Welch on Obama: It’s always someone else to blame with this guy

posted at 8:41 am on April 13, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Eh, what does this guy know about leadership, anyway?  He’s only the most widely respected CEO of the last twenty years or so and the founder of a school that develops leaders in the business world, plus the author of a book or two on the subject.  Former GE chief Jack Welch unloaded on Barack Obama yesterday for his chronic lack of leadership, manifest mainly through the ever-expanding universe of scapegoats that Obama cites for the failures of his economic policies.  Welch thinks that Obama has become positively Nixonian — or maybe worse (via Instapundit):

President Obama’s “divide-and-conquer” approach isn’t what great leaders do, Jack Welch said Thursday. …

“It was the insurance executives in health care. It was the bankers in the collapse. It was the oil companies as oil prices go up. It was Congress if things didn’t go the way he wanted. And recently it’s been the Supreme Court,” he said.

“He’s got an enemies list that would make Richard Nixon proud.”

Welch, who helmed GE for 21 years and founded the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University, penned an op-ed article for Reuters with wife Suzy Welch this week in which he tackled the idea of Obama’s enemies list.

“Surely his supporters must think this particular tactic is effective, but there can be no denying that the country is more polarized than when Obama took office,” Welch wrote, making a case for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

“Great leaders don’t divide,” Welch insisted to Larry Kudlow, and compared Romney’s record in Massachusetts as the model of consensus over Obama’s “divisiveness.”  Welch had elaborated on this argument earlier in the week with his Reuters column:

Over the past three years, Obama has taken a sort of divide-and-conquer approach, amassing a list of enemies that would make Richard Nixon proud – bankers, healthcare insurance providers, oil companies, wealthy taxpayers, Congress and, most recently, the Supreme Court. Surely his supporters must think this particular tactic is effective, but there can be no denying that the country is more polarized than when Obama took office.

Without doubt, Romney is not the model leader (his apparent lack of authenticity can be jarring), but he has a quality that would serve him well as president – good old American pragmatism. Perhaps that’s the businessman in him. Or perhaps you just learn to do what you’ve got to do when you’re a GOP governor in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts or the man charged with salvaging the scandal-ridden Salt Lake City Olympics. If Romney’s long record suggests anything, it’s that he knows how to manage people and organizations to get things accomplished without a lot of internecine warfare.

Look, Obama may be a great campaigner and Romney (to date) somewhat the opposite. But neither man is running to be Campaigner-in-Chief.

In politics, as in business, the leader’s job needs to be filled by a leader, and no effective leader, regardless of ideology, keeps an enemies list.

As it happens, I made this same exact point in another context yesterday when talking with a friend about Romney’s list of potential running mates.  I suggested that Rick Perry might not be a bad choice, although I’m not sure Perry would be interested in the job.  My friend wondered whether Romney would still hold a grudge against Perry for the Texas governor’s sharp attacks last fall and then for his endorsement of Newt Gingrich, but I replied that Romney’s business sense would have him focused on the business choice, not the personal choice, for his running mate.  If Perry made the most sense, then Romney would pick Perry; if Bobby Jindal, who endorsed Perry, makes more sense, it will be Jindal.  Heck, if Romney thought he could win the election by putting Rick Santorum on the ticket, he’d do it.

That’s the difference that Welch points out in his column and his CNBC appearance.  The long-time legislator Obama is only interested in making pitches and divisions; the long-time executive Romney is interested in getting things done.

Update: I wrote “Perry” once where I meant “Jindal.”  I’ve fixed it above.


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“He’s got an enemies list that would make Richard Nixon proud.”

Getting on Nixon’s enemies list meant you didn’t get to go to the White House parties. Obama is far worse. You get on his list and regulatory h*ll is brought to bear.

chemman on April 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM

I think a big part of Barry’s problem is the fact that he has been told his entire life that he is a victim because of the color of his skin.

When a person always thinks of himself as a victim, it’s probably hard not to believe that others are to blame for one’s problems.

AZCoyote on April 13, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Much more than that. Besides being told that he is a victim, -every job, every promotion, every election, every degree he has been awarded has been on the basis of AA. He has never in his life held a real job, or had to perform against a fair and flat evaluation.

