European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 15 1999, Page 17

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 15, 1999, Darmstadt, HesseWednesday december 15, 1999 stars and stripes Pace 17 the ask those who served with them theory Phoenix Ariz. George and John Mccain Are put Ting one of my political axioms Toa severe test. Over the years i have come to believe that politicians Are very Good judges of other politicians that if you want to know the worthiness of candidates seeking higher office ask the people who have served with them. That is Why it was so impressive last Winter to see All those David foder Republican governors move Early to anoint the governor of Texas As their Choice for the presidency in 2000. They owed Bush nothing. Many other options were Avail Able including the safety of sitting tight until the contest devel oped. But some of the Ablest in the group people like Mike Leavitt of Utah Marc Racicot of Montana and John Engler of Michigan stepped Forward to mobilize their colleagues on behalf of Bush Way Back last february. They judged he had the right stuff to go the distance not just to a first ballot Nomi nation Victory in Philadelphia but to the White House because All of them told reporters they were determined to find a Winner this time. The problem with the theory is that while Bush s endorsements and his Campaign Treasury filled with help from those same governors scared away several Well credentialed rivals before the first vote was cast he simply does not stand out in the debates among the candidates who remain. The second such forum held Here last week was the same As the first in new Hampshire. Bush repeated chunks of his memorized stump speech whether they fit the actual question or not and made not the slightest Effort to demonstrate either intellectual heft or political adroit Ness. It May not Cost him the nomination. As i be said before his great Talent lies in his face to face campaigning with individual voters. The morning after the Arizona debate i watched him work the room for 40 min utes at a breakfast sponsored by the state chamber of Commerce. He had a Friendly word for everyone a Pat on the Back a squeeze of the Arm. As he left each round table of 10 guests for the next the people he d just been with wore Happy dazed expressions of Star struck admiration. That is a gift. With his Campaign seem ing confident that Bush will easily defeat the Challenge from Steve Forbes in the Jan. 24 Iowa caucuses he can spend most of next month in new Hampshire which votes on feb. 1. His Mastery of one on one campaigning May give him the support he needs to withstand sen. John Mccain who is skipping Iowa in favor of stoking the surge that has brought him even with Bush in new Hampshire polls. But serious doubts have been planted about Bush s ability to win in november if he can t match wits with Gary Bauer or Orrin Hatch How will he do in debates against Al Gore or Bill Bradley he has to do better delivering his message on to or else. Meantime Mccain tests my theory in a different Way those who know him Best have wildly differing views about his suitability for the presidency. Mccain has been endorsed by such notably serious and Independent minded Senate col leagues As Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Fred Thompson of Tennessee. They backed him on his merits not because it helps their careers. And Mccain also is admired by Many Senate democrats. On the other hand there Are Many Bush shows his extensive knowledge of Mexico Chalupa equally Large minded legislators among the vastly larger numbers of House and Senate republicans who have passed Over Mccain and Given their support to Bush. Some notably fair minded people who have served with Mccain Over the past 16 years have Strong reservations about seeing him in the White House. The same thing is True Here in Arizona. Mccain has devoted fans. At the chamber breakfast financial planner Joe Montecarlo told me i be followed John s whole career. He s a fighter. I like on the other hand Arizona state univer sity professor Tom Shaffer said Mccain and his people have More enemies Here than anywhere else they be been awful Tough on people. I think George Bush will win the feb. 22 primary you find the same split among Veteran politicians. Before the debate Here sen. Jon Kyi and rep. . Hayworth speak ing on behalf of everyone in the Arizona Republican congressional delegation said Mccain s release of his voluminous medi Cal records answered every legitimate question about his emotional stability and should close off further criticism of his temper. On the other hand former House minor Ity Leader John Rhodes whose retirement in 1982 opened up the House seat