Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hey Mr. (Next) President: Show Me Some Skin

When an entrepreneur starts or buys a business and starts looking for investors, one of the first things those investors ask is, "Do you have any skin in the game?" Meaning: "You are asking me to support you and risk something, what are you risking? Shouldn't you have something valuable on the line?"

It's a great question. In order to get support from outside sources, entrepreneurs should be willing to invest their own money and risk losing their money, home, etc. If they believe in their vision and are passionate about their company, it shouldn't be a problem.

This brings me to the two nominees for president. Why don't John McCain and Barack Obama walk away from their high-profile Senate positions and just focus on becoming the next president. It's not like the citizens of Arizona and Illinois are getting their moneys worth out of them the last 12-14 months anway. They've missed the majority of votes on the Senate floor.

Where is the risk for these two guys? Neither are paying for this race (donors and parties are helping with that) and if they lose, they head back to their day jobs. (McCain continues to be an American hero and Obama has created more raving fans for his next best seller.)

I think there should be some risk involved in this. Heck, Joe Biden is running for both the Senate and Vice President at the same time. Talk about ducking risk. Is there anything else he can run for just in case?

Bob Dole made a gutsy decision years ago to give up his Senate seat for a White House run. I applaud him for that. If I have a job in the real world (and all politicians want us to think they know what it's like in the real world), I can't put my job on hold, still get paid, and take 1-2 years to apply for another job.

It would be interesting to see how these primaries and races would unfold if the candidates had to dedicate themselves 100% to the run for president. Would Obama risk his opportunity to evolve as a U.S. Senator for a run as president? Would Joe Biden give up his powerful Senate position to be Vice President? What would John McCain (a career public servant) do if he gave up his position in the Senate?

--Ron Ameln, SBM

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