Qualified?

When Hillary implied that Bernie may not be qualified to be president and Bernie suggested that those that who do what Hillary has done are not qualified all hell broke loose in the political media looking for anything snarky to boost ratings.  Policy positions are too boring to get eyeballs.  But it brings to light about the qualifications to be president.

Technically, Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution states:

  • No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

All the candidates claim to be the most qualified.  Their experience in government, business or something regarding the “establishment” means they’ve got the stuff.  However noted presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin points out that qualifications don’t translate to a great presidency.  She notes that James Buchanan was probably the most qualified ever, but is regarded by most historians as the worst.  He was succeeded by a tall skinny guy from Illinois whose detractors said he didn’t have any qualifications yet turned out to be one of our greatest presidents.  It is left as an exercise to the reader to make any comparisons to Bush 43 and Obama.

One could argue that Nixon had excellent qualifications and we all know how that turned out.  Harry Truman, not really qualified but did some great things, like end WWII.  Ike had no qualifications but kept us out of war with the Soviet Union.  Ditto Kennedy.

I could go on and on but the point is that qualifications don’t indicate greatness.  Ms Goodwin points out that it is temperament not qualifications that make a great president.  So again it is left as an exercise to the reader to determine which candidate has the best temperament to be president.

President Roosevelt possessed a second class intellect, but a first class temperament.

—  Oliver Wendell Holmes

The image is of Mt. Buchanan and Kootenay lake near Kaslo BC.

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180 Comments

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180 responses to “Qualified?

  1. Judging how Bernie over reacted to Hillary’s responses when asked about his dismal interview with the New York Daily News I’m not sure his temperament indicates he would make a successful president. You’re also implying that FDR lacked political experience when becoming president, he had served as a very successful governor of a major state and held high public office in the Wilson administration, not to mention had been a member of the NY Senate. He went on to be the most successful president of the 20th century. I think His cousin and uncle by marriage had a very similar background and went on to be one of our more successful presidents.

    • dnd

      Brian,
      You, quite naturally, are looking at Bernie’s reaction through Hillary clouded glasses. This whole episode was very cleverly orchestrated by Hillary and it got the media coverage she wanted. There’s a saying in Mexico: throw the rock and hide the hand. That’s exactly what she did. We’re likely to see more of it.
      As to the NYDN interview, read it. You’ll see that Bernie spelled out exactly how to break up the banks. It was the interviewer that kept trying to drag it back to the Fed.

      As to FDR’s qualifications you are correct. So was W. The point of the post was that it temperament that’s important, not qualifications.

  2. I don’t think James Buchanan is going to be lonely in the #1 spot for too long. W gave him a run for the legacy. Would guess W has made it into the top 3, and maybe he’s the silver.

    The Civil War had many causes beyond Buchanan’s indecisiveness. The Iraq War: not so much.

    I want Bernie to stop trying to wound Hillary. Supreme Court, peeps. Eyes on the prize this fall. Bernie changed the dynamic of the race for the better with his entrance; he’s got to stop his idiotic supporters from making it ugly (not speaking of dnd, of course! — more the mouthbreathers). Jeff Weaver seems to be this year’s Mark Penn.

    • dnd

      Gary Legum is obviously a Hill-cat. I was going to stop reading when he said that momentum doesn’t matter in primaries. Where was he in 2008? It’s the reason Bernie took the time to campaign in WY. It won’t move the delegate math, but a win will swing the big mo. But I kept reading.

      It was a mistake to point out that he had to retake algebra. I checked his math. He was wrong. Apparently he doesn’t understand the margin of error in polls. So he based his assumptions on a flawed premise.

      He also said that turnout was low. It was the highest since 1972. Nearly half of the voting population voted.

      This was an opinion piece masquerading as analysis. I’m surprised the editors at Salon ok’d this.

      Nice try though Brian.

