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The "experience factor"
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dan McLaughlin writes a rather long but interesting article that explores the "experience factor" and its importance. You need to read it all.

He outlines the type experience, the level of experience and the amount of experience most reasonable people would desire a presidential candidate should before assuming the most difficult and complex political job in the world.

He then applies it to Barack Obama and concludes:
He's never run anything at all, not even a small law practice like John Edwards. Besides his campaign, probably the biggest thing he's ever run was the Harvard Law Review.

He has nothing resembling national security experience or even particularly sustained advocacy on the issue before announcing his candidacy in 2007. The man has apparently hardly even traveled to Europe, to pick one example.

He is running in a contested election outside the insular world of Chicago politics for the first time and has never had any sort of responsibility for political leadership.

He's never served in the military and seems to have scarcely any experience even knowing people who served in the military.

His private-sector business background is negligible.

Are any of these things disqualifying from the Presidency? No. But electing a man who is so seriously lacking in all of them is indeed unprecedented. And that is and should be a central issue in this campaign.
The "experience factor" is the most potent weapon the Republicans have to wield against an Obama candidacy. Sure there will be other factors which work against him as well, but in this age of terrorism and uncertainty (to include economic uncertainty), his lack of experience in just about every sphere should scare voters to death.

Obama's dazzle factor has, to this point, pretty well hidden his experience deficit. Now is the time to begin to bring out that deficit.

The issue of experience is one Reps should begin to hammer now and continue to hammer through November. Obama will, of course try to answer those sorts of questions and his answers may provide even more avenues of attack. The sense of uneasiness that the MSM tells us pervades the US citizenry isn't going to be calmed by someone whose primary claim to fame is a few years in politics and being a great speaker.

If handled properly and exploited consistently, this is the issue which could win the presidency for the Republicans - especially if all 57 states are allowed to vote.
 
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Experience, indicates some sort of conststancy in response to situations.
Experience, and it’s product, consistancy is only a good thing, if you’re not a total screwup.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
But what has Senator McCain ever run, besides his mouth? Seems to me he’s been sucking on the Government Teat his entire life.
 
Written By: Pedro the Illegal Alien
URL: http://microsoft.com
Yes, America yearns for the same type of long resumes that helped put Bush/Cheney into power.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Yes, America yearns for the same type of long resumes that helped put Bush/Cheney into power.
As usual, Oliver, you’re nonresponsive to the point.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Sorry I have to spell it out for you. Experience is overrated. Bush/Cheney had long resumes, they both worked as CEOs, Cheney was a congressman, defense secretary and aide, Bush was a governor. The people under them have served in multiple administrations.

And yet, they failed. They failed at domestic policy, they failed at foreign policy.

This demonstrates yet again that experience means bupkiss if you’re just wrong on the fundamentals underpinning your decision making.

Most polls show the "wrong track" number at record highs, so somehow I don’t think John McCain touting his quarter century in Washington is the magic bullet to do the trick.

Yes, Obama is the new guy. He’s the new guy who doesn’t think we should keep doing things that don’t work. Americans tend to like that.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Well, Oliver, a majority of Americans are able to say something like "you’re doing it wrong." That doesn’t necessarily mean that a majority of Americans have any idea how to do it right.

Perhaps if Obama had ever run anything besides his campaign or various Senate offices he’d be able to show the voters what he’d do right instead of offering "hopeyness and changitude" (h/t AoS) as his primary platform planks.

Once this whole Hillary thing finally ends I expect the Obama campaign to label any attempt by the GOP to bring up Obama’s inexperience as a "distraction from the real issues." It’s worked so well up until now. You keep running a play that works until the other side figures out how to stop it.
 
Written By: Greg
URL: http://
Oliver:

Barack has no respect for America. Does not wear a flag pin. Does not show the customary honors to the flag. His friends (Ayers and Dohrn) bombed US government buildings, killed people and advocated the violent overthrow of the government. He is a black racist. His pastor advocates black liberation theology. Barack’s website contains a link to the New Black Panther Party. How would these concepts poll in America? Not well.
They failed at domestic policy, they failed at foreign policy.
In spite of 9/11 and five years of war, our economy has been growing since 2001. Bush has added 5.1 million new jobs. While the rate of increase has slowed in the past six months, we are still adding jobs. Unemployment is at 5.1% nationally. Here in Alabama, unemployment is under 3%. Fewer people live below the poverty line. More people own homes. Tax rates are lower and government revenues are up.

In foreign policy, European countries are moving right. Germany, France and Italy have conservative governments. In UK’s recent local election labor lost 300+ seats.

In Iraq the surge worked and al Qaeda has been defeated. Iranian influence in Iraq is waning. Al Sadr and his Mahdi army, crushed. Inside Iran, there is considerable unrest and the Islamic Government are afraid of an attack on their nuclear facilities.

