Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama's experience

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.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rick,

Please define "experience" in such a way as to explain how it applies to the folks you confer it on.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

you put George Bush in the experience ring with 6 years Teaxa governor......8 years as a president which has been a disaster for this country........food prices will rise after the damage from all the flooding...soon gas will be $5 yet we occupy a country with oil yet....ICE is manipulating oil prices while Bush sits by as he did when his cronies at ENRON and other Texas based utilities gouged Californians by manipulating electric prices.....yeah and I guess all that severe weather we're having was helped by his administration inaction on the environment....where is that Federal amendment he promised us, little too late there smart move though....too make a promise he never intended to keep because nothing gets out the conservative vote like homophobia...right wonder if Bush is gonna be at the christening of his VP's granddaughter......Bush slick as oil

Anonymous said...

Bush's experience=Obama's inexperience

Anonymous said...

Anon. 12:15:

Take a few days off from watching Countdown reruns to clear your head.

Anonymous said...

anon 12:15

Ha-Ha. I knew it. Some lefty would tie George Bush to the midwest flooding. If I do some linear thinking, that means that Clinton's inactions (or actions)can be tied to the severity of the 1993 midwest floods - which by the way were worse up to this point. How do you guys come up with this stuff? Do you realize how foolish you appear making such claims? Please keep it up. Laughter is healthy.

Anonymous said...

So, Ricky, you think that the president of WEPCO would have more "experience" than Obama if he chose to run for President today? Wouldn't the president of one of the largest electric utilities in the country in 1940 be about as qualified today as the WEPCO CEO?

Your mindless animus toward Obama is laughable. One would hope that you can put aside your petty biases when lecturing at the third-tier law school which employs you.

Anonymous said...

So anony

So why is it when a conservative says why they won't be supporting Obama it is biased but when you guys say why you don't like Bush or won't vote for McCain it's not? So anony, let me just say that I am tired of your petty biases towards conservatives.

And please...don't even get me started on the accusation that those who don't vote for Obama are racist. While there may be some who stoop to that level, most of us won't vote for him because we don't agree with his policies. Period. I don't know any libs who would vote for J.C. Watts if he were running. Racism?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:38 - take a few days off from watching Faux News reruns to clear your head.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:34

Top tier, but what you don't realize is that you insulted every other faculty member at Marquette, not just the four conservatives.

Anonymous said...

Schwarzenegger had no prior experience in government .....he has wide support on the left and right...he governs from the center....he ran for governor to do right for our golden state.....and has done so

Anonymous said...

I don't get why anyone that has paid attention to American politics for the last 50 years or so would want to elect a candidate that has more experience in American poltics. Having less experiance at being a lying crook would strike me as being more desireable.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, those who support Obama are those who want more of your money and would be willing to take a big chunk of your 401K.

They're willing to give up whatever freedom we have to feel cuddled by the goverment as they were from their mommies.

Obama was chosen to run because he could act for this highly sussessful marketing plan. People that do not stand for something will fall for anything. This is a very real sample of that.

Anonymous said...

Bush had about 4 years in as Texas Governor when he started seeking the nomination, and Texas is a State where the Governor has very little authority to do anything. Can you cite some examples of Bush's notability as Texas Gov, other than being the President's son who raised then-unprecedented money for a Presidential run?
While Obama's inexperience, in your opinion, was not the main point of your piece, it was the premise: "we don't know anything about this guy, so we have to pay particular attention to his Pastor." That's a straw man premise designed to keep the focus on Rev. Wright. You want to know something about Obama? Read one of his books or other published works. Look at legislation he sponsored or supported during his years as a legislator.
Besides, where was your voice on lack of experience when Judge Gableman was running for Wisconsin Supreme Court, having never argued a case there as a lawyer?

joe stalin said...

Obama had less than 1 year in the Senate before he decided he was Presidential.
You libtards are morons.
The problem with you is that you say things you know are untrue, because you're not honest.
Obama has no experience at anything.
We all know that. You do too.

Have a nice day Libtards.

Anonymous said...

The past 8 years has been just wonderful under Bush....I hope we can have another candidate as well experienced as Bush so we can have a repeat of the last 8 years

joe stalin said...

Yes, Bush has been a disaster.

If you're a LIBTARD.

Anonymous said...

correction if your an American

Anonymous said...

correction-George Bush has been a disaster if you are a terrorist intent upon destroying America and freedom

Anonymous said...

The terrorists love Bush. They won the terrorist lottery with the Bush/Cheney ticket. 9/11 was the terrorists greatest accomplishment and now our foreign policy si creating new recruits.