  3. Will check in with you guys later this evening. Cheers.

  4. Gotta love the caucus system, Bernie wins WY but Hillary gets more delegates.

    • dnd

      It is curious that Bernie wins WY by double digits and gets the same number of pledged delegates. Still good mo for going into NY and Pennsylvania. And speaking of Philly, howza ’bout Prez Clinton blowing a gasket at Black Lives Matter protesters? Kinda weird for our first Black president. I wonder how long it took Hillary to text him: “you’re not helping…”

  5. tempebev

    They’re all full of hot air now. After the selection of candidates for the general election, we’ll see how many of the hot airheads turns to steam or even disappear completely and tell how wonderful their candidate is. (Maybe not in the Repub race.)

  6. tempebev

    Is Trump trying not to be elected or setting himself up as a third party candidate?

  7. Real Clear Politics has Hillary ahead by 14 points in NY and 9 points ahead in CA. Going to be pretty hard for Bernie to convince the super delegates to support him with numbers like those. Hey, wait a minute? Didn’t Bernie claim, a few months back, that super delegates were undemocratic?

    • dnd

      I really fail to get this gotcha from the Clintonistas. Bernie thinks superdelegates are undemocratic, but he wants them. So what?

      BTW ever since superdelegates started in ’82, they’ve all gone to whoever had the most pledged delegates. I don’t expect that to change.

  8. Apparently Nate doesn’t think too much of Bernie’s chances either:

    Bernie Sanders Is Even Less Competitive Than He Appears

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/bernie-sanders-is-even-further-behind-in-votes-than-he-is-in-delegates/

  9. D, you’re starting to sound like a Trump supporter.

  10. tempebev

    I’m just having fun watching the replies between you two trickle down to an inch wide.

  11. tempebev

    According to the US map on WASH Post describing how each state provides protection for LGBT, it seems AZ is right up there with Texas, Tennesee, and other southern states. I love it here, but we are just another Mississippi etc.

  12. Going negative isn’t helping Bernie at all, 14 points behind in NY, 17 points in PA, 10 in CA, and 23 in Maryland. Stupid to run off to Roma to satisfy your ego and not stay in fight in NY to at least tighten up the margins. Not much of an argument to bring to the super delegates.

  13. This is what happens when a campaign and it’s surrogates constantly demonize their opponent.

    Sanders: ‘No room’ for language about ‘corporate Democratic whores’

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-dem-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/04/hillary-clinton-whore-remark-221931#ixzz45pt3VqJv

    • dnd

      Another instance about making a big stink about something an over zealous supporter said. Clinton denounces her supporters who do it and so does Sanders. Shows them to be the grownups in this race for the WH. The dogs bark but the caravan moves on.

      Hey Bev, Rockies beat the Giants today 11-6 to take the series. Beautiful day at Coors Field and I was there.

  14. Hillary is kicking some butt tonight!

  15. Even I thought Tweety was a little hard on Bernie tonight.

  16. Tonight will be a fun night to watch cable news. They are so few and far between. Am kinda politicked out.

  17. tempebev

    It’s the 19th of April. Time sure flies when you’re having fun. That is my meager contribution for today. It’s time to see a dog and a cow after all the pictures of D and B.

  18. Suggestion for new thread for tomorrow:

    Hillary wins NY primary by double digits, secures party nomination, first woman to win presidential nomination of a major party!

  19. Count me happy about Harriet Tubman. Splendid American. Totes deserves to be a face on cash. Love today’s news re redesign, and also that they’re not booting Andrew Jackson (Indian killer) off the $20, entirely, because he did some worthwhile things in his day as well. Quite a mixed bag, as you know, and I am not comfortable with “whitewashing” or remanufacturing history, but love seeing women, and especially women of color, get their due too.

    Mostly I am just happy we will never have Ronald Reagan on our currency. Don’t think some people would not try.

    I was glad that BLM and whoever else failed on taking Woodrow Wilson’s name off Princeton (?) campus buildings. We can commemorate him for being President, and for his attempt at the League of Nations, and that stands alongside his being a man of his times, in fairly racist times. (Man had a “shark policy” too.)

