Rob Reiner called Hillary Clinton the most qualified presidential candidate ever

And I think he has a point.

This was an off-the-cuff remark on the last Real Time with Bill Maher show.

I agree. She has a pretty damned impressive résumé. What do you think?

Most qualified ever?
Really qualified?
Riding on husbands coattails?

I’m not qualified to judge, as a foreigner, but I think she would be very qualified for the job and is an excellent candidate, if she chooses to run.

She’s a lawyer by training, who was married to the governor of Arkansas, married to the President, later became a senator, and then Secretary of State.

It’s a good resume. I don’t know about “most qualified candidate ever.” Off the top of my head, George H. W. Bush’s resume prior to the presidency was more impressive, along with, say, Eisenhower’s.

She’s certainly smart and qualified. But if not for her husband, she wouldn’t even be in the running.

George Washington is pretty hard to top here.

Herbert Hoover had a great resume.

I hate to bring up the “elephant in the room,” so to speak, but does the voting public have any idea how many duels she’s fought? By this point in his career Andrew Jackson was merely a Tennessee state senator and practicing attorney, yet had fought anywhere from 5 to over 100 duels, including killing a man who accused him of cheating on a horse racing bet and who also insulted his wife. Why won’t Secretary Clinton release her dueling record?

Because she always devours the losers.

She’s qualified but I think it’s quite a stretch to say she’s the most qualified.

Al Gore was a member of the House of Representatives for eight years, a Senator for eight years, and VP for eight years. That’s a pretty good résumé too.

She’s certainly well qualified, and I’ll vote for her if I have to. (I just don’t like her. Sorry.) But the most qualified ever? No.

Definitely “qualified”, unlikely to be “most qualified”, and an off-the-cuff remark by an entertainment industry professional should not be considered equivalent to an in-depth political analysis (I say to forestall the inevitable comment about Hollywood types weighing in on political matters).

Thomas Jefferson co-wrote the Declaration of Independence, served in the Continental Congress, became governor of Virginia and then minister to France, and after the Constitution was adopted he was secretary of state and vice president (following a losing presidential campaign) before he was elected president in 1800. I think an impartial observer has to agree that Clinton has a strong resume at this point and you could argue that it’s unfair to compare anybody today with the founders of the country, but it’s not the most impressive resume of any candidate ever.

All kidding aside, by this point in his career Jackson had already gone from prosecutor to judge, and from Congressman to US Senator, and from General to Military Governor (and from there on to President, since he was younger then than Hillary is now).

Grove Cleveland in '92 would be hard to beat in terms of qualifications for the Presidency. If we’re going by “candidates running who aren’t incumbent Presidents” as the filter (otherwise FDR in his last campaign would obviously be the most qualified candidate in history.)

Clinton went from lawyer to Senator to Secretary of State – just like James Monroe, who in his spare time also went from military officer to Governor to Secretary of War.

She is well qualified but hardly the most qualified ever. George HW Bush and Jefferson have both been mentioned for good reason.

Experience can be overrated. Consider two candidates- one has experience as a US Senator, US Representative, Ambassador to Russia, and Secretary of State. The other has one term of experience as a US Representative, has been a state legislator, and has run a failed business. Certainly the first would be a better president than the second, right? Well, the first is Buchanan and the second is Lincoln.

She’s a natural born US citizen over the age of 35, and she’s resided in the country for 14 years. Those are the qualifications. Other than that I don’t know of anything she’s done in her life that makes her more qualified than the average candidate. There’s no indication that she has any executive ability. Her attempt at a public healthcare system was a disaster, her vote for the war in Iraq showed that political ambition is her moral compass, as Secretary of State she was unremarkable, and her prior presidential campaign showed a lack of ability to win a fair fight. She is politically skilled in some ways, the wave of recent endorsement comes from a long term campaign to build political allies and continuing behind the scenes planning to make sure she has an easy ride through the primaries this time around. Odds are I will have to hold my nose and voter for her in the next election, but it will be based on her opponent and not her qualifications.

What, like we’re not going to count Lincoln’s vampire-hunting days?

How about Martin Van Buren? After a stint as state attorney general, he went from “the Senator from New York” to “the Secretary of State” just like Hillary did, except he served as Governor in between, and then spent years as VP before getting elected President.

When it comes to the presidency, beyond the constitutional requirements, it seems to me that being qualified is just having enough political and leadership on your resume that people don’t ask if they’re qualified enough. In Clinton’s case, I think her time in the senate and as Secretary of State will satisfy that for most people. Beyond that, I think she has a unique qualification of having been the wife of a governor and former president. That said, that she doesn’t have that experience herself, I don’t think it counts for as much as actually having been governor. So, frankly, I couldn’t call her the most qualified ever, but she is in a unique position.

If anyone does decide to attack her resume, which I think is a lost cause, I think it will be more about how much her marriage really counts for and, of course, various things on her record. But I don’t think it will count for much since, she’s definitely more qualified than Obama was, and while it was somewhat of an issue with him, it didn’t count for much.

If you want unique, how about Henry Clay? The attorney turned state legislator became a Senator while still in his twenties despite that pesky Constitution, and then became Speaker of the House on the first day of his first session, and after ten years of that spent four years as Secretary of State, and then put in ten more years as a Senator before running for President in '44.

There’s LBJ, who spent 30 years in Washington rising up from congressional secretary to representative to senator to VP before assuming the top job.

She had two terms as a Senator and one as Secretary of State. I guess I’d consider that relevant experience, but most presidential candidates have more. There’s no experience more relevant than the Presidency itself, and failing that, the Vice Presidency, and she’s also never been a governor, or even large-city mayor.

No, I do not count her husband’s experience at all, since she is not her husband.