Campaigning And Governing

Ross's point is well-taken:

Reagan's '80 campaign was badly mismanaged - he fired nearly all his senior staff after losing the Iowa caucuses, remember - yet once in office he was able to run circles around the Congressional Democrats, and match the canny Gorbachev at brinksmanship. George H.W. Bush won the Presidency by playing the hard-nosed partisan on the campaign trail, but he ended up alienating GOP true believers by cutting deals with Democrats from the White House. Bill Clinton ran as a centrist New Democrat in 1992 but tried to govern as a liberal (gays in the military, Hillarycare), before the '94 debacle forced him back to the middle. And George W. Bush ran two campaigns that were notable for their ruthless competence - yet competence of any sort has been strikingly absent from his administration's governance.

Still ... Reagan saw excessive delegation come back to haunt him in Iran-Contra. The first Bush doesn't count - he ran against Dukakis as Reagan's heir, and his pick of veep was an omen of his lack of popular touch. Clinton's campaign was as disorganized and as fly-by-night as his administration - made good by his prodigious talent. W is indeed the counter-example. His campaigns were crude but very efficient. If Cheney had turned out to be for policy what Rove was to gutter politics, it may have worked out well. But Cheney turned out more turd than blossom, didn't he? Delegation depends on the judgment of the delegated-to.