Over a drink yesterday evening, yours truly, Rob Long and several friends, including Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and a legendary professor at Claremont McKenna, spent about 90 minutes trying to decide whether we preferred Newt or Mitt. (We had all just attended the annual dinner of the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco, happily settling ourselves, after dinner, in the bar just off the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.) Newt versus Mitt, Mitt versus Newt. We couldn't decide. (At least I couldn't.)
Summing up, Charles observed that Newt and Mitt presented a neat case study in risk/reward analysis.
Whereas Newt might at almost any moment say or do something unbalanced, sinking his campaign (the risk), as president he would prove much more likely than Mitt to govern as a true conservative, articulating a compelling and constitutional vision while enacting radical reforms (the reward). Mitt, of course, presents just the opposite profile: He's unlikely to make a mistake during the campaign (the risk, such as it is), but just as unlikely to govern as a true conservative (the reward, or, rather, the lack thereof).
Although my business school education never really took--after getting my MBA I tried business for all of a year before going right back to writing--as I listened to Charles a dim memory of a long-ago finance class began to stir. "I've got it!" I suddenly cried. "Newt's a stock and Mitt's a bond!"
Charles looked at me for a moment, then said simply, "Well put."
I'm still glowing.
Oh, yes. Rob. He merely shook his head, chuckling.