So we tried a Democrat, we tried a Republican, how about we try a businessman to run the Commerce Department and see what he can do with an $8 billion+ budget to help turn around the business of America.
I nominate Bill Gates to be the next Secretary of Commerce and I base my nomination on three things.
First, he is a rags to riches, start-up businessman who clearly has an understanding of not only big business but small business and most importantly, modern business. He is best in class and it's been since JFK's time that we took the best in American business and brought them to Washington. In fact, I was looking at the Department of Commerce's web site (needs help Bill) and found these three goals for the Department.
1. Build for the future and promote U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace, by strengthening and safeguarding the nation's economic infrastructure;
2. Keep America competitive with cutting-edge science and technology and an unrivaled information base; and,
3. Provide effective management and stewardship of our nation's resources and assets to ensure sustainable economic opportunities.
Now I know and like Bill Richardson (I worked as the new media consultant to his Presidential Campaign) and I've met Judd Gregg, but I can't see how either man could really know much at all about #1 or #2 and only Richardson was solid on #3.
Bill Gates working on US competitiveness? Sounds good to me. Cutting-edge science and technology? I mean, this is right up his alley and having lived in Seattle all those years and with his work through the Gates Foundation, I'd say he's pretty solid on all three parts of the Department's mission.
The second reason I nominate Gates is that he clearly understands the power of building a solid team, holding them accountable and letting them shine. He understands job creation, business creation and wealth creation, because he has actually done it. One of the great under-reported stories, in my opinion, in American business has been the smooth transition of power at Microsoft from the Gates era to the Ballmer era. That's smart, strategic and no ego involved (compare with the question of who will lead Apple next? your guess is as good as mine.)
Finally I nominate Bill Gates because of how who he is as a person. He understands the greater role that business and those who succeed must play in world. He has spoken for the power of creative capitalism and, of course, he funded the Gates Foundation with his wife Melinda. A Gates Commerce Department would lead a revitalization of American business, and at the same time, it would forever change American business for the better.
One other thought.
On one hand we have the geniuses on the Hill. Men and women who have no idea what happened to all of those $2,000 checks for their campaign coffers but are willing to do anything to get them back. They are going to spend $700 billion in an effort to do so.
On the other, I got Bill Gates at the Commerce Department, with some intelligence and $8 billion. I can tell you exactly who I'll bet will do more to turn around this country.