Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Experience Preferred,but Impossible to Get

South Dakota War College recently mentioned a presidential poll that discussed something that has puzzled me a bit; the "experience" issue. Experience at what? Of the few jobs that remotely prepare someone for the Presidency, the candidates come out about even. Both McCain and Obama have legislative experience; McCain just has more. Neither has been Vice-President, a Governor, a Cabinet officer, or head of a large corporation. I suppose people could be thinking of life experience, but after a certain age you're not learning that much more; you're just trying to remember it.

There are only two Constitutionally eligible people with actual experience; Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. Anyone else will be learning on the job. You may choose the candidate you think can learn it best, but as with past elections like this one, it will be a projection based on a lack of comparable information. The Republic has survived this system so far, and will again.


Brian said...

You might be able to make arguments for Walter Mondale, Al Gore, and Dick Cheney as far as experience goes, especially the last two. I mean, Gore was heavily involved in the Clinton administration, especially for the last couple of years, and Dick Cheney's practically been the President for the last eight. But looking at the difference between those two should be proof enough that experience isn't everything. Judgment means a lot.

Mike said...

True enough,Brian. I think Gore would be the definite leader. Looking back, it's interesting that Cheney said from the start that he didn't want the job. He wouldn't be able to hide like he has as VP.

This line of thought led me to confirm something I thought I'd read; this is the first election since 1928 without a sitting President or Vice-President running.