Mitt Romney Fires Debate Coach For Making Him Bad By Making Him Look Good

In South Carolina’s debates watching Newt Gingrich debate Mitt Romney was like watching Cicero debate automated customer service telephone prompts. So Romney diligently and proactively went out and got an excellent debate coach, Brett O’Donnell. And Romney went on to utterly neutralize and deflate Gingrich next they met, in Florida. So that’s a point in Romney’s column. He competently and quickly took charge of a bad situation and turned it around in an impressive fashion. This also nicely fits Romney’s preferred narrative of himself as an efficient fixer.

But then staffers started crediting the debate coach for Romney’s debate win and Romney responded yesterday in a way that reflects really poorly on him. He fired O’Donnell for upstaging him.

Great leaders are not threatened by great advisers. They don’t compete with them for credit. They don’t risk sabotaging their own effectiveness by treating worthy collaborators as dangerous rivals. Weak leaders, who are more focused on their over-sensitive egos than objective success, do that.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Pteryxx

    …Isn’t this exactly how we get a government full of boot-licking yes-sayers who enshrine all their leaders’ horrible mistakes no matter the cost?

  • drlake

    To modify a quote by Forrest Gump, “character is as character does”. Sooner or later people need to start seeing Romney for the egotistical weasel he sure looks like to me!

  • http://songe.me Alex Songe

    Guys, he likes to fire people.

  • New England Bob

    My thought is that Romney is simply a whore for votes and will do anything to get them. Policy, people, issue and compassion have never counted with Willard Mitt, The guy who put his dog on the roof of the car on a trip to Canada.

  • Stacy

    Agreed. Surely part of being a great leader is choosing and listening to smart advisers.

    like watching Cicero debate automated customer service telephone prompts.

    One shiny new internet for you!

  • Ed S.

    Comparing Gingrich to Cicero is like…
    I’m aghast; I got nothin’

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

      He was Cicero compared to Mitt Romney.

    • ‘Tis Himself, OM

      My favorite comment about Gingrich:

      He’s a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person is like.

  • Aaron

    I agree with all of the above….

  • ohioobserver

    A man who lets his ego dictate who advises him isn’t fit to be President.

  • ambassadorfromverdammt

    If an automated customer service telephone prompter were running for the Repug nomination, I think it would be the front runner by a wide margin.

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Romney had a problem so he hired someone to fix the problem. When Romney’s sycophants attempted to show how good Romney was as a problem fixer by hiring good help, Romney fired the good help for upstaging him. Thus showing Romney is good at shooting himself in the foot.

  • F

    A guy who makes a living as a debate coach? Yeah, I’d fire him for being a debate coach. What the hell is that?

    As for Romney: “If there’s anything in this room bigger than my ego, I want it caught and shot now.”

    I don’t know what would reflect well on Romney, but firing the guy who helped him get what he wanted is stupid and childish.

    • SAWells

      Why is “debate coach” a bad thing to be? Debate is a skill; it can be taught; some people are good at that.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    If an automated customer service telephone prompter were running for the Repug nomination, I think it would be the front runner by a wide margin.

    I’d certainly vote for it ahead of any of the alleged humans currently in the running.

  • Randomfactor

    If an automated customer service telephone prompter were running for the Repug nomination, I think it would be the front runner by a wide margin.

    Like HELL it would be.

    The teabaggers would’ve flayed it alive the first time it responded “Press for English…”


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