Doesn't look the part.
Doesn't sound the part.
Doesn't seem all that smooth on the teleprompter.
Actually, doesn’t seem that smooth period.
Kind of odd in question and answer formats.
Seems to go down unusual paths.
Say unusual things. Even nutty things.
Not "main guy" material.
Maybe "helping guy"…never "the" guy.
Now do any of these criticisms ring a bell to any of you?
And no I’m talking about Herman Cain. I’m not talking about Ron Paul or Rick Perry or any of Republican presidential candidates who are not Mitt Romney?
No, I’m talking about me. So I have a point so please bear with ‘me’.
Those were some of the kinder comments I received from some folks in this business when I wanted to move from "reporter" to "anchor" in this business.
I was told repeatedly, “Neil you have a face made for being out in the field. Way out in the field and not at the anchor desk.”
The guy you throw-to, as one executive producer tried to kindly tell me…not the guy who does the throwing.
Truth be told, a lot of those critics were right.
I was a lousy prompter reader and to make matters worse, I sweated a lot. And I wasn't nearly as shall I say heavy as I am now.
But I so wanted to be an anchor, so bad. And the one asking the questions, so bad that I risked, well people again and again telling me I was so bad just to get the chance.
Just give me a chance.
And lo and behold way back in 1989, a guy named Jack Welch did. On a hunch that maybe, maybe this stammering and sweating pudgy PBS reporter with the helmet hair had the makings of an anchor.
So that’s what Jack did. He made me an anchor for this new financial network GE was starting up. I think it was called at CNBC.
But with this anchor caveat…I would get my shot, but it would essentially be in the middle of the night.
I'd kick off the networks earliest broadcast that before 6 a.m. …."to learn the ropes," and just in case to limit my exposure. You could see why.
"I thought you had potential," Jack later told me. "But I had a fiduciary responsibility not to risk my career on it right away!!"
And so it went.
Still I never forgot the chance that Jack Welch gave me at CNBC. Over pretty much everybody else in and outside CNBC.
And how years later, then CNBC boss Roger Ailes ignored the same critics and took even bigger chances on me.
Roger even doubled down when he hopped over to start something called Fox News Channel more than 15 years ago and took me along.
Even with that hair. Even with those glasses.
My point is not to brag on and on. But to make a point about conventional wisdom and deciding who can and cannot make it…in any field.
It just seems to me that in the Republican field, the only guy to so-called experts say is ready for prime time is Mitt Romney.
Now that may very well be the case…but I find it a little odd we're not even considering those who might be front-runner material themselves.
Maybe they just don't fit the mold or they look the part…
Like Ronald Reagan did not or for a time against George Bush senior, Bill Clinton simply could not.
Fate changed, of course.
And so did those pre-conceptions.
But not easily.
Sometimes critics are right.
But, you know oftentimes and most times critics are wrong.
After all, look at me.
There are a lot of folks who still insist I shouldn't be here. Imagine that
But here I am.
So two lessons here:
One: Never trust a thin critic
Two: Just ignore all critics. Fat chance I get it
Food for thought.
Maybe you do.
Look at the wisdom of the people of defy conventional wisdom.