Friday, January 4, 2008

Celebrity Apprentice, Guilliani Should Watch

I'm not sure how Ommarosa got celebrity status, but nevertheless, she is a contender on the Celebrity Apprentice show. In the first episode we learn that Ommarosa hasn't changed since her last appearance. She's still aggravating, stubborn, annoying and much more consumed by making it to the next round than by accomplishing any task.

She showed her colors as the project manager for the first task. The celebrities had to sell hot dogs for charity. The first decision Ommarosa made was to downplay the celebrity status of her team-mates, and to run the stand as a professinal hot dog stand. Of course she completely missed the point of the excercise. They weren't selling hot dogs, they were raising money for charity. Gene Simmons (KISS), on the other team, recognized this immediately and got on the phone to some of his rich friends, bringing in thousands of dollars per hot dog. By the time a few members of Ommarosa's team thought of doing the same, it was too late. They got trounced.

You would think Ommarosa would have gotten the ax, no contest. However, there was a weaker link. Tiffany, the Playboy model, is a very nice young lady, but she made two mistakes. One, she didn't defend herself well in the board room. Ommarosa was mostly shouting over her, but she couldn't deal with it. She made few points and didn't get her point of view across. The nail in her coffin was that she didn't do everything she could to win the task. She could easily have called Heffner and asked him to fly to New York and hand her a great big check for a hot dog. She admitted she was saving that contact for "a bigger task". As the Donald pointed out, in a single elimination competition, holding back for the next round can be a fatal mistake. Tiffany wont be participating in the next round.

What does this have to do with Rudy? Well, Rudy is playing a similar strategy in the primaries. He's essentially blowing off the first rounds and waiting for the "bigger task". He has also been reluctant to mix it up with the other candidates. This has spared him some retaliation and direct attacks, but it has also kept him out of the news. You can't make your point if nobody's listening.

The funny thing is, before the Celebrity Apprentice show aired I was commenting to my wife that early on I thought this was Rudy's race to lose, and he's doing just that. I told her I'd lost confidence in him myself, not because of any position he's taken or opposed, but because he doesn't seem willing to get aggressive. If you want to be the leader of the free world, you must "have a pair". Then, the Apprentice show came on and illustrated my point.

As far as good judgment and great ideas, Ommarosa scores an F-, but her tenacity and toughness carried her past her rival who was guilty of the bigger sin, complacency.

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