If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” It’s a truism that applies to people at all levels of society. Not surprisingly, it applies equally to both nouveau riche homeowners and to candidates running for president of the United States.
A CASE OF CHARITY: If you’ve ever watched ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” you know the show begins with host Ty Pennington and his crew reviewing a videotape submitted by a family in need as a sort of sales pitch for why they believe they deserve a new home — paid for, of course, by the network and the sponsors of the show.
During a six-day period in January 2005, according to an accessAtlanta report published Friday, some 1,800 professionals and volunteers joined forces to tear down a small, problem-plagued ranch-style house for a family in need — in this case, the family of Milton and Patricia Harper in Lake City, Ga., a community of 3,000 just south of Atlanta. In its place, they constructed a spacious two-story, four-bedroom palace — it’s the largest in the neighborhood now — at a cost of about $450,000.
After moving in, the beneficiaries of the charity, according to same article, used the house as collateral for a near-half-million-dollar bank loan. That loan, in turn, was used to launch a construction business that later failed. As a result of that failure, the house built by charity is now in foreclosure and set to be auctioned in August.
Though I have little evidence other than that contained in the aforementioned article, I would be willing to stick my neck out and venture that the failure of this family’s new business resulted, at least in part, from a failure to plan.
A CASE OF POLITICS: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, cut off from civilization, you’re likely aware of Barack Obama’s meteoric rise from a relatively obscure position as the junior U.S. senator from Illinois to a highly-visible role as the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee in 2008.
During the past 18 months, Obama has experienced a windfall not unlike that of the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” family. His campaign has not only set fund-raising records and turned out more supporters than any previous presidential candidate, but it also defeated — at least it seems that way at this point — former First Lady-turned U.S. senator from New York, Hillary Clinton.
Unfortunately for Obama, his campaign seems to be operating without a plan — or, at a minimum, without a plan he’s willing to share with the American public. In place of any plan, the 46-year-old is campaigning on a short-on-details platform of “change.” Soon, however, he should expect his “bankers” (a.k.a., “American voters”) to call him on his loan. In other words, they’re going to demand specifics on matters that mean the most to them (i.e., the economy, national security and the Global War on Terror).
Once they see his plan — or lack thereof — is full of holes, they’ll likely “foreclose” on his bid to star in “Extreme Makeover: White House Edition.”