Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Newt Gingrich May Be Selling His Candidacy to Various Businesses

Is This the Real Reason Newt is Running Ran for the Nomination?

When Newt Gingrich announced that he was running for  the Republican nomination for President for 2012, a lot of us, ok, make that all of us, thought that he was not a serious candidate.  The thinking was that Newt was basically using the political campaign to sell Newt, Inc.  because that’s what Newt does for a living.  And he does it very well.  He makes a lot of money selling Newt.

This hypothesis was largely confirmed when Mr. Gingrich immediately went on a long vacation after announcing his candidacy, and his staff quiet en masse.  In late 2011 Mr. Gingrich’s candidacy actually had the aura of being a real campaign, but this caused voters to actually consider Mr. Gingrich, and that immediately spelled the end of any serious consideration by any serious considerators.

So we are back to the original theory, that Mr. Gingrich is running to enhance the Gingrich brand, and maybe pick up some small change.  Businessweek reports how he is leveraging his candidacy to promote a concept called “Lean Six Sigma”.  Here is what Lean Six Sigma means.

Last year, Mike George, a former management consultant, began approaching Republican Presidential candidates about signing his pledge to eliminate the national deficit using Lean Six Sigma, a strategy he developed in the 1990s. Enrollees in Lean Six Sigma courses learn ways to cut waste in their companies and make their workers more effective, earning “green belt” certification for one to two weeks of training and “black belts” for four.

Mr. George has tried to sell his concept to Republican candidates, and finally formed a PAC to support Mr. Gingrich.  So Mr. Gingrich has returned the favor.

So the 72-year-old Texas businessman decided to form a super-PAC and get behind one candidate: Gingrich. The candidate has name-dropped Lean Six Sigma in campaign appearances, media interviews, and Republican debates no fewer than 28 times since mid-2011, according to a Bloomberg News review of transcripts and news reports

Of course everyone denies there is any quid pro quo, but

More than anything, the relationship illustrates a new way for a wealthy donor to leverage an election as a public-relations tool for a product or message. It’s “kind of amazing,” says Craig Holman, a lobbyist with Public Citizen in Washington, a group that advocates for more regulation of political donations. “I could easily see it catching on: ‘You tout my book, and I’ll provide you with a portion of my proceeds.’

And maybe it is perfectly innocent.  Yeah, right.

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