Once upon a time the United Hotel Company needed to hire a new president. It narrowed more than a dozen applicants down to two and called them in for a final interview. "What's your experience in the industry?" they asked the finalists, though they had read their resumes.
The first applicant, a woman, replied, "I''ve spent more than 30 years working in hotels and the hospitality industry. I worked my way through college serving tables in a restaurant. When I graduated, I took a job in customer service at a hotel, then was promoted to run the catering department, and later became the sales manager. I was out of the industry for 8 years because my husband ran a hotel chain -- he was the first CEO in 50 years at that company to turn a profit -- and I moved with him to support his career. When he retired, I was selected to be the senior finance manager at another hotel chain, which I did for eight years, and then for four years was the director of communications. Also, so you can know what else I've done, here are 10 years of my income tax returns."
The second applicant, a man, said, "I've never had a job at a hotel, but I know all about them because I stay in hotels and I have my weddings catered in hotels. I've figured out some great ways to avoid paying my hotel bills. I know all about how to stiff a hotel, so you should hire me because I can stop other people from stealing from you. You need an outsider to teach you about fraud. And if the business goes downhill I know all about how to reorganize it, because I've taken six of my own companies into bankruptcy. I'm the best you're ever going to get, and if you don't hire me it means the system is rigged to favor the insiders. By the way, your receptionist's cute. I know people who own hotels in Russia - let's do a merger."
The hiring committee hotly debated which candidate to hire. The committee was almost evenly divided, so it scheduled a final discussion and vote. On the big day, one member was busy with other things, and didn't attend. The members who showed up talked for a while and then voted. The second candidate won by one vote, despite his inexperience, his bankruptcies, and his attitude, because he was a man.
This, of course, is a fable, and would never happen in American business, where decisions are based on merit. Whether it happens in American politics depends on your ballot.