Obama wants to pull out of Iraq regardless of the consequences, cut defense spending, stand down our nuclear alert forces, and replace the quadrennial defense review with a "panel of experts." He wants to regulate more industries, swallow the global warming kool-aid, restrict free speech and redistribute wealth (make taxes "fair"). How would these concepts poll in America? Not well.

Obama and Clinton lead in two categories - lying and inexperience.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
And yet, they failed. They failed at domestic policy, they failed at foreign policy.
Bang the drum, Willis. Just don’t expect any of the rest of us to dance.
In foreign policy, European countries are moving right. Germany, France and Italy have conservative governments. In UK’s recent local election labor lost 300+ seats.
In Iraq the surge worked and al Qaeda has been defeated. Iranian influence in Iraq is waning. Al Sadr and his Mahdi army, crushed. Inside Iran, there is considerable unrest and the Islamic Government are afraid of an attack on their nuclear facilities.


Arch, you’d better know up front; Willis considers these a negative.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Bithead:

You’re right. Willis, fortunately, only has one vote. The broader question is, "What will the American public think?"
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
Arch how dare you question Barack’s patriotism!!! Obama is *SO* patriotic, he invented 7 more states!
 
Written By: SaveFarris
URL: http://
Oliver Willis wrote:

"Sorry I have to spell it out for you. Experience is overrated."

... Therefore, it’s time to try ignorance for a change!
 
Written By: Mike G in Corvallis
URL: http://
it’s time to try ignorance for a change!
Dude! Trademark that before someone else does!
Credit Oliver with giving you the idea.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Oliver Willis:
And yet, [Bush/Cheney] failed. They failed at domestic policy, they failed at foreign policy.
You’re certainly free to build your case. But note that what they didn’t fail at was gaining the White House — twice. This is what Obama will fail at, thanks in part to his feather-light resume.
[Obama’s] the new guy who doesn’t think we should keep doing things that don’t work. Americans tend to like that.
Maybe, but they also like people who can show some evidence of knowing how to do things that do work.

Can you name a former president who attained the office with no more real work experience or achievements than Obama has?
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
A two decade long HIV vaccine search failed last year. I don’t think they should keep trying what they have done. That doesn’t mean I know how to do it. I guess I could chant change and hope and down with those that have failed. But, only an idiot would put me in charge without any experience or knowledge.
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
It’s always good to know how the dead-enders think, unaffected by facts or figures. In the 1990s, the Clinton administration didn’t have to sell how well the economy was doing. People knew. And just like now, the Bushies scream ITS DOING VERY WELL when people know the opposite is true.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Willis:

The "Bush" economy is far better than the "Clinton" economy. During the 6 prosperous years of the Clinton administration, republicans in congress cut spending and Bill Clinton triangulated.

If you know what you are talking about, put up some numbers or STFU.

Cordially,

Arch
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
It’s always good to know how the dead-enders think...
So everyone who doesn’t agree with you is a "dead-ender" Oliver?

Heh ... whatever it takes, I guess, to ignore the point (whoa, sounds like a "dead-ender", doesn’t it?).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
the Bushies scream ITS DOING VERY WELL
Psssstt...Oliver....look......George Bush isn’t running....


You might want to pass that tremendous secret along to your team.
Oh, and the Democrats have been in charge of Congress for 2 years....they have some economic things to answer for.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Is Oliver Willis an Erb clone?
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
It’s always good to know how the dead-enders think, unaffected by facts or figures
YEah, and for that reason I actually read your blog once in a while.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I don’t mind that people like Oliver disagree with Bush’s policies, but it’s a non-sequitur to suppose that, in the face such disagreement, the appropriate response is to trash experience and go with the least experienced, the least accomplished, and certainly the most bizarre presidential candidate in American history.

I also can’t believe that people like Oliver would be so dismissive of experience if the Republicans fielded a candidate as poorly qualified as Obama. Then we would hear much sage chin-tugging from the Democrats about the importance of experience and the arrogance of Republicans to run some charismatic know-nothing, done-nothing for president.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
. . . Then we would hear much sage chin-tugging from the Democrats about the importance of experience and the arrogance of Republicans to run some charismatic know-nothing, done-nothing for president.
We used to hear about that awful, charismatic Republican actor-turned-politician.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
We used to hear about that awful, charismatic Republican actor-turned-politician.
Yes, we did.

However, Reagan gave his big debut speech in 1964. He was elected twice as governor of California. And he ran and lost his bid for the nomination in 1976 before succeeding in 1980. In other words, Reagan paid some dues on the way to winning the White House.

