Tuesday, February 26, 2008

inexperienced presidents

Desperate to push her theme of "experience" as her advantage over Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton compares Obama to de facto President George W. Bush as too inexperienced in foreign policy to run the country.

Funny, I missed Clinton's foreign policy credentials. Unless road trips as the First Lady count, I don't see much there in her 35 years of work.

Sure, Obama has little foreign policy experience. Though he DOES have significant overseas experience, having lived in Indonesia and visited family in Kenya. But frankly, foreign policy experience is overrated. Few presidential candidates have a LOT of such experience. How much did Bill Clinton have? Very little. Bush the Younger? Even less - and it wasn't his foreign policy inexperience so much as his narrow-mindedness "intellect" that has gotten him into his foreign policy messes.

It would be easier to list recent presidents who DID have foreign policy experience before being elected. George HW Bush qualifies, having been ambassador to China and the United Nations and head of the CIA. Nixon had some, although I question how much 8 years of being Eisenhower's vice-president should count.

Reagan? None. Carter? None. JFK and LBJ? Little and little. Truman? Very little.

Foreign policy is about applying common sense and reacting to crises. You don't need to have been in the Senate for 30 years to have that.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Eric said...

Totally agree, couldn't have said it better myself.

Though, I might add that some of our nations greatest leaders had little experience, and some of our nations worst leaders had the most experience.

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