#UnravelTheSweater: Rick Santorum – Unprepared and Unqualified

Rick Santorum - Unravel the Sweater

EXCLUSIVE: See testimonial of Master Mariner, Arthur Grant at the end of this article as he describes the many qualifications required to captain the largest ships of the sea. Santorum’s hope to take over the Ship of State is a stretch by any measure or imagination. In fact, in the opinion of this writer, Santorum’s dream would be humorous if it were not so scary. Please carefully read Arthur’s testimonial before you consider supporting Senator Santorum for any higher office.

Barack Obama's Ship of State

The piloting of a ship as an excellent metaphor to executive leadership experience. Obama’s pre-POTUS leadership perfectly fits the metaphor of rowing a small boat in a lake; Santorum’s to a small motor boat (more years in Congress than Obama); Governor Romney’s, by comparison, is equal to that of the Master Mariner (captain) of the large freighter, oil tanker, or aircraft carrier. The stark differences exposed by this simple metaphor are not minor — they are vast and they are critical!

Of the many weaknesses and other disqualifying attributes possessed by Santorum, none compares with his lack of executive leadership experience. Anybody can run for President. Rarely has any man ever been elected President without extensive executive leadership experience. Santorum hopes to be the exception — as was Obama — how has that experiment worked out? It is my opinion, supported by the team at this site, that Santorum’s complete lack of leadership experience alone should disqualify him outright.

Obama's Leadership Experience -- pre-POTUS

All conservatives — without exception — agree on one thing about Obama: By any definition or profile, he was wholly lacking any leadership experience and yet was elected as chief executive of the largest entity in the world! It is more obvious now than before he became President! I must hear these words (in one form or another), at least two to three times a day regarding the executive branch, “What we are lacking right now is leadership!” In my business career, I have worked with women and men that are far more qualified than Obama and Santorum to take on the executive role of President — if for no other reason than they have had many years of experience successfully leading people and large organizations.

Rick Santorum is no different than Barack Obama when he was running for President. I defy any reader of this article to show me otherwise. Neither Senator Santorum nor Senator Obama had any leadership experience of any consequence and certainly none that would qualify either of them to take over a small to medium size business, let alone the largest enterprise in the world. This is precisely why it is rare that a member of Congress is ever elected as POTUS when their seat in Congress is the highest level of achievement in their career.

Santorum's Leadership Experience

This one fact — lack of executive leadership — is the most important criteria of all that disqualifies a candidate for President. For exactly the same reason that Obama was wholly unprepared and therefore unqualified to lead as President, Santorum is equally unprepared. In my opinion, even if we ignored Santorum’s liberal history of support to unions, his work as a lobbyist, the tonnage of pork he pulled, etc., he is completely unqualified because of his lack of leadership experience. In this critical comparative, Santorum is Obama, and not Obama-lite. The likeness is, quite frankly, astonishing.

There is a very strong probability that Obama will go down in American history as the worst President ever; certainly in modern times. Currently, Carter owns that distinction and he had the experience of a chief executive of a state! We made a tremendous mistake in electing a novice as President. Why would any American vote for Santorum, knowing he is identical to Obama in his lack of executive experience? Though Obama has been a horrible chief executive, today he at least has three years experience of trial and error in executive leadership that Santorum does not! This fact alone would cause voters in the general election cycle to vote for Obama simply to avoid the risk of electing another novice leader. Santorum has no performance measures as a leader; we have no idea what kind of chief executive he would be — none. Am I the only Republican out here that sees the obvious? And yet there are millions of naïve Americans lining up behind the novice Santorum.

Governor Romney's Executive Leadership Experience

In a business seeking a strong executive leader for the organization, the resumes of Santorum and Obama would not make the first cut out of HR. And if for some odd reason they did, they would not survive the scrutiny of a proven mid-level leader. And as to getting certified on the ballot of Virginia and Indiana, even a good project manager would have been able to accomplish these two simple projects — if not, they would have been fired in any organization with which I have been associated. Yet, supporters of Santorum seem blinded to these important truths as they seem to value rhetoric over record.

The experience of the last three years alone informs us that Obama was never qualified to captain the Ship of State. In fact, he has run her aground. Do we as Americans really want to turn “the Con” over to another novice — Santorum? I would argue the risk is simply too great. Not at the most perilous time in America’s history when major storms gather and enemies abound. No, this is not a time to experiment again with someone who has little experience driving even small motor boats!

I plead with you to read the following outstanding, brief description of what it takes to pilot or captain the largest ocean vessels in the world. Doing so will help you understand why I chose this metaphor to describe the critical importance of executive leadership experience in choosing the next President of the United States.

[David Parker and and my wife Cindy contributed to this piece -- I am most appreciative!]

[For an outstanding comparison of the four presidential candidates: CLICK]

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Captain Art Grant was raised in Avalon, Catalina Island, and is a graduate of the California Maritime Academy. He lives in Dana Point, California with his wife Lesley and two sons, and after a 10-year career at sea as a ship’s deck officer and Master Mariner, has been a Harbor Pilot at Jacobsen Pilot Service in Long Beach, California since 1996 (Art was the best athletic coach my son Blake ever had playing baseball — Art is an outstanding leader in every way; he is a good friend and a mentor to future great leaders).