  20. tempebev

    I’m also glad they picked Harriet Tubman. I heard a rumor that Hamilton was staying because the musical was so popular. It was a joke on TV.

  21. I love Eleanor Roosevelt. What is not to like about her! I have my dad’s clothbound copy of “This I Remember” and must read it this year or next.

    Eleanor was so strong and determined.

  22. From wiki: “However, the Treasury also issued larger denominations. They featured William McKinley ($500), Grover Cleveland ($1,000), James Madison ($5,000), and Salmon P. Chase ($10,000).”

    The ghosts of Wm McKinley and Grover Cleveland may be shaking in their boots.

    What is either renowned for? McKinley mainly for getting shot, IMHO, and thus a much better leader (the valiant Teddy Roosevelt) came to office.

    And am sure the purists will go after TR for his animal-shooting and other pursuits and racial opinions, but he will always be one of my top 5 presidents. The man knew the danger of monopoly. It’s part of what is strangling us today.

  23. Very sad at Prince’s loss. He and we were robbed of all the music he still could have made. Very talented soul.

  24. Apparently Mrs. R. is one of the women who will be honored on the back of the new 5 dollar bills. I feel better 🙂

  25. tempebev

    I think that each death of a celebrity or someone I know that is near my own age, brings me closer to the realization that I’m on the downward side of a Bell curve. I wish I could say I was ambitious and have a history of contributing scores of good things to the world. I can’t. I look at my father and mother and what they accomplished. I look at my 3 kids and see how successful they have become. I think ambition skipped a generation in my family tree. I contemplate God. Still trying to decide if I am a believer.
    Ok, enough self analyzation. I am who I am and I’m OK with that. I’m not sure where all of this came from, just putting feelings into words.

    On with the elections and stuff that’s really important. haha.

    • dnd

      Bev,
      Success is a weird metric in our society. I think happiness is more important. Success is often being in the right place at the right time. The fact that you’ve raised three great kids is plenty of success in my book. Better than making a ton of money and raising three troubled kids.

      Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.

      — Dale CArnegie

  26. Bev,
    For me, at one point in my life, about 10 years I decided I could no longer live in the debate and committed myself to a superstition free life. I found a lot of clarity in making that choice, decidedly a more true to myself way of life. Hope that helps.

  27. I started taking celebrex today for my left knee, no turning back, I’m old! It is nice to be pain free though.

    • dnd

      Careful with those COX-2 inhibitors. Can cause serious side effects if taken long term. There are a lot of minimally invasive procedures that help osteoarthritis prior to, or avoiding a total knee replacement.

  28. I really like my PCP, during my first appointment, he told me, his son is heavily tattooed, his daughter is a cross dressing lesbian, and his wife is a shrink.

    • tempebev

      I think you found the perfect PCP.

      • He’s easy on the eye too! 🙂

        • dnd

          All dogs go to heaven.

        • dnd

          Jill Sobule “Getting Ready for the Rapture”

          • Atheism really bothers you doesn’t it D? You’re not alone.

            • dnd

              Doesn’t bother me. Not a bit. I just find it an intellectual convenience. Just like true believers. You don’t have to bother with pondering. Agnosticism is an honest answer to a question that can’t, to date, be answered. Comes from my degree in physics. While I liked solid-state, quantum and theoretical (though I’ve never been able to understand the General Theory of Relativity), cosmology has fascinated me to this day.

              Besides the real message behind religions is: “if you want to have a happy, fulfilling life, here’s the guidelines.” Not: “unless you live according to how we tell you, you will rot in hell.” The latter is just a perversion by those who seek power and control. That’s why I posted the Jill Sobule tune.

              Just watch a Joseph Campbell series on a PBS fund drive and it becomes clear.

              • Another false religious belief, to struggle is noble. And popularity does not equal fact, the popularity of Mr. Campbell’s serious on PBS is irrelevant. Richard Dawkins has probably sold just as many books at Mr. Campbell. The real intellectual convenience is assigning magic, trickery and absurd myths to things science and technology has yet to explain. The dark doesn’t frighten me, I don’t need a mystical night light.

