Is Snow the Man?

I was flipping through the wires and Web sites today, getting their respective takes on CSX chief John Snow being named President Bush's new Treasury Secretary nominee.

Almost to a site and to an article, critics bemoaned his boring old, smokestack experience.

It's disappointing, said one. "A metal man swapped by a railroader."

O'Neill's "Alcoa" for Snow's "CSX." Yuck.

I think these critics miss the point.

Running a railroad teaches you a lot about this country. For one, it teaches you how many goods are moving across this country and how many aren't moving across it. It teaches you about what regions are hot and what regions are not. And contrary to popular opinion, it takes a lot of tech "know-how" to know how to move the fewest boxcars to the most points without losing your shirt.

Snow's been good at that. CSX earned nearly a billion bucks last year on revenues north of $8 billion. Tell me a tech or Internet concern that can match that in these times. Not many.

Wall Street is upset because Snow doesn't come from Wall Street. But like I say, he knows about making and saving money.

No, I suspect what ticks off a lot of folks on Wall Street is the fact he's been speaking out against corporate greed and pathetic profiteers long before it was cool.

No, Mr. Snow is not cool. He's deadly serious and to some, deadly dull. I have no problem with either. Apparently some on Wall Street do.

But you know something, I'd rather dull and earnest than flashy and fickle.

They say the dull guy never gets the girl. They're right. He ends up marrying the woman. Mature people appreciate that. But money-grubbing, mood-of-the-moment, blood-sucking profiteers who wouldn't know a thing about what made this country great clearly do not.

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