school district, and similar actions. All things a “good CEO” would see as the obvious actions necessary to “fix” a state in a deep financial mess. He looked first at the financials, the P&L and balance sheet, and set about to improve revenues, cut costs and alter asset values. His mantra was to “be more like Indiana, and Texas, which are more business friendly.”
Only, governors have nowhere near the power of CEOs. He has been unable to get the legislature to agree with his ideas, most have not passed, and the state has languished without a budget going on 2 years. The Illinois Supreme Court said the pension was untouchable – something no CEO has to worry about. And it’s nowhere near as easy to bankrupt a school district as a company you own that needs debt/asset restructuring because of all those nasty laws and judges that get in the way. Additionally, government employee unions are not the same as private unions, and nowhere near as easy to “bust” due to pesky laws passed by previous governors and legislators that you can’t just wipe away with a simple decision.
With the state running a deficit, as a CEO he sees the need to undertake the pain of cutting services. Just like he’d cut “wasteful spending” on things he deemed non-essential at one of the companies he ran. So refusing funding during budget negotiations for health care worker overtime, child care, and dozens of other services that primarily are directed at small groups seems like a “hard decision, well needed.” And if the lack of funding means the college student loan program dries up, well those students will just have to wait to go to college, or find funding elsewhere. And if that becomes so acute that a few state colleges have to close, well that’s just the impact of trying to align spending with the reality of revenues, and the customers will have to find those services elsewhere.
And when every decision is subjected to media reporting, suddenly every single decision is questioned. There is no anonymity behind a decision. People don’t just see a college close and wonder “how did that happen” because there are ample journalists around to report exactly why it happened, and that it all goes back to the Governor. Just like the idea of matching employee rights, pay requirements, contract provisioning and regulations to other states – when your every argument is reported by the media it can come off sounding a lot like as state CEO you don’t much like the state you govern, and would prefer to live somewhere else. Perhaps your next action will be to take the headquarters (now the statehouse) to a neighboring state where you can get a tax abatement?
Donald Trump the CEO has loved the headlines, and the media. He was the businessman-turned-reality-TV-star who made the phrase “you’re fired” famous. Because on that show, he was the CEO. He could make any decision he wanted; unchallenged. And viewers could turn on his show, or not, it really didn’t matter. And he only needed to get a small fraction of the population to watch his show for it to make money, not a majority. And he appears to be very genuinely a CEO. As a CEO, as a TV celebrity — and now as a candidate for President.
Obviously, governing body chief executives have to be able to create coalitions in order to get things done. It doesn’t matter the party, it requires obtaining the backing of your own party (just as John Boehner about what happens when that falters) as well as the backing of those who don’t agree with you. ou don’t have the luxury of being the “tough guy” because if you twist the arm to hard today, these lawmakers, regulators and judges (who have long memories) will deny you something you really, really want tomorrow. And you have to be ready to work with journalists to tell your story in a way that helps build coalitions, because they decide what to tell people you said, and they decide how often to repeat it. And you can’t rely on your own money to take care of you. You have to raise money, a lot of money, not just for your campaign, but to make it available to give away through various PACs (Political Action Committees) to the people who need it for their re-elections in order to keep them backing you, and your ideas. Because if you can’t get enough people to agree on your platforms, then everything just comes to a stop — like the government of Illinois. Or the times the U.S. Government closed for a few days due to a budget impasse.
And, in the end, the voters who elected you can decide not to re-elect you. Just ask Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush about that.
On the whole, it’s a whole lot easier to be a CEO than to be a mayor, or governor, or President. And CEOs are paid a whole lot better. Like the moviemaker Mel Brooks (another person born in New York by the way) said in History of the World, Part 1 “it’s good to be king.“