“The issue of experience has dominated the 2008 Presidential campaign. But what kind of experience has historically paved the way for a successful presidency?”
“One of the primary themes of this 2008 Presidential campaign has been experience. Namely, both Hillary Clinton and John McCain have made the claim that Barack Obama does not have enough experience to be the President of the United States. The problem with this argument is that it’s pretty vague. The Presidency is a job unlike any other, so the only real experience for the big chair is actually being President.”
In a somewhat tentative way, I guess you could say that what Bill Clinton cautiously told a reporter when asked if Obama was ready to be president was true when he stated that no one was actually ready to be president. I assume that would have included him as well.
A study done to determine the top best presidents ever produced the following (there is a table showing how they arrived at this conclusion):
1. Abraham Lincoln
2. Franklin Roosevelt
3. George Washington
4. Teddy Roosevelt
5. Thomas Jefferson
I’m not sure I agree with this conclusion, and neither does the writer, because I would have put John F. Kennedy a little higher up the ranking. Maybe I’m just biased, though. He did not really have much time to prove how good a president he could have been, but he did stand up in a lot of pressure that was successful.
The Age Issue: “Before beginning that analysis, though, it’s worth mentioning that one of the reasons that this experience issue is highlighted is because of the age difference between the candidates. Obama is 47, and McCain will be 72 later this month. Interestingly enough, this actually puts Obama closer in age to the five most successful presidents. The average age of all five presidents is 52, with Teddy Roosevelt the youngest at 42, and Jefferson the oldest at 58. Thus, Barack Obama is actually within the age range of the most successful Presidents. McCain, by contrast, is two decades older than this average age. Clearly, then, it is not merely age that makes experience.
What experiences did all five of the best Presidents have in common? Here they are:
1. All five of the best Presidents were state legislators.
2. All five of the best Presidents married wealthy wives.
3. All five of the best Presidents had legal training.
4. All five of the best Presidents had successful careers in the private sector.
Conclusion: “After examining the lives and careers of what appear to be the “consensus pick” for the five best Presidents, it is clear that Barack Obama is not “too inexperienced” to become President. Like these five, Obama has legal training, has served in the state legislature, and has had a successful private sector career. True, he did not marry a wealthy woman, but looking solely at his career it looks as though he shares more experience in common with the most successful Presidents than does his rival, John McCain. Accordingly, this begs the question: who’s the real inexperienced candidate in this election?”