“To hear Jon Corzine tell it, Meg Whitman is either deceiving us or deceiving herself. Like Whitman, the former eBay CEO who’s vying for California’s Republican gubernatorial nomination, Corzine is one of the few people in America who has tried to make the leap from running a business (in his case, Goldman Sachs) to running a government (the state of New Jersey). He can only scoff when he hears Whitman arguing that deficit-ridden California desperately needs her corporate skills. Corzine also thought “the managerial skill set would be helpful,” he tells NEWSWEEK. But after four grueling years as a Democratic governor—ending in a humiliating defeat by an uninspiring Republican opponent—Corzine no longer believes that being a CEO prepares anyone for the day-to-day grind of governing. “The idea that you’re accountable to a bottom line and to a payroll in managing a business—it gives voters the confidence that you have the right skills [to govern]. But it’s 20,000 people versus 9 million. I don’t think candidates get the scale and scope of what governing is. You don’t have the flexibility you imagined. There’s no exact translation.” —
My latest contribution to the print mag.