In today's Journal Sentinel, Craig Mastantuono, echoing (perhaps reprising) a comment posted here, takes me to task for suggesting that Obama might be the least experienced person ever nominated for President by a major political party. The opbservation wasn't the point of the piece, but offered as one the reasons that people naturally look to Obama's associates for information about his philosophy and judgment.
Mastantuono cites Wendell Wilkie (who never held public office) and George W. Bush. I can't agree. Bush ran businesses and, weak or not, was governor of one of the largest states in the country for six (not, as Mastantuono asserts, four)years. Wilkie was President of the largest electrical utility in the nation. (Eisenhower had never held public office either but had commanded Allied forces in Europe during WWII.) Obama has never ran anything (except, I suppose,the Harvard Law Review when he was a 3L).
He also cites William Jennings Bryan who, when he was first nominated, had served in Congress for exactly as long as Obama. I'll give him that. Bryan's lack of experience is comparable to Obama. His association with free silver may have made him more of a lnown commodity but I have not carefully studied the presidential election of 1896. In fact, there may be further parallels in that Bryan was an eloquent populist who tended to see things as he wanted them to be rather than as they are. Of course, he never won and its a good thing that he didn't.
One might also mention Lincoln who served four terms in the Illinois legislature and one in Congress. But Lincoln was instrumental in forming the Republican Party and had become well known nationally as an anti-slavery figure.
So I'll stand by what I wrote, although Bryan may have been as inexperienced and little known as Obama.