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  #1  
Old 01-17-2007, 02:40 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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What Experience is Obama Lacking?

Ever since, well, since Obama spoke at the DNC and people started saying he'd be president someday, I've also heard "He's not experienced enough". But I haven't heard anyone explain exactly what experience he's lacking, particularly when compared with previous presidents.

As I understand it, Barack Obama spent a decade teaching constitutional law, so I'd think he knows his American governmental system on paper. He spent eight years in the Illinois State Senate and a couple years now in the US Senate so he has legislative experience. He's been on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee so he has at least dipped his fingers in the international relations pool.

I guess I'm just wondering what qualifications did Bush/Bush Sr, Clinton, Reagan, etc bring which are essential for "having the experience" to be president? A governorship? Is it the experience with working a state budget? Experience with working with a legislature? If so, would it matter how many Senate terms Obama served? No one is hassling McCain about his lack of executive experience as a governor, mayor, etc.

I don't have a horse in this race yet. The election is forever away and any number of people may join, drop out, etc. I'm just asking about the basis for the "Not enough experience" criticism for Obama.
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2007, 02:45 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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1. Obama is only a freshman senator and will still be a freshman senator in 2008.

2. No sitting senator has been elected president since JFK. That doesn't mean senators are unfit for the job, just that a perception to that effect seems to have taken hold.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2007, 02:54 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
1. Obama is only a freshman senator and will still be a freshman senator in 2008.
But that's the same as just saying "He's inexperienced". It doesn't actually answer the question of what he's expected to take from his second, third, etc term as Senator.
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2007, 02:59 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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As noted, JFK was the last senator elected--and he was not a freshman.

Every president, since, has been either a governor or a vice-president. The belief is that the executive office is sufficiently different (nowadays) that some actual contact with that level of power and authority is required before a person should be entrusted with complete control of the military and the decisions to choose and oversee all the executive obligations vested in the cabinet positions.

The perception may be wrong, but that is the basis for the claim that he lacks experience.

(And while he has experience in the Illinois legislature, he is not perceived to have (sufficient) experience in the "big leagues" of dealing with Congress. This was a major factor in criticism of Carter; despite the fact that he had executive experience as governor, he had never developed the skills necessary to get legislation passed through Congress (even by his own party). How much influence would a freshman senator wield?
Again, the perception could be in error. Younger men have ruled major empires. However, that is the perception that exists.)
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2007, 03:11 PM
Hugh Jass Hugh Jass is offline
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It'll be interesting, if Obama's campaign takes off, just how the experience factor will come into play. I know some political conservatives who have, to me, suspect racist tendencies. They have all mentioned Obama's "lack of experience." When I point out that GWBush was only a governor, and the governorship of Texas is not a particularly powerful position, they tend to fall back on "Times are different now." I remember many people criticizing Clinton for his lack of experience and the world situation being one where we couldn't afford that lack of experience at the time.

It's clear to me, a Democrat, that Obama is at least as qualified as GWBush and Bill Clinton were when they ran for the office.

I guess it depends on what you value as experience. I voted for GHWBush because I thought he was tremendously qualified for the position: Ran his own business (yes, he probably had help from FOP (Friends of Prescott, his dad), but he did run a successful business for several years), service in the House of Representatives, service as the leader of a major governmental department (CIA), service abroad as ambassador to China, and 8 years as VP. If I had to define the proper experience for the job, it would probably look a lot like GHWBush's resume.

Having said that, most Clinton and GWBush supporters would agree that their preferred president was not handicapped by any lack of experience, and that the positive qualities they brought to the office aren't ones dependent on "experience."

I just have a feeling that "lack of experience" is going to be a big deal when talking about Obama. It's a safe excuse not to vote for a black man.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:15 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomndebb
Every president, since, has been either a governor or a vice-president. The belief is that the executive office is sufficiently different (nowadays) that some actual contact with that level of power and authority is required before a person should be entrusted with complete control of the military and the decisions to choose and oversee all the executive obligations vested in the cabinet positions.
I don't intend to reply after every response so I'll state this and let the thread live or die organically for a bit...

