A successful company rarely changes its CEO, but countries are not companies. Bill Clinton will step down as President of the United States in January, as required by the Constitution. You can love him or hate him, credit him with the current economic climate or not, but the fact remains that the U.S. economy has boomed through the eight years of the Clinton Administration. Entrepreneurs have been able to launch companies and succeed in this environment to a dazzling degree. So who can keep this party rolling?
That's the question on the minds of entrepreneurs as they judge the two leading candidates to replace President Clinton. Fortunately, Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush seem to understand the special needs of entrepreneurs. "Both Bush and Gore are sympathetic to the entrepreneurial spirit in America," says Bennie L. Thayer, president and CEO of the National Association for the Self-Employed.
Part of that understanding may come from their backgrounds. Gore worked on his family's farm as a child and teenager, and then bought his own farm in Carthage, Tennessee, with wife Tipper in 1973. (It's fair to note, however, that he is more the gentleman farmer, having worked as a newspaper reporter and politician since leaving the Army.) Bush worked in the oil business for 11 years starting in 1976 and then was the managing general partner of Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers (not exactly your typical start-up).
Freelance writer Chris Sandlund is a former editor of Success and Home Office Computing magazines. He worked as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate covering tax, trade and banking issues from 1985 to 1987.