                • dnd

                  The funny thing is Dawkins and disciples have as much religious fervor as the most radical zealot. To the point of belligerence they say anyone is isn’t an atheist is an idiot who can’t fathom simple logic and reason. Citing religion as responsible for all human atrocities from the Crusades to ISIS. Marxism-Leninism which calls for abolishing religion and embracing atheism. They ignore that where practiced in the world, things haven’t turned out so well. That they believe such things is fine by me. Lot’s of people believe things and claim facts where there are none. So enjoy your atheism Brian. No need to double down.

                  BTW, whatever you do, do not google “the psychology of atheism.”

  29. Bernie needs to stop blaming his loses on other people, forces, and election infrastructure.

    • dnd

      Huh. Haven’t heard him say that. I have heard Hillary say she won’t make promises she can’t keep, implying that’s what Bernie’s doing. She should read the VP Biden piece in the NYT. She’s also saying Bernie’s making statements that divide the party, but that’s exactly what she’s doing. Bernie’s talking issues. I guess if you tell a lie long enough…
      Hillary and her surrogates say she has a concrete plan for curing what ails us. I’d like to hear ’em. Might change my mind.

      MSNBC has become a superpac for Hillary. Interesting, given their swing to the right.

  30. Also i don’t know why Bernie feels if more poor people turned out to vote it would help him, lower income voters have favored Hillary. What Bernie should be asking is why his campaign is really a campaign of the white middle and upper classes.

  31. tempebev

    Some Christians do a great job of showing their Christianity. Kinda like a sorority or fraternity. Have to pass the initiation to become a member and forget the golden rule.

    • dnd

      I agree Bev. Christians seem to come in two flavors: the televangelist bunch — just believe Jesus is your savior and you can do anything you want and you’ll still go to heaven. And BTW send me some money — and the Rev. Jim Wallis bunch that say you demonstrate your belief in Christ by living like he did: clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, comforting the afflicted, turning the other cheek.

  32. tempebev

    OMG. Ted and Carly, sitting in a tree. K- i- s-s-i-n-g. Is this as bad or worse than Sarah? Donald must be laughing his ass off right now,

    • dnd

      This is a crazy campaign season. The two front runners have the highest unfavorable numbers of the remaining candidates, though that may change with Fiorina. Probably says a lot about the nominating process.

  33. Hastert sentenced to 15 months in the slammer.

  34. tempebev

    New Margaret and Helen

    • dnd

      Barbara Boxer has been a hoot on twitter ever since the Fiorina announcement:

      • Just shows how desperate she is for television time, she’s pathetic, they all are. Kasich disgusts me, he can’t get anyone to vote for him but feels he’s entitled to the nomination.

        D, I had no idea you tweeted! 🙂

    • dnd

      Bev, Margaret and Helen are national treasures. While I didn’t watch Trump’s foreign policy speech, the pundits can’t stop commenting with his “Tanzayneeah” moment.

  35. tempebev

    I noticed this subject has 162 responses. Anyone know if this is a record? If not, what is the record?

    Tired of politics again. Same old shit. Waiting for Trump to “get serious” in his speeches. He desperately needs a tutor.

    Been watching education TV shows like “Monster Machines in Alaska,” “Full Frontal”, and of course, “Big Bang” and “Mom.”

    Thoroughly enjoying the AZ weather right now. Counting down until the hot temps arrive. We bought a new A/C unit to be ready for climate change.🌅

    Happy Weekend to everyone.

  36. Here’s Why I Never Warmed Up to Bernie Sanders

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/04/heres-why-i-never-warmed-bernie-sanders

    He’s got a point, Bernie over promised, that’s what changed my mind and moved over to the Hillary camp.

    • dnd

      I call bullshit Brian. Like Drum you were always in the Hillary camp. You, like he is just looking for rationalizations for it.

