May 14th, 2012
01:25 PM ET

Letters to the President #1211: 'Padding the resume'

Reporter's Note: Each day I write a letter to the president. This is no exaggeration.

Dear Mr. President,

So this big Yahoo boss has been booted for fibbing on his resume; for claiming he had some academic credentials he did not really possess. Is it just me, or does this come as no surprise?

Maybe I’m too cynical, but I assume that an awful lot of people in top spots in industry massage the facts of their experience. They inflate their accomplishments, claim honors that they have little or not right to, and hide their failures. And we…meaning Americans at large and all the businesses that keep the country running…all help, by acting as if it’s not that serious. We’ve even come up with a special language for it. When someone props up his or her resume, instead of correctly calling it “lying” we call it “padding.”

You political types do it too. Think about your campaign right now. Democrats are crowing about all the jobs that have been created during your presidency, and yet conveniently not mentioning how many have been lost. You’re talking about how you want to help young people with student loans, and yet carefully stepping around the abysmal unemployment rate among them which you’ve been unable to fix.

Romney has his own examples; ripping into your health care reforms, for instance, while constantly acting as if his own version in Massachusetts was an utterly different kettle of fish.

See what I mean? I think part of the problem is that way too many people in way too many “leadership” roles are so invested in the business winning that they’re not particularly interested in the business of being honest. Sure, you’re all being “honest enough” to stay within the guidelines of that crooked kabuki theater that passes for truth among the rich and powerful; but what power players accept among themselves every day, they’ll fire a subordinate for in a heartbeat.

So like I said, I’m just not the least bit surprised to find a corporate CEO lied on his resume. Under the circumstances, I’m frankly more surprised when I find a big player in business or politics telling the complete truth about him or herself. Now that’s a headline!

Call if you get a moment. Were you surprised by the rain this morning? I guess it was in the forecast, but it was so nice in the middle of the day on Mother’s Day I just didn’t see the clouds coming.


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