By Arthur Grant:

Lots of people have experience driving, or to use the correct terminology, running boats. Included are small motorboats, water ski boats, fishing skiffs, dinghies, rental boats, and all sorts of recreational watercraft, not to mention all of the recreational sailors out there on sailboats. These small vessels are relatively simple to operate, as evidenced by the complete absence of a license required of any sort by the US Coast Guard to operate a ‘small craft.’ All one needs is the money to purchase the boat and is given the keys! Small motorboats, up to about 25 feet in length, are very user friendly. They are lightweight, typically have a lot of power, maneuver easily and also stop quickly. Most small boat owners take a class on safe boating from a local yacht club and learn the basics before they set out with their friends and families for recreation, combined with a dose of common sense, and they are going to be okay in good weather. [...continued below photograph]

Another Day at The Office for Art Grant

When the “boats” get larger than 25 feet, the situation becomes more serious. The US Coast Guard requires a license for any person to operate a boat carrying “passengers for hire.” A person with the means to own an expensive yacht will either have become proficient at operating it himself, or will hire a full time professional Captain and crew to operate it for him. Larger yachts can travel greater distances from land, and so the vessel and her Captain and crew must be well equipped in order to do so safely.

When the size of the vessel dictates that it can no longer be referred to as a ‘boat,’ it must be called a ‘ship.’ (A ship can carry a boat, but not vice versa!)

Operating a ship is a far cry from operating a boat. These days, in order to become an officer on a commercial ship, a four year course of study at a Maritime Academy — studying everything from ship design, propulsion and engineering, navigation, international commerce, meteorology, finance, as well as all of the core sciences — is required. In order to become the Captain of such vessels, at least 6 years of experience is required.

Ships are enormous. They weigh up to several hundred thousand TONS. The newest generations are exceeding four football fields in length. Over two hundred feet in width. Tankers can be up to 75 feet in draft, making course changes and maneuvering a challenge requiring voyage planning and preparation miles in advance of any maneuver. They are incredibly sophisticated, and can reach speeds of 25 knots. At that speed if the decision is made to STOP, it can take several miles before that is achieved.

As a Pilot of such vessels, I often think of the similarities between having the ‘Con’ of the ship, and say a position of political leadership, like the President of the United States. The direction our country is heading, be it economically, culturally, and even spiritually, carries with it a tremendous amount of momentum, not unlike an enormous ship at sea. Small changes in course can have huge effects on the destination. There are many environmental factors acting on the ship; wind, waves, and currents, which the pilot must take into account — just as there are myriad outside influences on our country that the President must safely navigate. There are shoal waters where the ship can go aground or become fatally ruptured and sink — and similar dangers for our country with dire consequences if not kept in safe waters. There are mistakes that the ship’s own crew can make on board the ship that can cause the ship to lose propulsion or capsize — just as there are threats to our country from within. And yet somehow, the ship must stay on course and reach its destination.

Result of Obama's Failed Leadership

How to accomplish this? The temptation is natural to follow a ship that is heading in the direction that you want your vessel to go. However, Maritime history is full of stories of vessels, both Military and Civilian, that have tried this, only to run aground in succession as the lead vessel had lost its way!

In the Maritime world, specifically in Piloting, all obstacles to commerce are overcome with two things — skill and technology. Skill is built from the experience of starting out small, operating smaller vessels and tugboats, then moving to larger and larger ships until proficiency in the art and science of piloting is fine tuned to give the pilot the ability to maneuver giant vessels in confined waters with 100% accuracy. Technology is a tool used to be able to “see” in the fog, using radar and GPS, and other electronic equipment to measure the wind and the depth of water beneath the keel.

One would hope that a candidate for political office would have the same kind of approach to Piloting our country!!

THANK YOU to Art for this contribution!

###

Supporting comment on topic from MRC visitor named “Steven,” left February 20, 2012:

On the other hand, here are the real issues — Santorum simply has not had the experience as an executive leader of an organization, on the ground, on the “front lines” so to speak, that we need. Romney has. Santorum does not have the experience effectively managing money and being fiscally conservative. Romney has. And as for all the moral/social issues, Romney is the choice here too! Romney is the one who has had experience deeply considering issues such as debt, health care, and doing so in a fiscally and socially conservative way, as best as one can do while also respecting and working with those with differing points of view, and still being able to get solutions passed. We need a leader who can lead the whole country to the right answer, not one who just says “I’m right, and you’re wrong!”, and only leads the half of the group who already agrees, while alienating the other. Romney is the one who has demonstrated he can do that, too. Santorum hasn’t.