      In Drum’s piece he can only cite two economic revolutions. Howza bout the the industrial revolution. The anti-poverty Medicare? He missed the big one: post WWII. There are many more.
      “Average” family income? Everyone knows that’s a bogus stat and so does he. Median is the appropriate measure. If you average a hedge fund managers income and a McDonald’s employee’s income, it looks pretty good, unless you work at McDonald’s…

      He says: “I’ll grant that my pitch—and Hillary’s and Barack Obama’s—isn’t very inspiring. Work your fingers to the bone for 30 years and you might get one or two significant pieces of legislation passed. ” Huh? How about the overturn of DOMA, equal rights legislation, health care reform. I could go on and on. And inspiring? Did he miss the Grant Park speech? The “HOPE” and “Se si puede!” campaign slogans?

      Bernie “over promised” like Pres. Obama over promised. And he made good on most in the face of an obstructionist Republican party.

      This is just a list of rationalizations for his position.

      But it’s ok, really, to do that. Really. Everyone does it. I’ll explain in the next post.

      • Wong, I was not always in the Hillary camp, I first was for Bernie, gave him money, even bought a t-shirt. And when we spoke a few months ago I said I didn’t like the fact Bernie was making promises that were impossible to keep with the current make up on the Hill. Over promising politicians is what led to the GOP of today, I don’t want the same thing to happen to the DNC.

        • dnd

          Huh. Bernie has been advocating these things for years and certainly since the beginning of his campaign. Weren’t you paying attention? And as for over promising, Clinton did it, Obama did it and a lot got done. If memory serves you switched sides when Bernie became a credible threat to Hillary.

          Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.
          — Norman Vincent Peale

          p.s. you should post that image with you in a Bernie T. A good look for you 😉

          • I’m questioning neither his commitment to these issues or vigor in defending them. I am questioning his ability to accomplish what he promises. And I do believe I did post a pic of myself in my Bernie t-shirt. Weren’t you paying attention?

            • dnd

              Yeah I saw that pic. I just think you should repost it. 😉
              It’s easy to say that Hillary can accomplish what she promises. She hasn’t promised anything! And for those she’s danced around the edges, e.g., affordable college — define affordable — she hasn’t articulated any plans.
              Why didn’t you question Bernie’s ability to accomplish what he promises when you sent him money?

              We must learn to see the world anew.
              — Albert Einstein

              • I sent him money because I expected to see more fleshed out plans as the campaign progressed, I was sorely disappointed. The NY Daily News editorial board interview pretty much bore that out. Now in regard to you’re not having seen any plans from Hillary, you probably just didn’t look.

                https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/

                • dnd

                  No Brian. I looked. Bullet-point pablum. Vague and unrealistic ideas. Or to use your terms, she can’t deliver those promises. As to the NYDN interview, obviously you didn’t look and just bought the media bias, e.g,. here’s how he’ll break up the big banks:

                  https://berniesanders.com/

                  But it’s ok! You can’t help it!
                  p.s.
                  Drum is a disingenuous Hill-cat. Not ashamed to lie and misinform to support her. Only other Hill-cats buy his propaganda pieces.

                  • Yes, we get it, everyone who hasn’t gulped down the Bernie kool-aide is suspect and wrong. You have become the poster child for the PUMAs of this election cycle.

                    • dnd

                      LOL! Who’s really been drinking the kool-aid? 😉 The reality is that none of us are exempt. You can’t help it. I can’t help it. No one can. I’ll explain in the next post.

                      BTW, today is the Sander’s campaign one year anniversary.

                    • dnd

                      Hope to wrap it up before the Rockies game.

                      While you’re waiting didn’t you tell me the reason you couldn’t support Bernie was because he wasn’t a Democrat? You said that was important to you.

                    • That was one of my reasons

                    • dnd

                      New thread — Voter Psychology

                    • dnd

                      You told me that was your major reason. It took you eight months to come to that conclusion. But I’m fine with that really. I hope your expectations of Hillary are exceeded. Honest.

  37. In Which I Respond to My Critics About the Bernie Revolution

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/04/respond-critics-bernie-revolution

    Seems lots of people threw a hissy fit!

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