Simple solutions to complex problems of public policy are the stock in trade of political wannabees who think they can lead and manage because they did something else well.  Like US Senator George Murphy, who was a song and dance man in the movies; or, Al Checchi, who ran a pretty good airline but couldn’t get himself off the ground.

Arnold, of course, is the essence of the issue.  He’s really a wonderful person, a successful businessman, accomplished actor and terrific father.  Whatever made him think he would be a good governor?  With all due respect, the only thing that Arnold has ever created is himself. Arnold is proud of the fact that he has never compromised anything in his life – but isn’t successful governing based upon the ability to compromise? Arnold has been a celluloid leader since he first starred as “Conan.”  It was like electing Batman governor.

Ronald Reagan is an exception to this rule.  Reagan spent many years giving speeches around the country and writing op-ed pieces across the entire spectrum of issues affecting Americans. And when he became Governor, and then President, he reached across the aisle and created solid legislative victories by getting Republicans and Democrats to agree.  He didn’t get 100% of what he wanted, but he got a lot…and he made sure that his loyal opposition had input into the process and reaped some victories for their constituencies.

The simple and honest solution to California’s problems is to “hire,” as in vote for, persons who know how the system works, can get along with others, create consensus, count votes, have a realistic goal structure, lots of compassion, and aren’t afraid of a TV camera.  Most of those people are what some people disdainfully call “professional politicians.”

If you’re going to have heart surgery, you want the professional who is cutting you open to know what they’re doing and have a successful track record at performing the surgery. The same is true of running a state with 39 million people, and always more coming.  It’s a money-munching machine that needs about $10 Billion a month to make it and still can’t pay the bills, and a legislative system that makes a Rube Goldberg device look like a straight line between two points. 

Meg Whitman may be a great virtual auctioneer, but what has that got to do with governing unless we’re about to the put the state up on e-Bay?  (Now there’s an idea!)  And, Steve Poizner can invent the chip that was launched in a zillion cell phones, but how will he be standing up to the prison guards
Being a successful, professional business person is much different than being a successful professional politician.  In business, the boss gets to tell the employees what to do, in government the politician has to beg them. Not to mention the shareholders, which in the business model means investors with a common goal.  In the public policy model, the investors are in it to fight each other to the death for every last scrap.

Real and effective leadership in government should be left to those who know what they’re doing, the professional politicians. Citizens want leaders who can actually get things done because they know what to do and how to do it.