...but, that said, I'd point out that none of the four front-runners have gubernatorial or vice-presidental experience. Arguably, the closest is Ms. Clinton's stint as First Lady (as an observer, anyway), followed by Giuliani's mayoral experience (which is at least some level of executive experience). Isn't McCain's political experience entirely within the Senate?

I feel like I'm arguing for Obama now, which isn't my intent, so I'll let it go from here.
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2007, 03:17 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jophiel
It doesn't actually answer the question of what he's expected to take from his second, third, etc term as Senator.
Typically, baggage in the form of a voting record. This is rarely good for the candidate's campaign but it's awful useful for his opposition to build up a case against him, which is why so many of them complain about his inexperience.
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  #8  
Old 01-17-2007, 03:21 PM
FRDE FRDE is offline
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Surely the USA can elect a certified idiot as president, provided it was born in the USA ?

I'm not up to speed on Barak, but I have vague memories that he converted to Islam.

Opportunist is the word that comes to mind - it would be handy if I were wrong.
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  #9  
Old 01-17-2007, 03:27 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Originally Posted by Jophiel
I don't have a horse in this race yet. The election is forever away and any number of people may join, drop out, etc. I'm just asking about the basis for the "Not enough experience" criticism for Obama.
Well I do have a horse in this race, Clinton, and I have high hopes for Obama's future.

Given he is presidential material, I don't see the need to make him president immediately. He has a lot of years ahead of him where we have an opportunity to measure him. To see his presidential aspiration thwarted at an early age because he's already completed two terms doesn't work for me either. Besides, I like to take the measure of a man at full stride in adversity, and I haven't seen that situation yet though its sure to come.

I think I know Hillary. She's the real McCoy and I've seen her under adversity and she passes with high marks. You may take exception to this point, but I do believe the previous successful Clinton administration reflects on her as well. Presidential selection is often a crapshoot, but I know I can live with at least four more years of a Clinton administration. We have plenty of time to see the real Obama to emerge.
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  #10  
Old 01-17-2007, 03:27 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Traditionally, the Presidency is a reward for accomplishment in business, the military or some other branch of government. Obama's sole accomplishment was giving a stirring speech at the last Democratic convention. That's more than I've ever done, but it's not quite to the level of Presidency.
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  #11  
Old 01-17-2007, 03:58 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krokodil
Traditionally, the Presidency is a reward for accomplishment in business, the military or some other branch of government.
Kennedy was cute and wasn't Nixon. A few undistinctive years in the Senate was all the experience he brought to the game.

Johnson got lucky the same moment Kennedy got REAL unlucky. He had the time in the party to be nominated but I don't think he could've been elected on his own with the skeletons rattling around in his closet and his basic unappealingness.

Nixon had spent his time in the Republican trenches and had been VP, though he was also unappealing. Score one for you.

Ford got lucky much the same way as Johnson and was as unelectable, but in his case because of his blandness.

Carter wasn't Nixon or Teddy Kennedy. Some time as governor of a third-tier state (not so much these days but back in 1976) but otherwise nada.

Reagan had been a governor for a couple terms but was mostly famous for other things. Plus he still had some of that residual cute factor that gave him an otherwise undeserved movie career.

Bush put in trench time. Point two.

Clinton was governor of a third-tier state but otherwise a big nobody.

Bush was governor of a first-tier state with a valuable name but without it he probably would've lost the nomination.

So, you are two for nine since 1960.
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2007, 04:01 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FRDE
I'm not up to speed on Barak, but I have vague memories that he converted to Islam.
Nope, he was raised and is currently Christian.
Quote:
Opportunist is the word that comes to mind - it would be handy if I were wrong.
I can accept the word in the sense that he would probably not be running this time if so many people weren't begging him to. Sometimes you have to grab the opportunity when it knocks.
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2007, 04:16 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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I have to agree with those who say Obama lacks experience. His career seems to have been based on himbeing a charismatic person with presidential ambitions. Offhand, I can't think of any political decisions he's known for.

