Thursday, February 22, 2007

Now that's rich

The latest knock on the top Democratic presidential contenders -- U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., and former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C. -- in some GOP circles is that they just don't have enough experience to deserve the job.

To take this argument seriously, you'll need to forget that in 2000, Republicans nominated George W. Bush, whose time in elective office consisted entirely of a term and a half as perhaps the nation's most powerless governor. You'll also need to ignore the examples of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower, who did all right despite their paucity of time as elected officials.

Experience is important, of course, but it's tough to argue that candidates' raw amount of experience, in and of itself, always should be the decisive factor in who's better suited for a job. Vice President Cheney has more governmental experience than almost any major-party contender, but to say the least, I don't see people rallying in the streets demanding that he run in 2008.

5 Comments:

Blogger The Alabama Moderate said...

Considering that time in office gives one more opportunities to cozy up to lobbyists... I'd say that the more inexperienced the better.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

I, too, really don't hold much stake in experience. After all, Mr. Smith went to Washington and did okay. I'd just like to have a real race between several acceptable candidates and not have some preordained frontrunner shoved down my throat.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

I guess we're supposed to pretend that W was just an anomaly. Can't blame the Republicans for wanting to pretend he doesn't exist.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

AM and Sheila: I think a lot of political observers underestimate just how fed up voters are with the power structure in Washington. An outsider candidate's chances will be much better this year than they might have been in other recent elections.

Kathy: I haven't heard of this W character. Perhaps you could tell me more.

9:05 PM  
Blogger JoeC said...

If Dubya and Cheney can get elected with three DUIs, I'm optimistic intelligence and personality can overcome youth and inexperience (well, if you take Diebold out of the equation...)

12:54 AM  

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