By Steve Kelman

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The Lectern: Contractors, Wall Street bonuses and Obama

I was at a a board meeting recently for GTSI, the government information technology solutions provider on whose board of directors I serve, and I was talking with a few of those with whom I was interacting at the meeting about the current economic and political situation. The most interesting thing I learned was that everyone I asked -- I didn't ask all in attendance about this, but those I did -- was dismayed or even angry at the bonuses that have been paid out on Wall Street. Their reactions didn't sound very different from those of ordinary folks around the country. That was really significant, I thought, because the people I asked are retired CEOs and other corporate executive types who are hardly left-wingers or people who are just envious of financial success.

It was also interesting to hear people's impressions of President Barack Obama so far. Almost everyone in the group is a Republican -- I get ribbed for being a Democrat -- and most didn't vote for Obama. But without exception, all with whom I spoke (again, not everybody in the group) were somewhere between mildly and quite positive towards Obama so far. They liked the stimulus package, they liked his "zen" coolness, and they liked the moderate appointments. One person told me he was impressed that Obama had publicly stated he was rooting for the Steelers in the Super Bowl, rather than giving a "typical politician" response that tried not to offend anybody by taking sides.

As readers know, I try to keep this blog away from partisan politics, but it was really interesting to me to hear these reactions from important folks in the government contractor IT industry.

Posted by Steve Kelman on Feb 02, 2009 at 12:08 PM


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