“Few people even scratch the surface, much less exhaust the contemplation of their own experience.” — Randolph Bourne [not true of Governor Romney]

“Conviction without experience makes for harshness.” — Flannery O’Connor

“Experience is the only prophecy of wise men.” — Alphonse de Lamartine

“Experience is a good school. But the fees are high.” — Heinrich Heine

“Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing.” — Oscar Wilde

“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” — Mark Twain

“I have found that being honest is the best technique I can use. Right up front, tell people what you’re trying to accomplish and what you’re willing to sacrifice to accomplish it.” — Lee Iacocca

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” — C. S. Lewis

The End

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NOTE: What is “negative advertising”? My definition? Anything that is false. If so, then what is it when the information fleshed out is truth? I call it “truth-letting” as a play on words from the practice of bleeding a patient to health called “bloodletting” as practiced from ancient days to the 19th century. Here at MittRomneyCentral, when we take the objective view of another candidate, we do so to bring truth to light. The word I have coined for this is “truth-letting” and I plan to do a lot of truth-letting of Mr. Santorum as I did with Mr. Gingrich. If those supporters of Mr. Santorum, or the candidate himself, feel pain from truth-letting, it is not because it is negative — it is because sometimes truth hurts. We have no desire at MRC to inflict pain.


Please Check Out These Other “Threads” in the #UnravelTheSweater Series:

Unravel The Sweater - Rick Santorum

About Victor Lundquist:

Victor is a businessman working in the healthcare industry. He and his wife of 33 years have five children and four grandchildren. Vic has been blogging for Mitt Romney since 2007.
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9 Responses to #UnravelTheSweater: Rick Santorum – Unprepared and Unqualified

  1. Steve Adams says:

    I really liked you comparison. I captain my vessel Mariah, a 36′ Allied Princess, sailing ketch. A lot of sea miles in the Gulf of Mexico. Usually solo, but also with my son, who has grown up on this boat. Intra-coastal navigation takes a lot of ability when you consider draft, currents, errant markers, etc. Off shore is a complete different animal. You really have to understand what it means to be on your own. In the Gulf winds and seas change in a matter of instance. What do you do when you under full sail in a 15-20 knot wind when the stars disappear? It takes foreknowledge and preparation. Things can go to s*&t pretty fast!

    Metaphorically, you nailed Obama versus Romney, and the other candidates. I’d trust Romney at the nation helm, but I’d rather fish from the dock than join Obama in his row boat.

  2. AfricansforRomney says:

    Yes, expose this “fake conservative”
    Santorum is well prepared to wage religion war. This guy is getting out of control. Btw, I love “Fake conservative” ad by Ron Paul.

    Romney supporters in MI please, vote. Every vote counts. Defeat UNIONS.
    In the MI primary, Obama’s agenda=Santorum

  3. Joyfull says:

    I see great contrasts in this article and totally agree there’s definitely no differences between Obama against Santorum as they are both Senators with absolutely no Executive experiences. Santorum should run a State first for the real challenge before running for the highest office in the land. We seen what we got and it’s not a pretty picture for America–we need someone who has accomplished much more than either Santorum, Newt or Obama. At least we have Governor Romney’s records & extensive experiences to compared with. Gingrich we can all agree was voted out of his Speakership only after serving 4 years in the House and was reprimended for lying to Congress with a hefty fine. America needs a true moral Leadership with experiences to get our Economy thriving so American people can get back to work again.

  4. Ileana says:

    Santorum is like a receptionist thinking that because he knows everyone in the company he know how to run it, puts a fresh sweater on expecting to become the owner of the company when owner is about to die. Mitt Romney is the responsible Director, knowing that he is needed and being at the right time in the right place to take on a task that he is called to take, for which he has been prepared for decades and he knows how to handle. He doesn’t assume the position because he wants it for himself, he offers his competence and skills BECAUSE they are needed! That’s how crass the difference in decency and common sense is between Santorum and Mitt Romney.

  5. horny says:

    Great post!

  6. RENEE says:

    Kudos, Vic!!! :)…here’s something I read this morning also…SANTORUM WAS PRO CHOICE (I googled it!…IT’S TRUE!)…Santorum in 1995: “I WAS BASICALLY PRO-CHOICE ALL MY LIFE, UNTIL I RAN FOR CONGRESS.”…RELATED: TOM ALLEN (KAREN SANTORUM’S FORMER BOYFRIEND), A PITTSBURGH-BASED OBGYN WHO HAD CO-FOUNDED THE CITY’S FIRST ABORTION CLINIC, WHO DELIVERED SANTORUM’S WIFE AND GONE ON TO SHARE AN APARTMENT WITH HER QUOTED: “WHEN KAREN TOLD ME SHE WAS MOVING OUT,” ALLEN SAID, SHE SAID, “YOU’D REALLY LIKE RICK. HE’S A LOT LIKE YOU. HE’S POLITICALLY ACTIVE AND HE’S PRO-CHOICE.”

  7. RENEE says:

    The RESTORE OUR FUTURE pac should use the 1995 Santorum statement: “I WAS BASICALLY PRO-CHOICE ALL MY LIFE, UNTIL I RAN FOR CONGRESS.” in an ad in Mi. and Az. to expose Santorum as the politician/D.C. insider and liar that he is!

  8. ccr says:

    Excellent idea on an ad, Renee!! Run that ad in MI, AZ, OK, KS, GA, Miss, Ala, LA, etc…… It needs to be coupled w/his Holier Than Thou statements now.