[lit-ideas] Re: Least qualified presidential nominee

  • From: "John McCreery" <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 16:32:57 +0900

From Jonathan Singer on MyDD

The Associated 
Press<http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080904/ap_on_el_pr/cvn_giuliani>
won't
say it, but I will: Rudy Giuliani told an out and out lie about Barack Obama
tonight.

"He's the least experienced candidate for president of the United States in
at least the last 100 years," he said to the cheering, chanting convention.
"Nobama, nobama," came the chants from the floor and the galleries. And
"Zero, zero" when Giuliani said Obama has no experience.

Simply untrue and demonstrably false. Let's start with Wendell
Willkie<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Willkie>,
the Republican nominee in 1940. He had no experience in elective office
whatsoever. Woodrow Wilson <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodrow_Wilson> had
been Governor of New Jersey for two years when he was elected President in
1912. Both Alf Landon <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alf_Landon> and Adlai
Stevenson <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adlai_Stevenson> were Governor for
four years when they were nominated by the GOP in 1936 and Democratic Party
in 1952, respectively. That's four nominees with as little experience, or
less, than Obama in the last century.

If we're talking total time in government or elective office, Obama's
experience rivals that of George W.
Bush<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush> (six
years as Governor of Texas prior to his nomination in 2000), as well as Ronald
Reagan <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan>(eight years as Governor
of California before being nominated in 1980), Al
Smith<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_E._Smith> (eight
years as Governor of New York before his nomination in 1928), Thomas
Dewey<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_E._Dewey> (four
years as New York County D.A. and two years as New York Governor prior to
being nominated in 1944), John
Davis<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_W._Davis> (one
term in the House, five years as Solicitor General, and three years as
Ambassador to the U.K. before being nominated in 1924), James
Cox<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_M._Cox> (six
years as Governor of Ohio, four as a Congressman before being nominated in
1920), and Charles Evans
Hughes<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Evans_Hughes> (less
than four years as Governor of New York and less than six as a Supreme Court
Justice before being nominated in 1916).

You can debate the half dozen or so names in that second list, but you can't
deny the names in the first -- particularly that of Willkie. Now the AP
might not want to call the statement a lie, they might want to run the
statement without even mention of the fact that it is not true whatsoever,
and it may not even mean that much in the long run, but when I see something
like that I can't help but speak up.

There is plenty to debate about in the particular answers offered. There is,
for example, the not unreasonable claim that ceteris paribus years spent as
a governor should count for more than years spent as a legislator.  But I
think Barack does a pretty good job comparing his own experience to that of
Sarah Palin,


"My understanding is that Gov. Palin's town, Wassilla, has I think 50
employees. We've got 2500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe 12
million dollars a year – we have a budget of about three times that just for
the month," Obama responded.

Our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made
clear over the past couple of years and certainly in terms of the
legislation I've passed in the past couple of years, post-Katrina."

I myself was once concerned about the experience thing. But having seen the
man assemble a crackerjack team that runs very smoothly, indeed, has
demonstrated an incredible grasp of the strategic and tactical opportunities
presented by both information technology and the mare's nest of local rules
and regulations that govern the Democratic primary and caucus system, and
triumphed over the Clinton machine (remember "inevitability"?), I see real
executive talent here.

John

On Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 4:18 PM, Julie Krueger <juliereneb@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> For such an investigation to be productive, it seems to me it would be
> necessary to first define what makes someone a "qualified nominee".
> Number of years of experience in Government?  Number of years of
> experience in National Government?  How many points do Governors get
> vs. Senators?  Number of legislations passed per year?  Number of
> votes cast?  Median salary?  Number of children?  Wife's pedigree?
>
> Really -- you do have to define "qualified nominee" if you hope to
> gather solid results.
>
> Julie Krueger
>
>
> On Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 2:07 AM, Lawrence Helm
> <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > But enough about Palin.  I have another question I think we should
> address.
> > I have heard a number of people say that Obama is the least qualified
> > nominee for president in about 100 years.  Now that's just too vague for
> > me.  Is it 100 years?  And exactly who was the presidential nominee who
> was
> > less qualified?  I just wonder if the people who say this have done the
> > proper investigation.   I think Lit-Ideas should form a committee to find
> > out exactly how long ago there was a nominee that was less qualified than
> > Obama.  And exactly who he was, and, of course, whether he was elected.
> >
> >
> >
> > I nominate Irene/Andy/Mimi to head the committee.
> >
> >
> >
> > Lawrence Helm
> >
> >
> >
> > From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:
> lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
> > On Behalf Of Lawrence Helm
> > Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008 10:09 PM
> > To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Sarah Palin gets the spiteful Margaret Thatcher
> > treatment
> >
> >
> >
> > And specifically those changes are...?   For all to see!   – all who
> don't
> > have their heads in the sand.
> >
> >
> >
> >
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-- 
John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324
http://www.wordworks.jp/

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