FIVE THINGS I’M THINKING ABOUT TODAY

1)  It’s Friday, January 30, 2015. It’s 2 days until the Super Bowl and, better yet, 3 days until the day after the Super Bowl.

2)  It’s the birthday of both Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dick Cheney. Go figure.

3)  Mitt Romney apparently won’t venture into Harold Stassen territory after all. 

Stassen, for the young’uns, was a former Republican governor of Minnesota who sought the presidency over and over again. The first couple of times, in the 1940s and ‘50s, he was a serious contender. After that, he was a running joke. In all, he sought the White House 10 times between 1940 and 1992. 

Romney isn’t close to that yet. Had he gone this time, it would have been his third try. And he even got the GOP nomination once, something Stassen never achieved.

But he lost to President Obama in 2012, and the fact of the matter is it wasn’t nearly as close as Romney and his backers thought it was. That’s partly due to the fact the president’s base stayed with him, but it’s also due to Romney’s ham handed way of campaigning.

The car elevator. The 47% remark that showed up on videotape. “Corporations are people.” The Benghazi trap at the debate with the president.

All that would have been revisited, and then some. Democrats were practically salivating over the idea of running against Romney.

So Romney made the right choice. He’ll have to settle for having been governor of Massachusetts, a very successful venture capitalist, the guy who ran the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics — and not another Harold Stassen.

4)   Because I respect my friend Katie Benner’s journalistic chops, I read the Newsweek cover story on Silicon Valley’s mistreatment of women. Katie urged folks to get past the prurient, made-you-look cover and read a thorough, in-depth telling of a sordid tale.

Katie was right. It’s worth the time.

It’s not that you don’t know, or imagine, that this is what Silicon Valley is like. You’ve heard tales of misconduct and misogyny in this Petri dish of nerds and money.  But Nina Burleigh uses the travails of two would-be entrepreneurs with a pretty solid idea to show how hard it is for that idea to advance when women think of it.

The solution the article seems to be forth is that women have to be more willing to invest in women entrepreneurs — and women entrepreneurs have to be more willing to ask straight out for funding.

And, one other thing, because I always imagine my daughter when I see young women making their way in the world: Keep a steak knife handy if a would-be venture capitalist asks you to put your hand under the table at a restaurant.

5)   For those of you who stay at home on Friday or Saturday night, here’s a remote way to have a big night in the Big Apple this weekend.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, under the direction of Wynton Marsalis, livestreams its concerts at the beautiful Frederick Rose Theatre in the Time Warner Center. For the next two nights, they’re honoring four of jazz’s greats — Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. In particular, they’re performing works by these titans that were influenced by African and Latin American music.

The concerts begin at 8 p.m. ET and can be seen at wyntonmarsalis.org/live.     

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