Meg Whitman’s excellent adventure

You may never have heard of Meg Whitman, but you’ve probably heard of the company she ran quite successfully: eBay, the online auction house. After taking eBay public and launching it into a worldwide Internet behemoth, Whitman decided she was qualified to be governor of a large state. So she’s running in the GOP primary for governor of California.

(Let’s leave aside, for a moment, why anyone would want to be governor of California. From a fiscal standpoint, the state is very nearly ungovernable. That’s largely due to its public initiatives, which allow citizens to vote laws onto the books without any thought as to how those initiatives will be paid for. Arnold  Schwarzenegger is struggling to keep the state out of bankruptcy.)

There is a long and storied tradition in this country of wealthy business executives who decide their business experience qualifies them to hold public office. (Heck, as California demonstrates, there’s even a tradition of actors deciding the public stage qualifies them to hold public office.) Some make the transition better than others.

But it seems to me that the bare minimum experience required before stepping into public office is a record of having actually voted. She’s claiming to have been an irregular voter:

So what I have said is that I did not vote as often as I should. I didn’t register as often as I should and I’m sorry about that and there is no excuse for it.

But the Sacramento Bee is reporting that there is no record she ever voted before 2007, as she was preparing to enter politics. Surely, a minimum standard for public office should be a record that shows you were interested enough in the affairs of state (or county or city) to have voted regularly. Millions of busy citizens take time out of their busy schedules to vote, at least in major elections. Whitman was too busy? Too important?

48 comments Add your comment

Harleyman

September 28th, 2009
7:33 am

So voting makes one qualified? Can I run for President? Oh, I forgot, you don’t need any experience there either. I would agree with your assertion the as to why one want to run for governor of California, the granola state. You know, land of fruit and nuts. However, I do think it would suit you to a tee, Ms. Tucker.

TnGelding

September 28th, 2009
7:35 am

She was probably just absorbed in her business career and now she’s answering the call due to the crisis. Politics is boring to some. We need more competent individuals willing ot throw their hat into the ring, of whatever background and persuasion.

Harleyman

September 28th, 2009
7:36 am

Sorry. I meant “assertion as to why one would want”. It’s early.

Leroy

September 28th, 2009
7:40 am

Maybe she can catch up by registering through ACORN and voting in several different states.

F-105 Thunderchief

September 28th, 2009
7:59 am

Much ado about less than nothing. Life happens and sometimes we don’t vote. Many have skipped the polls when other things in our lives took precedence.

Ben

September 28th, 2009
8:03 am

Obama had a record of not voting when he was in Congress. That obviously had no effect on your opinion of him.

Peadawg

September 28th, 2009
8:03 am

“But it seems to me that the bare minimum experience required before stepping into public office ”

Cynthia, you can’t say anything. Our President was a community organizer before he came into the most important office in the nation. So, if I go and work at the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta, does that make me qualified to be President?

Surely U Jest

September 28th, 2009
8:15 am

Enter your comments here

Sorry Cynthia. I am usually right there with you, but not on this one. You stretched and in my view wasted that precious space afforded to you by the AJC. As Americans, we have the right to vote or not. One’s personal history of trudging to the voting booth should never be used as a litmus test to determine one’s suitability to hold office. I’ll bet Sonny Perdue has an impeccable record of casting votes. Shirley Franklin is probably a prolific voter as well. How about Saxby Chambliss? I’ll bet he’ll throw down his record of casting votes with anyone you want to put up against him.

TheSeer

September 28th, 2009
8:15 am

Hey Cynthia, can you help me understand how Ms. Whitman’s experience makes her less qualified to be governor than Obama’s experience qualified him to be President?

I suppose that maybe my experience reading the newspaper makes me cut out for becoming the editor. Wouldn’t that be fun?

TheOne

September 28th, 2009
8:19 am

Sorry to say Ms. Tucker, but your point of view seems to be devoid of logic. You say that Ms. Whitman is not experienced to be governor, yet Obama, the consummate “community organizer”, was qualified to be President? Hmm. Maybe you would have thought Ms. Whitman was qualified as a governor if she had been a community organizer in her previous career.