He has led a charmed life, and now as president he is being exposed to the real world for the first time, and he can’t handle that shock. To him it looks like racism.

slickwillie2001 on April 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM

What Jack Welch lacks in decency he makes up in crankiness.
Maybe he should do a road trip with Romney – so folks can see who lookin’ out for who here.

verbaluce on April 13, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Welch ,as a retired, independently wealthy, old man has the liberty of being completely honest and not sugar coating the truth.

dunce on April 13, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Same things can be said about Romney. He could accomplish NOTHING conservative, because of other people, despite the fact that he was governor and controlled the entirety of the executive branch, which has a wise swath of areas that the legislature has no power over, having turned that power over to the executive branch long ago, much like our federal government.

Everything is the 85% Democrats fault!

Funny how Newt did not have as much problem getting things past the Democrat President while he was in office with a bare majority of Republicans.

Anyone imagining that Romney will govern as a conservative or even a right of center moderate are just deluded and have not looked critically at his tenure as governor.

astonerii on April 13, 2012 at 1:44 PM

If i’m not mistaken, divide and conquer was stalin’s leadership style

aniptofar on April 13, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Stalin was competent. Thankfully, Obama is not.

Linh_My on April 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Jack Welch is bitching about Obama? That’s amazing. Jack Welch and General Electric are two of the main reasons why Obama was able to slither into the White House in ’08!!

GE has always been a Country Club Liberal company. For starters, they own NBC. I go out of my way to NOT BUY anything made and/or sold by GE.

Jack Welch is a country club liberal elitist who a) is out of tocuh with real Americans and b) was too lazy, stupid and ridden with White Guilt to do his own damn research on the candidates in ’08. If he had done just a tenth of the research I did on the “internets”, he would have realized that Obama was an incompetent, zero-experience, empty suit “community organizer” who was being sold by the Mainstream Media as the second coming of Christ.

Thanks a lot you effing Libtard! Why don’t you go hang out with another Liberal elitist, this one a thief, Jon Corzine, the stealer of $1.2 Billion dollars and he’s not in Jail! Forget Trayvon Martin – let’s have a million limousine motorcade to protest the fact that Jon Corzine isn’t wearing bright orange coveralls right now!

CatchAll on April 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Jack Welch is whining about Obama? That’s amazing. Jack Welch and General Electric are two of the main reasons why Obama was able to slither into the White House in ’08!!

GE has always been a Country Club Liberal company. For starters, they own NBC. I go out of my way to NOT BUY anything made and/or sold by GE.

Jack Welch is a country club liberal elitist who a) is out of tocuh with real Americans and b) was too lazy, stupid and ridden with White Guilt to do his own research on the candidates in ’08. If he had done just a tenth of the research I did on the “internets”, he would have realized that Obama was an incompetent, zero-experience, empty suit “community organizer” who was being sold by the Mainstream Media as the second coming of Christ.

Thanks a lot you stinking Libtard! Why don’t you go hang out with another Liberal elitist, this one a thief, Jon Corzine, the stealer of $1.2 Billion dollars and he’s not in Jail! Forget Trayvon Martin – let’s have a million limousine motorcade to protest the fact that Jon Corzine isn’t wearing bright orange coveralls right now!

CatchAll on April 13, 2012 at 2:16 PM

I served in the Navy over 20 years and I never once heard a Commanding Officer blame someone else in public. It makes him sound incredibly weak. Here he is, supposedly the most powerful man in the world and there are dozens of people out there, tripping him up on a daily basis.

How can anyone respect him? You can respect the position, but the man himself, is a mouse.

I’m no Jack Welch but I’ve managed a lot of people over many years. Every time I hear Obama blame someone else, I can’t believe he doesn’t know he’s projecting his own weakness and ineptitude for all to see. When a leader places blame, he is saying that whomever he blames has more power and more ability to control events than he himself does. Obama is saying he is inferior in knowledge or strength or smarts or power to someone else who has more influence.

I agree completely with the poster above that you can’t respect (or trust) someone like that. I don’t know what is worse, that Obama follows his wrongheaded instincts or that no one (let me repeat that, no one, amongst his vast staff and the resources of the presidency which includes experts in virtually every conceivable discipline) advises him differently. But thank goodness. He is his own worst enemy and if he were more competent it would be much harder to dislodge him.

