If Presidential Candidates Were Stocks

You may have missed this late Friday column from Dan Gross at Slate:

Barack Obama is the alternative-energy sector. Hybrid, next-generation upstart, unafraid of entrenched market leaders, and embraced by corn-growing Iowans, Silicon Valley venture capitalists, and East Coast moneymen.

Mike Huckabee is Chick-fil-A. Cheaper, healthier Southern
alternative to steak and prime rib dished up by urban rivals.
Explicitly fuses religion into business strategy in a way that no
competitor does.

Hillary Clinton is Citigroup. New York-based, enormously well-capitalized, longstanding market leader whose name is synonymous with the sector it dominates. A powerhouse in the 1990s is having difficulty reclaiming past glory.

Mitt Romney is the Blackstone Group. Insecure private-equity player that tries to wow the masses with ostentatious displays of wealth—kitted out Mitt-Mobile for Romney, $3 million birthday party for Blackstone head honcho Steve Schwartzman.

John Edwards is McDonald’s. Disdained by the media elite as déclassé, shunned by the fashionable as too populist and unhealthy to body politic, manages to thrive by working hard and dishing out cheap meat and potatoes to working-class patrons.

Rudy Giuliani is Bear Stearns. New York-based firm spent years since 2001 raising easy money and globe-trotting. Initials of both should be B.S. Questions raised about judgment and adolescent personal behavior of standard-bearer—alleged dope-smoking for Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne, sex on the city for Giuliani.

John McCain is General Motors. Old warhorse with solid reputation as patriotic brand takes repeated kicks but refuses to give in. Buoyed by poor performance of two top domestic rivals and by positive developments overseas—Iraq for McCain, growth abroad for GM.

Fun stuff. Reminds me of 2006’s "If Banks Were Musicians . . .  "


If Presidential Candidates Were Stocks
Daniel Gross
Slate, Friday, Jan. 4, 2008, at 5:55 PM ET

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Will T commented on Jan 7

    …and Ron Paul would be the gold mining sector.

  2. ken h commented on Jan 7

    Ron Paul is SouthWest Airlines.

    Definitely, definitely, going to resonate with the little guy, definitely.

    Fox will wish they had not dissed this guy.

    Rumor is, he is going independent. A big yee haw for Hillary and Mitt!

  3. Al commented on Jan 7

    Agree with most of the characterizations except John Edwards. How you could equate someone who made $20 million + last year with working class McDonalds is beyond me. Edwards is simply playing to a much larger jury. A more effective comparison might be the local ambulance company, which is where he got his start.

  4. Eric Davis commented on Jan 7

    Ron Paul is that “Gold Certificate” Psudo bank(http://www.libertydollar.org) that the Feds(not to be confused with “The Fed”) raided.
    (Conspiracy theorists say that, they(jack booted black helo Federal thugs) raided them, because Paul threw the “Smack down” on Helo Ben(ok, it’s not an actual theory, unless you count the one I’m trying to start)

    Can’t Mitt, be the local bank of Shylock.

  5. VJ commented on Jan 7

    Aboard Air Force One today, a reporter asked presidential spokesman Tony Fratto:

    QUESTION: Senator Clinton said on Saturday that the U.S. economy was slipping towards a recession. Is that a view the White House shares; why or why not?

    FRATTO: I don’t know of anyone predicting a recession.


    * Harvard University economist Martin Feldstein: “We are now talking about [a recession happening] more likely than not… I have been saying about 50 percent. This now pushes it up a bit above that.”

    * Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers: “[T]he odds now favour a US recession that slows growth significantly on a global basis. Without stronger policy responses than have been observed to date, moreover, there is the risk that the adverse impacts will be felt for the rest of this decade and beyond.”

    * National Association for Business Economics survey: “The number of economists forecasting the U.S. will slip into recession almost doubled over the last two months.”

