The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Presidential historians: Judgment more important than experience

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Here’s something I’ve been wondering about.

Sen. Clinton has pitched her experience pretty hard, and the supposed lack of it in Sen. Obama. Thing is, though—she’s not held elected office as long as he has. Wonder if I’d hire a surgeon whose main credential was “Married to One”?

Since no one knows what the future holds, it seems like how a candidate has made decisions would be a more important predictor of success. And I was delighted to find an interview with five presidential historians working the subject:

clipped from www.nytimes.com
Mr. Dallek — and every presidential historian interviewed for this article … argued that the whole question of Mr. Obama’s experience is a nonissue, one manufactured by candidates in a hot campaign who are looking to exploit any perceived weakness they can find.
After Nixon and George Bush, none of the rest of America’s presidents in the past 50 years came into office with much more foreign policy experience than Mr. Obama …
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of the candidates talking the most about experience, in reality, comes up shorter [than most of the contenders], says presidential historian Richard Norton Smith…
Unless being first lady counts as a foreign policy credential, Mrs. Clinton does not have that much on her resume. “There is this osmosis working for her … In lieu of more traditional experience, she benefits as being seen as the third Clinton term.”
[Dallek:] “That’s why I’m sympathetic to Obama. Does experience count? What really counts is judgment and what kind of judgment you have.”

  blog it

Interesting! Try the judgment standard on your favorite candidates. See where they’ve been, and how their judgments have held up.


Tags: , , , , , , Monte Asbury

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Written by Monte

August 29, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Posted in Politics

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