TheOne

September 28th, 2009
8:20 am

Sorry, my last statement should have said “Maybe you would have thought Ms. Whitman was qualified as a governor if she had been a community organizer in her previous career rather than a lowly CEO of a multi-billion dollar company.”

Ben

September 28th, 2009
8:24 am

But Obama was different. He was a “lightbringer” and the messiah and the utter salvation of the human race all rolled up in to one. It doesn;’t matter that he never ran anything successfully in his life. All Meg Whitman did was run one of the biggest companies on the internet to astonishing success. Maybe if she had a domestic terrorist on her friend list like Obama did, then Cynthia would approve.

Ayn Rand Was Right

September 28th, 2009
8:26 am

“That’s largely due to its public initiatives, which allow citizens to vote laws onto the books without any thought as to how those initiatives will be paid for.” — sounds like Obamanation to me.

How is it that we did not hear any such discussions from Ms. Tucker when our leading democratic Presidential candidate was documented to vote mostly “present” as a junior senator.

TheOne

September 28th, 2009
8:30 am

Hi Ayn Rand Was Right: I thought about presenting the same argument too, but I figured the libs would twist it around and say that it’s not the same thing. Obama shirked his job duties by voting “present”, whereas Ms. Whitman shirked her civil duties by not voting. I think anybody who votes “present” is an idiot that obviously doesn’t want to have an opinion that could go on record and be used against him. Obama’s career has been that of a campaigner. Why else would one only vote “present”?

Donovan

September 28th, 2009
8:48 am

Comrade Tucker’s manifesto apparently dictates that the prospective candidate should come from a liberal background of acadamia or government service. You all know the types…Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Diane Feinstein, Ted Kennedy, all the rest of the Kenndy family, Chuck Shumer, Al Gore, and on and on. There is no room for hard working business types who know how to figure out problems or run things.

Donovan

September 28th, 2009
8:50 am

Oh, silly me. I forgot the include the biggest asset to becoming a political candidate. A “community organizer”.

3rd Party Guy

September 28th, 2009
8:51 am

Cynthia, I couldn’t disagree with you more on this one. Voting in the modern era is pointless exercise. The outward extreme positions of our current 2-party system have seen to that. In practice however, Dems/Repub have done nothing but drive this country deep into debt while pandering to their selfish bases. In our country of 300 million, our choices were McCain or Obama? Holy heck, are we in deep do-do!

What we really have is single party system that happens to be bipolar, and that’s like having no vote at all.

Sounds like this woman is more qualified to run a state than Obama is run a country to me.

lovelyliz

September 28th, 2009
9:06 am

I have voted in every election fro which I was eligible since I tuurned 18. When I was stationed on a rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean, I still reeived an absentee ballot.

Joan

September 28th, 2009
9:06 am

What is wrong with someone who knows something about a balance sheet running for office? Absolutely nothing at all. This is exactly the kind of person we need in government. If we had a lot more fiscal managers in office we wouldn’t be in the deep trouble we are now. And about why she would want to run a state that “allows citizens to vote into law bill that they can’t pay for”, well that is exactly what is happening now on a national level, with your hero as the biggest cheerleader for these excesses.

Ayn Rand Was Right

September 28th, 2009
9:06 am

Good morning 3rd Party Guy – excellent description of our current system. A bipolar single party – I will be using this one!

Joey

September 28th, 2009
9:13 am

There is extremely important information in this article, but it is about about Cynthia Tucker. She does not a damn thing about Whitman, but worse Cynthia does not know a damn thing about running business or government. She has never done either.

I can hardly wait for Cynthia to announce her choice for the Democratic nomination for Georgia’s Govenor. Am I correct that 4 years ago she backed Taylor. And didn’t she back Bill Cambell each time he ran for Mayor. If so that is about all that needs to be said regarding her judgement.

jconservative

September 28th, 2009
9:36 am

Here is the way it works in the general elections. If you run for office & have a “R” after your name you will get at least 40% of the vote anywhere in the USA.
If you run for office & have a “D” after your name you will get at least 40% of the vote anywhere in the USA. Voters do not think, they do knee jerk reactions.