    * Warren Buffett: “If I had to pick the chances that we are going into a recession, I would say they are fairly significant.”

    * CBO Director Peter Orszag: “The risk of a recession is clearly elevated.”

    * Morgan Stanley issued a “full US recession alert”.

  6. Marcus Aurelius commented on Jan 7

    I would agree with the John Edwards analogy if everything McDonald’s sold was moderately healthy.

    Other than that, have you been at a McDonald’s at breakfast time lately? They obviously meet the needs of their market.

  7. A. Zarkov commented on Jan 7

    How about darkest of dark houses: Lou Dobbs? Is he Google? Or Web Van?

  8. george commented on Jan 7

    So Fred Thompson….





  9. DavidB commented on Jan 7

    I was thinking of Paul as either Apple in its early Mac days or linux. Two better, more stable systems fighting against the poster boy for corporate hegemony. In Paul’s case his battle is with political hegemony

    I was leaning to early apple in the hopes that some day his libertarianism would morph into what apple is today.

    Unfortunately, it will probably go the way of linux. That isn’t all bad. Open source is the most important concept that will definitely survive

  10. dan commented on Jan 7

    Dear Blogger:

    This is for your information and is not intended as a spam post.

    Find out how you can promote your blog and/or website at no cost (really!) at:


    You’ll learn how I achieved #1 rankings for my websites in Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

    The program is entirely without cost and it really works.

    See absolute, undeniable proof at:


    Best Wishes

  11. Stuart commented on Jan 7

    Ron Paul 3rd in New Hampshire would shake things up a bit.

  12. jp commented on Jan 8

    alternative energy sector: overhyped, completely dependent on government funding

  13. Sammy20 commented on Jan 8

    The fact that Fox excluded Ron Paul from the debate should be getting far more play in thee media. It is ridiculous that a candidate can essentially be censored and hardly a word is spoken…the media real is bought and paid for!

    Leno did a good job tonight and I wish more folks would denounce what Fox did…Fox must be auditioning to become China’s official communist network.

  14. Stuart commented on Jan 8

    That BS stunt by FOX is exactly why candidates such as Ron Paul need to run… If FOX represents the established GOP sentiment, then the established views have to go. All that’s missing is the name of the tool at FOX that made the decision to exclude him. That name has to be circulated, widely.

  15. Sammy20 commented on Jan 8

    “The housing downturn has been a drag on the economy for some time, but there’s not a lot of evidence that this has spilled over to other areas of our economy,” Paulson in answer to a question after the speech.

    hahaha, Paulson must realize he has no more credibility left so he might as well keep pretending….jeez!!!

  16. BDG commented on Jan 8

    Al Sharpton looks like a better candidate that that crew of misfits

  17. donna commented on Jan 8

    I still think the Christianists believe Huckabee is Applebee’s. It’s their favorite place to eat after all!

  18. newinvestor123 commented on Jan 8

    Ron Paul is Nintendo. Easy to initially dismiss as a “fad,” but resonates with the average person and has the potential to revolutionize the entire industry. He is flush with cash and very conservative in his estimates. He is taking on the behemoths and gains ground on nearly all fronts with each passing day. His supporters come from all walks of life, regardless of past affiliation with any product, eager for something beyond the status quo. His product is high quality, cleverly executed, and introduced at almost exactly the right spot on the timeline for maximum impact. The people like his product so much, almost all of his publicity is created and spread completely independent of his campaign.

  19. wunsacon commented on Jan 8

    I recently watched this:
    on Rudy.

    I can make excuses for some of it. But, not enough. What bugged me most were the clips of Rudy in interviews. He seems to cover over — instead of own up to — his mistakes. We don’t need a more articulate version of Bush.

  20. Albert commented on Jan 16

    So, by use of the transitive property with the earlier article sited “If Banks Were Musicians”, Hillary Clinton = Citigroup = Ozzy Osbourne. Yea, that makes sense.

Posted Under