Obama gave his debut speech in 2004, hasn’t finished even one term at the national/gubernatorial level or done anything at all beyond community organizing and one term in Illinois state house and now he expects to be president.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Some day in the far future, the Democrats will have a candidate with a ton of experience, maybe more than their opponent. The Oliver Willis will be here telling us experience is very, very important.

But he is correct in that simply having experience doesn’t mean you will make the best judgements, choose the right staff or advisors, etc. The problem is that Obama’s judgement doesn’t look too hot either.

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
As I said, experience isn’t as important as the underlying ideology. Bush and Cheney and McCain have a lot of experience, but they wish to pursue bad policy.

And for the guy arguing that Bush’s economy is better than Clinton’s economy, why don’t you ask the American people? People don’t say the country’s on the wrong track when they think the president is doing a great job.

No, I don’t think dead-enders are people who disagree with me. I think dead-enders are people who think the war was a great idea, is going great and has always gone great, Bush’s economic policy is super-duper and that he’s done a good job of fiscal policy and think that the rollback of science and basic knowledge not to mention human rights is super delicious for America. That’s a dead ender, and even among the right it’s not quite a majority of opinion anymore.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
"This demonstrates yet again that experience means bupkiss if you’re just wrong on the fundamentals underpinning your decision making."

The same argument can be made about education, intelligence, compassion, and anything else you may want to use as criteria for electing someone. Why don’t we just toss a coin, then?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
In other words, Oliver thinks "dead-enders" are people who, when he squints hard enough, look like the caricature of conservatism that exists only in his feeble excuse for a brain.
 
Written By: BC
URL: http://
As I said, experience isn’t as important as the underlying ideology.
Yes, you’ve said that. And you can say it until you turn blue, and it won’t make anymore sense then than it does now.

Unless you have the experience necessary to implement your ideology, that’s all it remains - an ideology.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I’m going to have to agree with Oliver on his point about the "underlying ideology".

So, let’s look at Obama’s underlying ideology. While he’s out there preaching "hope and change" he’s back in DC with the most liberal voting record out there. What does that tell us about his ideology?

OK, so we can’t go on his executive experience to evaluate how he’ll perform. We’re told not to worry because he’ll have smart advisers. Well, let’s look at who he’s been surrounding himself with before now. His spiritual mentor was a bit of a flop. A number of his campaign advisers have had to resign for disparaging other countries and meeting with terrorist organizations. (Let’s not forget the one who got booted for telling Canada that his NAFTA talk was just that, "only words.")

OK. Maybe that doesn’t help. Should we go to his personal relations instead? The person who got him his first executive post (the Chicago Annenburg Challenge) is an unrepentant domestic terrorist. Finally, the guy who helped him buy his house is currently in court facing massive fraud charges and no one has managed to explain how his wife got the money to buy a parcel of land that just happened to be next to Obama’s house and then sold a section of it to them.

Maybe calling it experience is the wrong thing. The real reason that we want someone with experience is because we’re actually looking for a person’s history so we can try to evaluate how he’ll behave in the future. Obama’s history isn’t all that reassuring.
 
Written By: Rob C
URL: http://
Oliver:

If you want to criticize economic performance, polls do not matter. GDP matters; growth matters; wealth matters. Show me your numbers.

In my 20 years in the USAF, I had three tours in two separate conflicts. Everyone knows that in war, things never go as planned. If you want to criticize the war, point to the uncorrected failures (as I have done many times). However, you must also acknowledge the successes of the war.

We took Iraq in 6 weeks with 150 killed. In itself, that is remarkable. The post conquest bungling by Bremmer and his Yalie pals was predictable. Shinseki was right. We needed the forces to stabilize the country before we declared and end to hostilities. We moved too slowly in putting the country back together. At the end of a war, democracy is nice, but stability is better.

The surge worked; the Iraqi army is growing into a formidable force, but, as in Germany, Japan and Korea, it will be decades before we can withdraw totally. The British Colonial Model used in the South did not work. Al Sadr had to be confronted and defeated. He has been, and with him, Iran’s power base in Iraq. We are now imposing the American Government Model.

Democracy is also working. The Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites are moving toward national reconciliation. Sharia Law and oil revenues will be issues. Frankly, their legislature seems more competent than our Congress.

If you want to argue the issues, address the facts. Polls are the measures of media effectiveness, not ground truth. With all the Left wing blather about the war being lost, Al Qaeda in Iraq has been routed. Their Emir is under arrest. Bin Laden has admitted defeat. The Mahdi army, crushed. Violence is way down compared to 2005. Where are your facts?

As for "Science and basic knowledge not to mention human rights," what do they have to do with the qualifications Obama doesn’t have?

I know Oliver will not address the facts, because truth is on my side here.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://

 
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