Clinton (both of them), Bush (both of them), McCain, Guiliani, Dodd, Biden, Richardson, Vilsack - they all have political records that they can be judged by. But Obama seems like a blank slate.
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Old 01-17-2007, 04:30 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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And, unfortunately, people write on blank slates what they hope to read. That said, I gotta admit I don't mind hearing him on the radio. "Well spoken" is not something I'd describe the current president as and it's something in Obama's favor for me. (shrugging) When giving advice to someone contemplating marriage I ask them if this person is someone they think they could still stand being around thirty years from now and I'm afraid that attitude carries over to my choosing a president.
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Old 01-17-2007, 04:43 PM
rjung rjung is offline
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I'd argue that the last six years of the Bush Administration is sufficient evidence that gubernatorial experience is overrated for serving as POTUS.
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  #16  
Old 01-17-2007, 04:56 PM
Billdo Billdo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone
Nope, he was raised and is currently Christian.
Actually, as he details in his two books, he was raised by a non-practicing mother from a Christian background who was somewhat hostile to orgainzed religion. His Kenyan father, who divorced his mother and ceased to be an active parent when Obama was 2 years old, was from a family that had converted to Islam some years back, but was personally non-practicing. His Indonesian step-father was also Muslim, but practiced minimally. During the years that Obama lived in Indonesia as a child, he attended both Christian and Muslim schools, before returning to Hawaii for middle and high school.

Until adulthood Obama did not actively practice religion, but while working as a tenant organizer in Chicago, he joined the Trinity United Church of Christ, where he remains an active congregant.
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Old 01-17-2007, 04:59 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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We may be in an odd position this time around in that it's highly likely both parties will nominate someone from the Senate.

The thing about Obama is that he even lacks much experience in the Senate. So, he's got no executive experience and very little experience working in Congress. And he's never really been vetted in a a national race-- the Senate race he won was a joke, since the Pubbies nomnated Alan Keyes.

He's a long shot for prez. A very long shot. I like him as a VP candidate, and the best thing he can do to get that slot is the same thing he is doing-- run for prez.
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  #18  
Old 01-17-2007, 05:02 PM
FRDE FRDE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone
Nope, he was raised and is currently Christian.I can accept the word in the sense that he would probably not be running this time if so many people weren't begging him to. Sometimes you have to grab the opportunity when it knocks.
I am some what remote from this scrap

- also, demonstrably misinformed

What has Barak going for him ?
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  #19  
Old 01-17-2007, 05:04 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
We may be in an odd position this time around in that it's highly likely both parties will nominate someone from the Senate.
Who are you thinking of, on the Pub side? Not McCain, I hope -- he doesn't have a chance. Too old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
He's a long shot for prez. A very long shot. I like him as a VP candidate, and the best thing he can do to get that slot is the same thing he is doing-- run for prez.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Chapelle, quoted from memory, might not be exact
There will never be a black vice-president. Because as soon as the white president was inaugurated, some brother would assassinate him. I'd do it. What are they gonna do, sent me to prison where they'll treat me like a king for the rest of my life?
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  #20  
Old 01-17-2007, 05:04 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
And he's never really been vetted in a a national race-- the Senate race he won was a joke, since the Pubbies nomnated Alan Keyes.
No, he was running against a strong Republican and was well ahead when Jack Ryan dropped out (he had asked his ex-wife Jeri to do something naughty that every Trekkie on earth would kill to see). Keyes was the only person they could find who would run AND pay for his own campaign because the party had already given up on a race they couldn't win.
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  #21  
Old 01-17-2007, 05:06 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by dropzone
When giving advice to someone contemplating marriage I ask them if this person is someone they think they could still stand being around thirty years from now and I'm afraid that attitude carries over to my choosing a president.
But no president will last more than eight years.
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  #22  
Old 01-17-2007, 05:14 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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I'd argue that the last six years of the Bush Administration is sufficient evidence that gubernatorial experience is overrated for serving as POTUS.
Not true. It was Bush's gubernatorial record that convinced me he wasn't fit to be President back in 2000.
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  #23  
Old 01-17-2007, 05:16 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
And he's never really been vetted in a a national race-- the Senate race he won was a joke, since the Pubbies nomnated Alan Keyes.
It's true that Obama didn't have to compete after the Democratic primary, but just to straighten out the facts: Keyes was nominated because the race was already a joke - Seven of Nine's ex dropped out first, due to scandal, but he didn't have a chance either. Illinois Republicans actually approached Mike Ditka about running at one point, but he turned them down. After sorting through a few other potential losers, they settled on Keyes.
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Old 01-17-2007, 05:22 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23
It's true that Obama didn't have to compete after the Democratic primary, but just to straighten out the facts: Keyes was nominated because the race was already a joke - Seven of Nine's ex dropped out first, due to scandal, but he didn't have a chance either.
After the scandal Mr. Seven didn't have a chance, but early on he was leading in the polls. But it's not really material and I didn't mean to imply that Keyes was the only thing that made that race a joke. Fact is, the closest he came to a national election is a Senate race, if one can even consider that a national race. And the Senate race he did compete in was not one that told you much about his electability against a strong candidate.
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:02 PM
Apos Apos is offline
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Again, I see very little basis for any Bush supporting Republican to object to his lack of experience. Democrats might fear that he doesn't have enough campaign experience, or that Presidents should have lots of experience. Republicans, however, spent 8 years fighting for a man with just as little experience: arguably less, given that the governorship of Texas is extremely weak. Bush's only other experience was his business experience, which frankly, was mainly a bunch of awful disasters. They did this over a man they derided as being a "lifelong politician" (Al Gore) with far far more experience, and then again with a man who had had many many more Senate terms than Obama (Kerry). In both cases, experience was played up as a NEGATIVE by Republicans.

