Thursday, October 12, 2006

Chicago Event

I had a chance to hear Romney Speak yesterday at a lunchtime meeting for students at the University of Chicago School of Business. Needless to say it was very impressive. Romney gave a different talk geared towards business students rather than the usual stump speech.

The room was full of attentive students, probably about 100-200 people were there. Needless to say Romney made a very strong impression on the students and faculty in attendance. Julie Johnson who helps with My Man Mitt was in attendance. I was also able to make some contact with some new Romney supporters who were won over there at the event.

I couldn't help but think that if I was supporting another candidate (read McCain) I would have been very worried to here such an intelligent speech with good delivery from another candidate.

Here are some details about Romney speech.

He was introduced by who I presumed was the Dean of the school. He gave a short Bio of Romney and quoted briefly from the Economist that deemed Romney “a scarily perfect presidential Candidate.” Then he turned it over to Romney.

Romney outlined the four steps he used in the business world to turn companies and enterprises around.

1.Throw out Conventional Wisdom.

2.“I Love Data” Read all Data that can possibly be found.

3.Rigorous Analysis of the Data.

4.Assemble people who think different then yourself, the more different the better.

This is the approach that Romney has taken into the public sector. He then gave an interesting story of when he was first governor and tried to gather some data reports. There were none, no one looked at Data, most officials just acted on what they thought was the best idea not on statistics and facts. This was interesting to Romney since this type of leadership would never compete in the business world. Which is were the fundamental difference with government and business lies, government has no competition. If the voters of Massachusetts don't like there government, there isn't another one they can go to.

Romney gave several examples of streamlining government in Massachusetts. One such was court houses. He did a study after being asked for $250 million for a court house. He found out if strategically placed he could have 6 court house in MA and all citizens would be within an hours drive, 12 if you want 30 min drive. How many are there? 112. Why? All the staffers and friends of politicians need jobs in the off-season.

Another example was of the highway commission. Most states have one, MA had three. He has nearly condensed it to one. Government is wasteful Romney says, because it does not apply the basic rudimentary skills business students learn in there first 3 weeks of business school.

Romney than talked about the 4 problems he sees facing the US, and his solutions:

1.Under attack from Jihad-ist. These are not some wackos in the hills, these are a real enemy who we could face for the next 20-30 years.
2.Emergence of Asia as a super power.
3.Too much governmental waste in Washington D.C.
4.Dependence on Oil.

Lastly he spoke on his healthcare plan and how he applied those four esteps mentioned earlier in its creation. He ended with a quote by Abigail Adams, “Great necessities call out great virtues.” It was a great ending to his speech and I think made a great impact.

He then opened the time up to some questions. Two which I will write about.

Q: I couldn't hear
A: We need to continue growing the economy. We need to reign in the entitlements and use that money for military and technology.

Q: Asked about his energy ideas
A: Out energy problem is a supply and demand issue.

Supply: We need more. We should support things like off shore drilling and ANWR. He also supports finding alternative sources for energy such as bio-fuels etc.

Demand: We are way too inefficient. We should have incentives for Hybrid technology and energy saving solutions.


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