The fight is to win the primary. If Meg Whitman gets the Republican nomination in California (and she certainly has the money) she will get at least 40% of the vote in a general election. If she can increase that by 11% she is governor.

jconservative

September 28th, 2009
9:41 am

Joan – “What is wrong with someone who knows something about a balance sheet running for office? Absolutely nothing at all. This is exactly the kind of person we need in government.”

Agree. We have had two in my lifetime (born 1942). Eisenhower & Clinton. Look up their budgets & numbers. Other than those two it has been unlimited spenders.

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

September 28th, 2009
10:20 am

Just another example of “The Man” trying to hold a bright, successful female down.

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

September 28th, 2009
10:28 am

Cynthia’s blog is yet another example of “The Man” trying to hold a bright, successful female down.

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

September 28th, 2009
10:33 am

Actually, the history of voting is a far better qualifier that “content of his character” as, with friend such as the unrepentant terrorist Ayers, the racist rev wright, van “hmo truther” jones, tony “let me pay for that” rezko, how could the current president ever been elected?

The Devil You Say

September 28th, 2009
11:04 am

Ms. Tucker – Your hypocritical rantings really never cease to amaze me! I would think that being a successful business WOMAN would be a great qualification, especially a feminist like you. But oops, I forgot, you only want radical left-wing NUTS to run for office. I am sure that you would never have anything nice to say about JC Watts or Condi Rice, either.

This is a successful woman running for the highest office in a state that has been mismanaged into the ground by out-of-control DEMOCRAT legislatures that for years have spent like drunken sailors on shore leave. Also, I agree with Wyld Byll – I am sure that Meg Whitman’s associates and associations are a lot more savory that Barak Obama’s. But you just love to lick his boots dont’ you?

mike

September 28th, 2009
11:09 am

“Let’s leave aside, for a moment, why anyone would want to be governor of California.”

Maybe some people put their money where their mouth is and actually try to solve problems instead of sitting on the sidelines clucking at those who do.

Not all of us can be a destructive and parasitic pundit.

booger

September 28th, 2009
11:29 am

I believe running a company [voter or not] qualifies one to run a state more than community organizing qualifies one to run General Motors and Chrysler. The car czar doesn’t count. He never ran a company either.

Chris Broe

September 28th, 2009
11:31 am

Parentheses! Awkward in the parentheses!

“Actors deciding the public stage….”

Joe

September 28th, 2009
12:00 pm

I can’t believe I just read this stupid drivel. AJC, you guys sure have a keeper with this Tucker. LMAO

RollerGirl

September 28th, 2009
12:04 pm

At first glance even I couldn’t find the racial aspect of this story, which would have marked the first time ever that Cynthia Tucker didn’t pimp racial division, BUT I found it….

whitman is just one letter from white man!

Rant

September 28th, 2009
12:32 pm

3rd Party Guy 8:51 am is spot on re: Voting in the modern era is pointless exercise.

Frustration is critically evaluating the candidates, their policies, positions, and history ONLY to have your vote cancelled out by a generational government dependent entitlement seeking parasite who doesn’t even know (or cares) which day of the week it is. To correct this their vote should be weighted to count as 1/10 or 1/100 of those who actually work and contribute to society!!

ctucker

September 28th, 2009
12:47 pm

Joey wrote:
can hardly wait for Cynthia to announce her choice for the Democratic nomination for Georgia’s Govenor. Am I correct that 4 years ago she backed Taylor. And didn’t she back Bill Cambell each time he ran for Mayor. If so that is about all that needs to be said regarding her judgement.

Joey, you’re quite wrong. I NEVER backed Bill Campbell for mayor. In fact, I was one of his harshest critics. Surprised you didn’t know that.

TheOne

September 28th, 2009
12:48 pm

Good afternoon Rant: I so totally agree with you, but unfortunately that goes against the “we are all equal” and might be seen as a poll tax. If you ask me though, if a person doesn’t pay taxes and/or contribute to society in some way, they shouldn’t earn the right to vote. That’s like playing the lottery and not having to buy a ticket.

TheOne

September 28th, 2009
12:50 pm

Cynthia: there have been many many comments to your posts but so far I have only seen one response about Bill Campbell. I sure would be interested in your response to some of the other comments.