So them complaining that Obama is inexperienced is nothing but rank opportunistic hypocrisy. If Obama spent two more terms in the Senate before running, they'd label him a Washington politician and then run a man who has never held any federal or statewide office at all.
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  #26  
Old 01-17-2007, 06:12 PM
Spoke Spoke is online now
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I am less concerned about "experience" than I am about native intelligence and announced positions.

I am very comfortable with what I hear about Obama's positions, and my sense is that he has more native intelligence than any recent President except maybe Clinton.

As for "experience," I have another perspective on that. The fact that he isn't a lifer in the Senate means that (maybe) he hasn't had time to be corrupted by the campaign financing system and all the special interests attached to it.

Can he function as a President with limited experience? I don't see why not. He's very smart, and he can always surround himself with a cabinet that knows the ins and outs of the Presidency.

Why not give a smart idealist a shot?
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  #27  
Old 01-17-2007, 06:27 PM
Common Tater Common Tater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone
Kennedy was cute and wasn't Nixon. A few undistinctive years in the Senate was all the experience he brought to the game.
Well that, and a shitload of daddy's money to buy the senate seat and subsequent presidency. Johnson had a big advantage - as he was an extremely experienced politician and spent years in congress - and knew how to get things done - politics it is often said, is the art of the possible - and Johnson was able to twist arms and call in favors and that sort of thing. Carter was the antithesis of Johnson - a long-shot nobody outside the beltway who managed to win - but had no clue of how Washington operates.
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:05 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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[b]John Mace/[b] makes a good point that almost all of the [early early] favorites are Senators or ex-Senators. Considering the low regard people have for Congress right now, inexperience may be a virtue for Obama.
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:07 PM
Fiveyearlurker Fiveyearlurker is online now
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I've wondered why this is a bad thing for Obama. It always seems like we're clamoring for an outsider candidate. Not one of these usual Washington types. Then, we get one, and we decry his lack of experience.
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:22 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Apos
Again, I see very little basis for any Bush supporting Republican to object to his lack of experience.
Not that I'm a Bush supporting Republican, but why? 9/11 really did "change everything" in that respect. Bush was inexperienced in 2000, but we weren't fighting two wars then, so people were more concerned with ideology than with experience. And Bush had Cheney as his running mate. Say what you will about his policies, the guy's got a resume that looked perfect for the spot. He oozes experience-- too bad he doesn't act on it.
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:41 PM
lieu lieu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apos
Again, I see very little basis for any Bush supporting Republican to object to his lack of experience.
Ah, but that wasn't what caused at least one centrist to vote for him. It wasn't that Bush was qualified. Hell, I thought his qualifications were rather lame at best.

Instead, it was that despite Bush's lack of an impressive resume, he still looked like the better-intentioned, more honest, less potentially batshit crazy in a conflict candidate when things got tough.

