Thursday, March 06, 2008

Obama "Inexperience is a good thing...what does he mean?

Second half of my burrito lunch read....

Obama's Non Sequitur

Barack Obama has some genuine strengths: He is good looking, he is unusually serene for a man so young, and he seems decent and straight-talking for a politician. Also he is a man comfortable in his own skin, which is refreshing coming after people like Bill Clinton and Al Gore who are still "growing up" in their fifties.

Obama's weakness is that he is inexperienced. This shows in his numerous naive and inane statements which I will be blogging about in the months to come. But what intrigues me is Obama's insinuation that experience doesn't matter. Whever Hillary chides Obama with inexperience Obama basically replies, "Look where experience has gotten us."

There is some truth in this. Abraham Lincoln had no experience and yet he became America's greatest president. Nixon was experienced and yet his presidency ended in disgrace. Reagan had limited experience and yet his two terms were a triumph. Hillary's own experience is mainly in screwing up.

But this historical record cuts both ways. Eisenhower's experience in foreign policy contributed to American power and prosperity in the 1950s. Jimmy Carter's inexperience resulted in American abandonment of the Shah of Iran and brought us the Ayatollah Khomeini. George H. W. Bush's experience helped assemble an international coalition that won the Gulf War. His son's inexperience led to some serious mistakes in the early period of the Iraq war.


Back to work.

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