Chris Broe

September 28th, 2009
1:34 pm

CNN just reported that a Muslim woman in Malaysia has been sentenced to be caned for drinking beer. She was arrested in a raid at a night club frequented by Muslims, where the police stormed in with fire hoses. Now Muslims all over the world are claiming that they invented the wet t-shirt contest.

Of course they realize this means war.

TheOne

September 28th, 2009
1:52 pm

Ahhh, Islam is such a loving, peaceful religion.

Joey

September 28th, 2009
2:06 pm

Cynthia;
I am relying on my memory which normally serves me well, but not perfectly. You are correct that I read the paper daily and throughly and should know if you supported someone other than Campbell.

My recollection was that the AJC occasionally wrote negative articles or commentaries about Campbell, and toward the end more frequently. But I do not recall that you or the Editorial Board ever openly opposed his election or re-election; ever openly supported one of his opponents. I felt that the AJC should have gone all out against him. Similar to how you went all out against Lillian Webb.

Gordon

September 28th, 2009
8:56 pm

“That’s largely due to its public initiatives, which allow citizens to vote laws onto the books without any thought as to how those initiatives will be paid for.”

Switch “entitlements” for “initiatives”, and “politicians” for “citizens”, and you’re talking about the United States. The only difference is that the United States can borrow more and thus get away with it longer.

Tax payer funded Public Option, NEVER!

September 28th, 2009
9:49 pm

I guess Obama’s “organizer work” experience is a big plus? Hypocrite!

Atlanta Native

September 28th, 2009
10:01 pm

Cynthia. I apologize for accusing you of not reading what people comment.

Of course, California is in trouble. Those “initiatives” have turned the state into a democracy, not a republic. A lynch mob is a democracy, too. (Only the victim votes no) Just like California voters, when they wake up the next day, they see what they have wrought.

So are unfunded mandates. That is always a recipe for disaster. Congress does this all the time. They do not pass acts, they pass enabling legislation. This Democratic controlled Congress will vote themselves back into a minority with they way they are acting. They should remember why the people got fed up with the neocons and their massive spending, rather than trying to outspend them like drunken sailors on leave.

On the candidate, at least she has a held a job where her success could be measured, we can find her record and she did not spend her life “drawn toward communists”. However, I must agree with you that I see no reason why anyone would want to be the titular head of the experiment in empowerment gone wrong that California has become. Of course, Lewis Grizzard said being President of the US was like being sentenced to wearing your underwear two sizes too small for four years, we should be glad someone wants the job. I think Vonnegut had it right in “Slapstick”.

Welcome to where the rest of the country will be headed if the President, Ms. Pelosi, Reed and the gang get their way. Voting without thinking of long term consequences, or even reading the Act you are voting on, equates this Congress with the California voters.

wrf

September 28th, 2009
10:41 pm

Give it a rest Joey.

ck hall

September 29th, 2009
5:58 am

hello–a litle cut a paste for you to consider.
Even in Capitalists’ Bad Times, Europe’s Socialists Suffer – NYTimes.com

Fred

September 29th, 2009
6:48 am

testing testing check check cough cough

Stu

September 29th, 2009
6:49 am

Don’t blame me. I voted for Ron Paul

Willis bye-bye

September 29th, 2009
8:45 am

Forget about what makes one qualified to run – how about what DISqualifies one to hold office and to run AGAIN? If you are an elected official and have not paid your taxes to the tune of over $40,000 (see Atlanta City Councilman H. Lamar Willis), you should be forced to resign immediately and not be allowed to run again. You have violated the public trust. Period. End of story.

Suz

October 3rd, 2009
12:32 pm

All I Know Is: Meg Whitman Organized eBay into a Huge Successful Conglomerate. I’ve been a seller on eBay for ten years and I have seen what she can do and has done to improve the Co. Basically I lean towards the Liberal Side, but after Seeing what this Woman Can Do & has Done convinced me She could Bail CA out of the Giant Mess we’re in now! I Feel, beyond all the Trivial Kiddie throwing trash by People who have no Idea who She Is…….She would make a Great Governor of CA.