Bill Clinton Discusses Barack Obama’s Experience

Bill Clinton questions whether Barack Obama is experienced enough to run for president. Sure I’d like it better if Obama had a little more experience, but Bill Clinton in hardly the person whose opinion I’d ask about Obama. I believe he has a horse in this race.

In a perfect world all the candidates would also be perfect. Both front runners would be highly experienced. Neither would have made mistakes such as supporting going to war in Iraq, supporting the Patriot Act, or supporting federal legislation to outlaw flag desecration. Perhaps experience isn’t the only criteria here, especially when Hillary Clinton has been on the wrong side so many times, starting with her original health care plan.

If we are looking at someone experienced enough to run for president we might also look at Hillary Clinton’s latest proposal to give $5000 to every baby. That’s five times what George McGovern offered in 1972, but correcting for inflation it sounds about even. Is this another example of the experience which makes Clinton more qualified than Obama to run for president? Does experience mean adopting ridiculous ideas of the past?

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  1. 1
    yucca says:

    Dear Ron,

    You’ve got to decide. Either you argue that experience doesn’t matter, or you argue that Bill should shut up (for example, which you don’t mention, because he was only the governor of a very minor state himself), or you argue that Hillary hasn’t got experience either.

    Because 1 and 3 can’t go together (because if experience doesn’t matter than it’s allright that Hillary hasn’t got enough), and 2 appears to suggest that Bill makes a good point (which you deny in 1) but that he isn’t the right person to make it.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:


    No, you are posing the wrong questions. It isn’t simply a matter of whether experience matters. Experience is one factor, but there are many others. If Bill Clinton claims that experience makes Hillary Clinton a better candidate than Obama, by that logic Bill Richardson or Chris Dodd would make a far better candidate. Also by that logic, you should vote for John McCain over the Democratic nominee should it be McCain versus either Clinton or Obama.

    It is certainly debatable whether Clinton really has more experience than Obama.How do you measure being first lady versus the many things Obama did before being in the Senate? In Clinton’s case the more important point is that, regardless of how much experience she has relative to Obama, she has been wrong in the major decisions of her career.

    It is not at all contradictory to believe in general principle that experience is good but to also use other qualities in making the decision on choosing a candidate. In this case we are limited as all three candidates in the top tier are relatively inexperienced. If Richardson or Dodd should show an ability to win, there is a good chance I’d support one of them.

    The same logic doesn’t only apply to candidates. When hiring, experience is good but I look at many considerations and don’t necessarily hire the job candidate with the most experience.

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