It’s a question I often ask myself – usually any time some aspiring business dude (or gal, but it’s usually a dude) starts talking about running the country. Sure, they may be talented at what they do. But do they have the skills to run a public office?

Leaving aside the question of whether someone is good at their job, or whether their achievements are desirable, Ezra Klein looks at this question in light of Mitt Romney’s claim to have skills appropriate to the presidency when he cites his “job-creation” and businessman track record.

Romney was running a private-equity firm that specialized in leveraged buy-outs. Obama is president of the largest economy on earth during the worst economic crisis in 80 years. However Romney performed, however Obama is performing, the two jobs simply aren’t comparable. Romney is not being elected to issue debt, purchase private companies and try to return a profit for the taxpayer. He might be very good at doing all of that, but as president, that won’t be his job. It won’t even be close to his job.

via Romney’s Bain figures don’t add up – The Washington Post.

It often seems that folks forget that running a government and running a business are two different entities – yes, both have a lot of rules and a lot of paperwork and a lot of think-tankish-bull-session qualities, but the goals are absolutely different. And that means that not all administrative skills are applicable to both environments.