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Bush Should Have Been Given Top Marks as Potential Chief Executive for the Country

April 10, 1988

Warren Bennis' Viewpoints column ("Presidents as CEOs: Do Any of the Candidates Have What It Takes to Really Lead the Country?" March 6) was right on in its criteria for effective leadership, but way off the mark in its evaluation of one of the candidates, Vice President George Bush.

As a former Fortune 100 chief executive and as a former director of several major companies, I have had a unique opportunity during my stint in the Reagan Administration and now in the Bush campaign headquarters both to see Bush in action and to compare him to the many corporate chief executives I have known. My conclusion is that he ranks at the top in all five of Bennis' categories, well above any of the other candidates.

Bush is a man of character, compassion and conceptual skills, backed by sound judgment and a strong executive personality, occasionally masked by his innate politeness. He has succeeded as a businessman, a legislator, a diplomat, a political organizer, a government administrator and, of course, as vice president. That is why I am working for him, and why I believe most of America's chief executives support him.

S. BRUCE SMART JR.

Fairfield, Conn.

The writer is an adviser to the George Bush for President campaign, former undersecretary of commerce for international trade and former chairman of Continental Group, now known as Continental Can Co.

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