Thursday, April 16, 2015
When the stakes are high, companies spend millions in PR and lobbying to win. That is the case over the competition to build the new stealth bomber for the Air Force. The face-off is between Boeing-Lockheed Martin teamed together and Northrop Grumman. Both sides are using retired generals to make their cases, and they are fighting for a budget of at least $55 billion. The odd part of the competition is that no matter who wins, the victory will be short-lived because the other side will appeal and the bid might be run again. Winning the right to build the bomber is a long-term campaign with as many twists and turns as a mystery novel. It should be simpler than it is but that is the way of contracting to the Pentagon. It will be many months yet before a final decision is made. Meanwhile, the largesse of campaign contributions will run freely to Congressmen and Senators who are in a position to influence the outcome. It's not a pretty sight.