September 4, 2006
Why John Kerry Lost the Big One & The Big Question For Political Scientists
John DiIulio, Ph.D. Looking for answers, Your Business Blogger packed up kith and kin and headed to Philly.
To sit at the feet of John DiIulio, Ph.D., Harvard. Teaching now at the University of Pennsylvania, a former aide to President Bush.
John began by positing the central question for any political scientist visiting the home city of Ben Franklin:
Who has the best Philadelphia cheesesteak?
John was addressing a packed ball room at the American Political Science Association annual meeting this past weekend (yes, Labor Day, every year).
The Dude & Diva
at APSA The question got a laugh, but I think Professor DiIulio was on to a smaller truth.
After the conference, Charmaine and I loaded up the Suburban and decided to load up with Philly cheesesteaks. And to teach a basic political lesson and business lesson to the Penta Posse. We drove to South Philly to the famous eatery where John Kerry lost the election.
Pat’s King of Steaks open 24 hours. Where we joined the queue snaking around the old joint built in 1930 and not upgraded since. And no one cares.
We avoided the 3 errors John Kerry committed at Pat’s: Parking, Table, Cheese.
The Dude at Pat’s Error #1) Parking. Pat’s is located on a busy intersection with some five odd parking spaces. We did not find a space. No one does. But when John Kerry came to chow down, his able advance staff staked out a spot for the limo to glid into. The Very Important Presidential candidate got a parking spot.
John Kerry ties on
the feed bag Error #2) Table. There are about 5 tables for the dozens and dozens of customers. We couldn’t get a table. And no one cares. But the Kerry Advance Team, on that fateful day, nailed down a table. Even the reporters were beginning to wonder. There was no standing around for the Elite. No slopping steak grease in the car, no sitting on the low brick wall next to the basketball courts across the street. Nosiree. The sitting Senator had a seat saved. And didn’t have to wait on no man.
The WhizError #3) Cheese. The Philadelphia Cheese Steak from Pat’s is ordered, as everyone knows, Wiz Wit. Every one knows but Kerry, that is, who is not Everyman. Translated, this means Chees Whiz With onions, if you please. John Kerry ordered his steak sandwich with Swiss cheese. Swiss. I didn’t know Pat’s would inventory Swiss: Why bother with slow moving sku’s? Even the lapdog liberal reporters snorted. Ordering is simple and fast — making my offer of queue management consulting moot. A business process needing nothing more than processed cheese.
Just like politics.
Even the Penta Posse understood this.
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Thank you (foot)notes:
Charmaine and I talked with John D. after his presentation. He tells us that the best cheesesteak in Philly is from Tony Luke’s. Most Democrats, like John, know cheesesteaks and politics.
This is an unpaid endorsement.
I cite has more on the APSA experience.