Blame it on an unexcusable lack of quality choices. He was to apparently many of us the best of a rather sorry lot. Even after all that's happened I still look at Gore and Kerry and think gawd, could I ever have actually said "yes" to either?

Thankfully, '08 is shaping up to provide some real quality choices. How refreshing to be able to vote not against the worst but, instead, for the best.
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:12 AM
ParentalAdvisory ParentalAdvisory is offline
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Originally Posted by spoke-
Why not give a smart idealist a shot?
I agree with this. Too often "experience" comes into question. Well I have to ask, who is really prepared and has the experience to be the President of the United States? IMO, a blank slate is what we need. Frankly, I'm a bit tired of the "experience" we currently have, and have had.
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Old 01-18-2007, 06:21 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Originally Posted by Jophiel
Ever since, well, since Obama spoke at the DNC and people started saying he'd be president someday, I've also heard "He's not experienced enough". But I haven't heard anyone explain exactly what experience he's lacking, particularly when compared with previous presidents.

As I understand it, Barack Obama spent a decade teaching constitutional law, so I'd think he knows his American governmental system on paper. He spent eight years in the Illinois State Senate and a couple years now in the US Senate so he has legislative experience. He's been on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee so he has at least dipped his fingers in the international relations pool.

I guess I'm just wondering what qualifications did Bush/Bush Sr, Clinton, Reagan, etc bring which are essential for "having the experience" to be president? A governorship? Is it the experience with working a state budget? Experience with working with a legislature? If so, would it matter how many Senate terms Obama served? No one is hassling McCain about his lack of executive experience as a governor, mayor, etc.

I don't have a horse in this race yet. The election is forever away and any number of people may join, drop out, etc. I'm just asking about the basis for the "Not enough experience" criticism for Obama.
I think "experience" is gained as you learn to work the system in Washington. Building alliances, playing games, buying and selling favors...all the things that we hate, but that make the system (as we know it today) work. I've always said, if you want to ruin a perfectly good politician, elect him! We all say we'd never do what so-and-so did if we were in office, but unfortunately, the system tends to paralyze those who don't play the game. Not always, but sometimes.

The jury's still out as far as I'm concerned. I think I'd like to see him wait another four years. I really like him, but I'm not sure the presidency is the most effective spot for him at this point. And would an unsuccessful run in '08 ruin his chances for ever beoming president? We'll see...a lot can happen in two years. He's bright, he connects with the people, and above all, I think his heart and head are in the right place. I'd love to see him change the tide in Washington. Will they/we let him? That would be the $64K question.
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  #34  
Old 01-18-2007, 07:40 PM
rjung rjung is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo
Not true. It was Bush's gubernatorial record that convinced me he wasn't fit to be President back in 2000.
It was his business experience (or, rather, inability to learn from past mistakes) that convinced me.

In any event, the notion that a Presidential candidate must be "experienced" seems vastly overrated, IMO. What I'm putting more emphasis on nowadays is a candidate's good judgement -- Is the candidate able to analyze various data and make decisions based on their accuracy/urgency/reliability? Is the candidate's long-term vision something that would truly benefit all of the nation, or just a select few? Can the candidate choose good advisors/underlings to help make decisions? Is the candidate truly willing to listen to advisors who know more than he/she does? Can the candidate admit when he/she has made mistakes and take truly corrective actions as needed?

Granted, "good judgement" is not something that's easy to quantify, as "X years serving as position Y" does. But it beats the system we've got now, where any self-delusional megalomaniac who listens only to the voices in his head and surrounds himself with yes-men can get into office as long as he's chalked up enough time warming his backside in a corner office.
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  #35  
Old 01-18-2007, 08:59 PM
DSeid DSeid is offline
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It is not for nothing that Obama is going to use Springfield and the backdrop of Abraham Lincoln for his offical announcement. Lincoln was a trial lawyer before becoming President, having previously quit politics after one unimpressive (well humiliating) term in the House of Representatives. During that time he had showed no evidence of having learned the how things are done in Washington. But then, after years as a practicing lawyer, he began to reveal his oratory prowess. Still, he lost his bid for a Senate seat to Douglas.