Mayday on April 13, 2012 at 2:17 PM

I suggested that Rick Perry might not be a bad choice, although I’m not sure Perry would be interested in the job.

seriously Hot Air is rapidly entering delusional and bufoonish territory the last week..

really?!! the guy who dropped out after two states voted, who spent more money for less votes than nearly anyone in history, the guy who was a national laughingstock last fall-

you think THAT GUY may be one that Romney picks?!!

does every article writer on Hot Air go to clown college for their analytical prowess?!!

AirForceCane on April 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I replied that Romney’s business sense would have him focused on the business choice, not the personal choice, for his running mate.

the long-time executive Romney is interested in getting things done.

Another perspective on the same problem a lot of other people don’t get (yet?). You don’t gain anything by standing on political ideological principal, digging in your heals, and losing. A person who runs for office on an ideological slate that gets thrown to the curb by the voters and loses was just a big waste of time and money. In order for Romney to move things even one IOTA to the right, he needs to first get elected. Nothing else matters until THAT happens. All the “true conservative” rhetoric in the world isn’t going to do you a morsel of good if you don’t actually get elected.

And a bunch of troll-bait threads aren’t going to help matters.

crosspatch on April 13, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Jack Welch is whining about Obama? That’s amazing. Jack Welch and General Electric are two of the main reasons why Obama was able to slither into the White House in ’08!!

Welch left GE in 2001. He supported McCain in ’08 (and Bush before that). You’re thinking of that dumbass Immelt.

Missy on April 13, 2012 at 3:13 PM

MrLynn on April 13, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Santorum is not a true conservative, he is a social conservative.

And, if Romney picks him, I would seriously think about not voting for Romney. As the first decision I judge with a Nominee is their VP choice.

I sure hope it is Perry. I’ll win the bet I had with a friend over lunch last September.

That being said, can we put aside the hog wash that Santorum and Gingrich are the true Conservatives, please? Please?

uhangtight on April 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM

I didn’t say that Santorum was a ‘true’ conservative. One cohort that Mitt Romney has a problem with is social conservatives. Santorum on the ticket would appeal to them. He might also help with Pennsylvania and Ohio—electoral votes, you know.

I agree, Newt isn’t a ‘true conservative’ either, but he would add a lot of mostly-conservative juice to the ticket. And Newt has more vision in his little finger than Mitt does in his whole body. Mitt needs someone with him who understands why it’s important to go to the Moon, and beyond. That’s Newt.

MrLynn on April 13, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Santorum on the ticket would appeal to them. He might also help with Pennsylvania and Ohio—electoral votes, you know.

MrLynn on April 13, 2012 at 3:46 PM

seriously?? Santorum dropped out before Pennsylvania because his internal polls showed him losing to Romney. And Romney won Ohio. What on earth Santorum could do for Romney in Ohio and Pennsylania in the generals, that Romney can’t achieve on his own?

jimver on April 14, 2012 at 3:03 AM

The GE of Jack Welch is not the company of today (where they lobby wind power to create 1-1 demand for big gas power turbines). In his day, Welch made his reputation as the owner of the Defense Contractor business at GE (because near everything his people delivered worked). Granted, he greatly expanded GE Capital into near bank status (mostly financing his wonderful invention of renting “hours of power” to airlines and power companies) – and used it to make his own balance sheet look stellar while shutting plant after plant. And (after his tenure) GEC’s investments in junk and worse put them in the top tier of TBTF beneficiaries.

re: Mr. R.

I had a recent meeting in SLC and happened to have lunch during a meeting about improvements to a local institution w/ a number of his co-religionists.

An amazing slice of life, from a lady who built from scratch a national maid franchise, a window-washer, and a bank president. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more liberal-in-the-classic-sense conversation – a free people and their enterprise where responsibility and self-government begin at home – and grow into voluntary society providing solutions long before creating a reliance on government. Never a word looking to government for a solution – including one of the members having to leave early because they had “Aunt sitting” duty.

If Mr. R. has any of these types of people as advisors, he’ll do fine.

aritai on April 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM

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