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Dearborn delegate Fred Hoffman shows his support for the Obama Administration's auto bailout decision at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.
Courtesy of Fred Hoffman
I've been back from Charlotte for a week now, and have been talking to tons of folks about my experiences, my impressions and my views. Everybody wants to chat about the Granholm auto speech, the Clinton "best ever" speech, the speeches by the President, First Lady and Veep. . .and everybody comments on the Gabby Gifford appearance, the Nuns on the Bus and the amazing diversity of the 6,000 delegates. - - - THE MOST UNREPORTED elements of the confab, from my perspective, were the terrific quartet of speeches given by business leaders who, collectively, made a powerful case for the President's re-election. - - - AS A PRO-BUSINESS Democrat for the past 45 years, I zeroed in on these remarks because I am a true believer that you can't create jobs without job-creators. But unlike the current GOP go-it-alone philosophy, I am a huge fan of PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS - where business, government, academics, non-profits and others work together to create growth...and jobs. . . .That's how we saved the domestic auto industry, that's how we built railroads, interstates, the internet, and that's how we'll create jobs in the future. . . .The founder of EBay, Steve Westly, told the convention that creating jobs is about making education, particularly math and science, a top priority. "We should be beating the rest of the world, not beating up on teachers," he said. "It's about research and development, so that from the dorm room to the board room, America can lead the world in developing new technologies....Our kids are leading the way. It's up to us to match their creativity with our commitment. We need a President who understands how to make their dreams a reality and build a brighter future for us all. That's why America needs Barack Obama." - - - THE CO-FOUNDER OF COSTCO, Jim Sinegal, said his company created 116,000 jobs by working with "neighbors" and "country." He said the President gets it because he "takes the long view and makes the tough decisions." He supports the Obama agenda to create the best education system in the world, spur research and innovation, develop alternative energies, pass reasonable immigration laws, invest in transportation systems and "create a predictable environment in which to plan, invest, hire and trade." - - - MY VIEW: he is right on, business wants predictability, frankly the predictability they have with the current Administration, not the total systemic disruption promised by the other side. Mark my words: after the President is re-elected, you will see an immediate business bump! - - - THE THIRD SPEECH that knocked my socks off was the one given by Austin Ligon, co-founder of CarMax. He hit hard: "As a businessman who focuses on facts, not political rhetoric, I think the choice this election is clear. President Obama...understands that the consumer is the engine of economic growth - that businesses cannot prosper without them. That's why he has a plan to reduce the deficit, invest in infrastructure and education, and give tax relief that benefits the average consumer, not millionaires. Because that's what works. That's how we grow the economy from the middle out, not the top down. As a businessman, I'll tell you, Mitt Romney just doesn't get it. That's why I am voting to extend Barack Obama's management contract for four more years." - - - LET ME END ON A FEW FACTS, first the fourth business speaker, investment and finance writer Andy Tobias. This is worth reading: "The economy does significantly better under Democrats, and so do investors. The stock market is up 58% since Barack Obama took office. And listen to this. If you had started in 1925 with $10,000 and invested it in the market only in the 44 years that Republicans held the White House, it would have grown - not counting dividends - to less than $30,000. But to more than $300,000 in the 44 years the Democrats held the White House. I favor the party that invests in the future and boosts the middle class and those aspiring to join it. I favor the party under whose leadership $10,000 grows to $300,000 instead of $30,000." . . . AND TO WRAP, here is another great fact from President Clinton's speech: in the last 52 years, 66 million jobs have been created -- 24 million in the 28 years under Rs and 42 million in the 24 years under Democrats. . .The choice should be clear, even for business folks!