October 2, 2012
MEGAN MCARDLE ON BUSINESS EXPERIENCE: It’s Not Crazy To Worry That Obama Hasn’t Got It. “Why are filthy-rich hedge fund managers, so enamored of Obama in the 2008 race, turning on him now? I endorse the rhetorical explanation: Barack Obama has made a habit of bashing financial types and rich people. Bankers and rich people, being people, do not like being treated as villains in Obama’s campaign set pieces. So they are naturally disinclined to support him. I am shocked at how many New Yorkers I had thought to be rock-ribbed Democrats are attending Romney fundraisers. Not a huge number, mind you; it’s not like they’re going to tip New York from blue to red. But if any New Yorkers of my acquaintance were attending GOP fundraisers in the past, they certainly weren’t admitting it in public, unless they already worked for National Review. So it does seem like a real change . . . and what they say when I ask them is that, well, they don’t like being treated as villains in Obama’s campaign set pieces. Felix Salmon, however, offers a different view. . . . Of course, we’ve had many good presidents with no business experience. But Obama’s whole administration tends to be light on people from outside the academia–NGO–government triangle. It’s something that’s increasingly true of Washington in general–and, I think, increasingly problematic. . . . The increasingly mandarin elite, hygienically removed from the grubby business of scrounging for customers, frequently seems to have no idea at all what goes on in companies. . . . The purpose of an elite education, the thinking goes, is to equip you to design and run the system by which 300 million Americans live together–and to ensure that you never, ever have to actually interact with the 280 million who did not graduate from an elite academic program.”
As usual, it all comes down to oikophobia.