What Experience Matters for Presidential Candidate?

The Democrats have made about experience with regard to Hillary Clinton and her supposed 35 years of it and the supposed lack of said experience by B. Hussein Obama. I have written a number of times about the lack of experience Hillary Clinton has and I find it interesting that people, including her husband, say that she has a lot and Obama only has a year’s worth. Obama was in politics at the state level for many years and based just on political service (as an elected office holder, not a First Lady) Obama bests Clinton by at least a half a decade. But does the experience really matter?

When George Bush ran for reelection the Democrats were dead set on beating him and they ran John Kerry against him. George Bush certainly had more experience required for the job than Kerry because Bush had actually been President for four years. No matter how many years Kerry served in public office, the fact is that Bush had four years of actual experience doing the job. I don’t recall Clinton, Kerry or any other Democrat (except Zell Miller) saying that Bush should be reelected because he had more experience. The Democrats, including their sycophants in the media (Rather) did everything they could to unseat Bush even though he was the more experienced candidate. Is there any doubt Bill Clinton believed he was more experienced than Bob Dole because Clinton had already served four years?

I wonder who the Clintons voted for? I believe they wanted Bush to win (and there were rumors of them sabotaging Kerry) but not because they thought he was great but because Hillary would be able to run for the office sooner than if Kerry had won (assuming he had two terms). With Bush they knew he was limited to only four more. However, most Democrats in public office voted for Kerry and they did so only to get a member of their party back in control of the White House. They did not care about experience.

Yet here we are in 2007 and experience is supposed to be a big deal. How many people who run for the office for the first time actually have on the job experience? Sure, there are those better qualified by virtue of their resumes. If they were a governor or CEO of a company they would certainly have more experience than a person who has little or no time in charge of anything or who has a few years of service in the Senate. If the Clintons actually believe that experience is important than why are they not supporting Joe Biden. Biden has held an elected office since 1970 (several years in Delaware and the balance in the US Senate) so if experience is the be all, end all that the Clintons want us to believe, they should be supporting Biden and his 37 years of experience. That is two more than the hyper-inflated number Hillary uses.

The fact is, the experience is only one portion of the total equation. Hillary is smart and she has some experience but she lacks in other areas. She is divisive, she is manipulative, she has a problem with telling the truth, and she lacks actual leadership qualities and she lacks experience when compared to others who are running. How many times have we heard stories where people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to feel her wrath? How many books portray Hillary as a Gestapo type leader who demands total loyalty and uses threats to enforce that loyalty? A true leader is able to influence people and gain their willing cooperation to accomplish those things that are necessary to be successful. Having people who cower and are afraid to make a mistake is not a sign of a good leader.

Of course, I have been using a recognized definition of experience. To Bill and Hillary, experience might mean being a Democrat and great experience means being a Democrat named Clinton.

Marc Ambinder

Big Dog

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