WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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In search of a good loser

In the past week, I've listened to talks by former comptroller David Walker, ex-E-bay CEO Meg Whitman and Professional Services Council President and WT columnist Stan Soloway.

When their talks turn to the upcoming election, a common theme emerges - it doesn't matter who is elected, serious problems await.

Even before the bailout, the budget deficit was soaring. At the same time, needs continue to arise. There are health care costs to tame, infrastructure to repair, an aging workforce, a stagnating economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I'm not really worried too much about who wins or loses. I just want them to be good losers and gracious winners.

If there ever was a time for bipartisanship, it is now. Our problems and challenges are too big for one party to arrogantly lord their victory over the other. And the losing party needs to lick their wounds, roll up their sleeves and get to work.

Do I think that the results of next week's election will usher in an era of cooperation? Probably not.

The talking heads on TV will go on the attack, I'm sure. The first time the winner stumbles, the I-told-you-so's will begin. The winners will talk down to the losers and claim a mandate that they will say gives them the right to ignore other views.

But my hope is that the candidates will think of the end of the annual Army-Navy football game when the alma maters of both schools are sung and the winners and losers stand together to honor and respect each other.

No matter how bitter the rivalry, these players know that the real mission is service to their country. Our elected leaders could learn much from their example.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Oct 31, 2008 at 7:22 PM


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