that launched Mccain s career told me he is supporting Bush rather than Mccain because he is persuaded John can t win in you can see Why i m puzzled. Anybody have a better theory Washington Post writers group. Ben & Jerry s gets a taste of Wall Street crunch by Sebastian Mallaby the Washington Postl ast year in the midst of the sen ate s nato enlargement debate Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry s ice Cream stood up and made his views heard. He convened electronic town Halls and took out full Page ads he denounced nato expansion As a Hare brained revival of the cold War. Ganging up on a Russia that has abandoned communism made no sense he explained it was like Ben & Jerry s going All out against a Haagen dazs that had quit ice Cream for hot , 18 months later nato has expanded Russia is shelling Chechnya and a Agen dazs still makes ice Cream. Not Only that various rival ice Cream firms Are plotting hostile bids for Cohen s company. Corporate Battles and real Bat Les carry on. The Guy who came up with a dessert called peace pop is looking somewhat the Battle in Seattle everybody sees that activists with Money and modems can set the Public Agenda. But every body needs to grasp the limits to this phenomenon too and Here Cohen turns out to be useful. The ice Cream Man is a mixture of All the passions on display in Seattle. He is a Liberal activist who has deployed a certain Wacky Media Charm to decry military spending the rape of rain forests and sundry other evils. He is an ardent local is who insists on buying All his milk from expensive Small Farmers in his Home state of Vermont so defying global capitalism s homogenizing logic. When his firm went Public in 1984, its shares were sold to Vermont residents Only. Nearly one in every 100 families bought some. But if Seattle made you think that the world was being taken Over by Cohen and his ilk listen to the next part of the Story. It is Ben & Jerry s that May be taken Over now the firm is the object of hostile bids that come rather fittingly from All around the world from Unilever an Anglo dutch firm from Dreyer s grand ice Cream an american rival and according to some reports from Roncadini of Italy. Whether or not any of these bids succeeds their Mere existence shows that Cohen s Way of carrying on cannot carry on much longer. Cohen wants to run a firm driven by social values but investors want share Holder value. If they Are denied the Stock bleeds and Sharks arrive from All quarters. Indeed Ben & Jerry s has been considerably homogenized already. Five years ago with profits falling Cohen and his co founder Jerry Green Field ceded Day to Day decisions to a hired suit they scrapped the old Rule that nobody could be paid More than seven times the lowliest worker and signed up a business guru from Mckinsey the global management consultancy when they tired of him they hired Perry Odak apparently a bothered by the fact that his previous Job was with . Repeating arms and Browning manufacturers of outdoor and recreation sporting goods according to the official resume. Odak has eliminated the peace pop Brand which was not paying its Way. He has nixed Cohen s scheme to Market organic ice Cream. He has roamed far from ver Mont developing markets in Europe Canada Japan Peru and Lebanon. Until Ben � Jerry s ran into financial bumps it was hailed As the business ver Sion of the third Way so beloved by the Clinton administration. It seemed to have reconciled right with left to have married the capitalist ethos with the 1960s counter culture. It made profits while behaving like a nonprofit it created a National Brand by being fiercely Loyal to its Home Community. Our social Mission adds to our profits Cohen used to say triumphantly. But the truth is that so Long As you make profits the Market smiles upon idealism whether you Are super Charita ble Bill Gates or a japanese firm promis ing lifetime employment. Stop making profits however and you re finished. The Seattle protests proved that Liberal activists can upset the plans of politicians. Ben & Jerry s proves that when Liberal activism runs afoul of the Market it tends to get flattened. The greatest gains for Liberal ideas have come from harnessing the Market s Force. Liberal investors dumped South african shares Liberal Consumers spurn anti environmental products. Ben & Jerry s fans bought rain Forest crunch because the Label promised that Money from these nuts will help Brazil Ian Forest Peoples Start a nut shelling cooperative that they la own and but now the Wall Street crunch is Here threatening Cohen s Freedom to own and operate his company. Mallaby is an editorial Page staff member for the Post

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