Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Here's Experience For You

This game that Hillary has been playing by laying claim to having more experience than Obama has always seemed a troublesome one to me. For one - she counts her years as First Lady - and while I'm sure she gained relevant experience in that position, it troubles me to see non-elected position experience compared to elected position experience for a number of reasons.

I also worry about the experience claim because I believe that experience can too often result in a stubborn refusal to see new solutions and alternative paths. Experience tends to bring on the desire to follow the "tried and true." And too often in government and politics tried is very far from true. I think this particular aspect has a lot to do with why Barack Obama is doing so well in this campaign.

I've also been concerned that all her focus on experience can come back to bite her on the butt if she does get the nomination and comes up against McCain who has twice as much experience as she does. In fact his experience level over her is greater than hers over Obama.

Well, Time Magazine decided to question experience. They did two articles in the March 10th issue. One is about the Science of Experience and talks about just how much experience matters in a variety of situations. The other article asks, Does Experience Matter in a President? Then there's a sidebar that shows the level of experience of all the Presidents from George Washington to GW - plus the three top candidates still in the game, McCain, Clinton and Obama.

Well, Hillary not only has more experience than Obama - she has more experience than more than 20 past Presidents including her husband Bill, Reagan, Carter, Kennedy, Eisenhower Roosevelt( Franklin D. and Teddy), and Lincoln, to name a few notable Presidents. Amazing the people who've gotten elected with so little experience - many of them much less than Obama as well.

And some of the people with considerably more experience? Let's see, Gerald Ford, Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan are all up there with John McCain.

When it's all laid out like that in a chart - the experience arguments slides even further down hill for me.

1 comment:

Mom said...

I was telling Dh that as well. She really can't count her years as first lady since she was there by default and not chosen to be there.

PS: Tag