Maybe I'm all alone here, but I'm thrilled with the way the Republican field of candidates is shaping up for 2012.
Of course they all have faults. But there is one trait common to the three who have risen to the top: proven managerial competence.
I have my favorite, but I think we can agree that each can boast of considerable achievement. Among these guys, you can back the flavor of competence that's important to you.
Herman Cain represents turnaround CEO-competence. He knows about structuring a balance sheet, cutting costs, trimming staff in a downtrodden organization and hiring and empowering winners. He knows how to keep underlings accountable.
Mitt Romney offers investment banker competence, the ability to choose between winning and losing ideas, and the ability to identify the key strategic elements of success. He's also been the Republican governor in a very blue state, and a successful Olympic organizer.
Rick Perry has demonstrated his competence in the public arena, as a candidate and governor of a vibrant and diverse state, one of the few success stories of recent years. Just as important, he understands that government has its limits and that any economic turnaround must be rooted in the private sector.
Any of these candidates will offer a stark contrast with the incumbent in November's election.
From his first days in office, Barack Obama's incompetence has been on stark display.
All of his probable challengers would have realized that a true leader does not blame his (or her) predecessor for his challenges, he rolls up his sleeves and gets to work.
A true leader does not go out of his way to pee on his best friend's shoes, as Obama did with the U.K.
None of the challengers would have made the rookie mistake all of exposing the office of the President to humiliation, as Obama did when he put all the chips on the table in a failing bid for the Chicago Olympics.
Obama was handed an overwhelming majority in the House and a virtual free hand in the Senate, and the result was the unilateral debacle Obamacare, and nothing else.
Obama only understands political power as a cudgel. A leader knows that sometimes a scalpel is called for. Or a paintbrush.
As a political leader, Barack Obama would be eminently qualified to lead the Occupy Wall Street crowd. That's his experience, and that's his vision of where the country is headed.
While there are policies and issues that differentiate the Republican frontrunners, any of them would be a vast improvement over the incumbent.
Cross-posted at stevemaley.com.