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A CEO as US president? America is not a business, Mitt Romney.

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In truth, the Great Recession has a long history, but Bush greatly exacerbated the problem with lax oversight of the financial sector and business-as-usual at mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And he boosted America’s debt with unpaid wars and an unfunded prescription drug benefit.

CEOs tend to be single-minded people who clear mine fields. The mines they want cleared are taxes and government regulations. The last thing a successful CEO wants is any oversight of Wall Street.

Business moguls generally have scant public records. Their jobs require little sense of civic virtue – the obligation to seek the public good and habitually act rightly. By contrast, the CEO’s culture tends to be draconically secretive. The CEO thinks his tax return is not in the public domain. The politician knows that not even his sex life is off limits.

A friend who votes Republican more often than not said, “To a CEO, all life is reduced to the abstract, if not the amoral, collecting information, then going down the road to bigger profit, a world in which all issues are reduced to spreadsheets.”

Ronald Reagan would have made a lousy CEO. He was once accused of practicing “voodoo economics.” But the gavotte he performed with Mikhail Gorbachev, reducing superpower arsenals and hastening the end of the cold war, could only have been performed by a brilliant actor, with a great supporting cast.

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