Lincoln had no meaningful "experience" to be President.

Lanky, relatively inexperienced in the ways of Washington, and able to articulate a vision of what our country should be. That was Lincoln.

Sounds good.

(Kennedy, Schmennedy ... he's going for Lincolnesque: "A House divided ..." "America is tired of the politics of division .." He's slicker at it than Clinton, Bill that is)
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:31 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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I think a lot of you are setting yourself up for some major disappointment. There seems to be a widespread attitude that any politician with an established record is a proven failure. And then you project Obama's lack of record into the assumption that he's another Lincoln.

Let's face facts - Barack Obama is a politician. If you consider every other person in American politics to be flawed, the odds are you're going to find the same flaws in Obama when you get to know him a little better. You're going to be disappointed by whatever person gets nominated and elected because they won't be as perfect as the Obama of your dreams - especially if that person is the Obama of reality.
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:07 PM
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You misunderstand. I am not saying that he's another Lincoln. (Heck, I doubt Lincoln was really a Lincoln.) Merely pointing out that the claim that Presidents need some critical mass of gubernatorial or inside the Beltway experience is not based on much precedence of past great Presidents. And that Obama is using his planned announcement venue to not so subtly point that out.

What has made for great Presidents and who among the plethora of possible presidential prospects have the most of those features? I maintain that a great Presidents have been those who have been able to skillfully articulate a vision of a greater America. They have been able to provide a persona that Americans can identify with and by virtue of that identification and that oratory skill they do not follow the prevailing public opinion winds, they set its course. "Experience" does not play that much of a role other than as a means of honing those skills.

Will Obama end up being like that or will he turn out to be another arrogant puff ball of self promotion? It really is too early to tell. But an election season is enough time to test that mettle and so far he seems more likely to have those characteristics than anyone else running from either side. So far.
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  #38  
Old 01-18-2007, 10:08 PM
kunilou kunilou is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
And he's never really been vetted in a a national race-- the Senate race he won was a joke, since the Pubbies nomnated Alan Keyes.
Not a national race, but he was certainly vetted by southern Illinois.

I've said this before (and probably better) but if you had driven through southern Illinois -- an area that has a lot more in common with the deep South than it does with Chicago -- you would have seen Obama signs in front of farm houses, bumper stickers on pickups and campaign buttons on bib overalls. Those people didn't just hold their noses and vote against Keyes. They actively and publicly said they were voting FOR the black guy with the funny name.

Experience may or may not be overrated, but Obama definitely has the ability to win over a bunch of people who weren't predisposed to vote for him.
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Old 01-19-2007, 02:37 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Relevant cartoon.
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Old 01-19-2007, 05:05 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by kunilou
Not a national race, but he was certainly vetted by southern Illinois.

I've said this before (and probably better) but if you had driven through southern Illinois -- an area that has a lot more in common with the deep South than it does with Chicago -- you would have seen Obama signs in front of farm houses, bumper stickers on pickups and campaign buttons on bib overalls. Those people didn't just hold their noses and vote against Keyes. They actively and publicly said they were voting FOR the black guy with the funny name.

Experience may or may not be overrated, but Obama definitely has the ability to win over a bunch of people who weren't predisposed to vote for him.
But there's more than being vetted in an election than just getting the attention of the voters. Obviously the guy is good speaker and connects with people, but how is he (and his family) going to hold up under the pressure of a national campaign? And what's going to happen when every reporter in the country is following him around, just waiting for him to slip up? (Yeah, this is happening now, but what happens after 2 years of such close scrutiny, when you have pundits parsing every word you say and photographers stalking you night and day?)
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Old 01-19-2007, 05:40 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Originally Posted by Krokodil
Obama's sole accomplishment was giving a stirring speech at the last Democratic convention. That's more than I've ever done, but it's not quite to the level of Presidency.
Giving a good speech gave David Cameron the start he needed to gain the leadership of the Tory party. Perhaps he'll win the next election and become Prime Minister, but I doubt it.

Neither Margaret Thatcher nor Tony Blair were exactly burdened with high-level experience when they became Prime Ministers: MT had a couple of years experience in Ted Heath's cabinet, and TB had none.
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