Kevin O'Leary has exited the conservative leadership race. He did so quite unexpectedly. O'Leary was still the most likely candidate to win the leadership, even though he was under-performing what many had expected. In many ways Mr. Wonderful was best positioned to win this race. He was seen as having a strong economic message, he's able to connect with people, has high name recognition and was running against a group of “nobody's”. Many of the strengths of Donald Trump, being a businessman, has experienced being on TV, and communicating with people, are all strengths. He also does not have many of the disadvantages of Trump, such as a record of harassment, business dealings, and statements that are fairly unpopular.
In my mind, he had it made. If he did what he needed to do. Kevin O'Leary has now learned (the hard way) something that Donald Trump already knew when he ran. It's something that most people don't think about when they think about politics Running to win is brutal. Leadership races are a rough game that takes one hundred percent commitment. Towards the end of the general election, Donald Trump was giving 5 hour long speeches in 5 different states every day! That was an acceleration, but it was not a surprise. He entered into the campaign early, and although he was able to dominate television, he made sure to criss-cross the country and test his messaging with real people everyday. How a seventy year old man can be on the road all day and tweet all night, I don't know. (Could you do it?) It helps to have private jets and helicopters, but it is still an amazing feat. Kevin O'Leary has shown that he was not willing to suffer what it takes to win in politics. He wanted to remain living at his regular homes, spend time with his family, and keep up his normal television gigs. He wasn't willing to put it all on the line.
Mr. Wonderful most likely still would have won, but maybe not. Had he run with his whole heart for the rest of the race I am sure that he would have prevailed.
Being uncommitted though, was not the celebrity investors only failure. O’Leary had much of the whatever I do makes news effect. As well as a portion of the Donalds' outrage meter. But he did not have the quality that would have made him uber popular. O'Leary is not funny. He can make intentional jokes, but to keep your crowd enthralled with laughter and expectation was not in his skill set. Being able to make the people who liked him and the people who hated him laugh on a regular basis, prevented a large portion of the population to cement negative views about Donald Trump. Even when they wanted to. He remained daily at the top of the news because the people that did not like him laughed and the people that liked him, loved what he had to say. With Kevin, the people who didn't like him when they heard what he said, groaned, and the people who approved just said “uh huh” and went on with their day. Kevin O'Leary was not a total disaster as a politician, had he pressed on he may have become conservative leader and from there and embraced the difficult task of campaigning. The point is, he has only been half-hearted. He got in late, he didn't travel hard, his policy was soft, and he did not do what it took to become impressive on the stump. It's sort of a sad story. There is no reason O'Leary had to have been bad politician. We need to have many more business people get involved in politics if we want to succeed as a nation. It's actually not extremely complicated to succeed, but you've got to be willing to put in the hours, do the job, and put your life on the line. It's understandable why successful people don't want to do it. Please, if you do run, at least put in as much effort as Donald Trump.