Experience As A Political Weapon

By Big Tent Democrat

Whether fair or not, whether ultimately effective or not, if Barack Obama is the nominee, John McCain will call him inexperienced. That it has had limited effectiveness for Hillary Clinton does not mean it will not work for McCain. Obama's Media Darling status is critical here. Kevin Drum explains:

[T]he problem with Obama isn't that he's less experienced than Hillary, but that he's inexperienced, full stop. And again, like it or not, John McCain will certainly use that as an argument in the general election campaign in a way he couldn't against Hillary. Sure, he's got 25 years to her 15, but that doesn't matter. Beyond a certain point voters aren't interested in who's got more experience, and 15 years is well beyond that point. If McCain tried to paint Hillary as inexperienced, it would be a waste of breath. Nobody would buy it.

When I decided to vote for Obama in the primary I said I had decided it was worth it to roll the dice. But make no mistake: there really is a roll of the dice here. The American public hasn't elected someone with as little big-time experience as Obama in the past century (though we've come close with Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush). I don't think that will keep him from winning in November, but it's pretty clearly a real issue.


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    And Obama should replay... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:01:38 PM EST
    ...Well, certainly, my experience isn't engaging in highly unethical conduct like he did during Keating and at other times (mention in detail), or talking about being against torture then supporting it, or being a thug well known for trying to physically intimidate his colleagues, or claiming that the civilian controlled military now at war should be under the control of one man, David Petraeus (which is, in effect, what he has said), or, or, or...

    McCain is an easy target, as long as we're willing to treat him as he deserves to be treated.  He is a bully, who deserves to be bullied back and hard.  McCain's psychological problems are going to be fairly easy to bring to the surface: challenge him time and time again in a very unpleasant manner.  In other words, if he is the Dem nominee, then Obama better stop being the uniter and start being the fighther, because he is going to have to, whether he likes it or not.  Whether he can be a SMART fighter is another question.

    Only one question (none / 0) (#2)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:05:18 PM EST
    and I don't necessarily disagree with you.
    But who do you think is the bigger media darling Obama or McCain?

    I don't see Obama bringing up (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:47:47 PM EST
    McCain's connection to Keating 5.  (1) As I learned recently in NYT article, McCain was never convicted of anything in regard to Keating 5 and he has stated it was a case of poor judgment, (2) Keating 5 is to McCain as Rezko is to Obama.  

    One major difference (none / 0) (#27)
    by RalphB on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:52:21 PM EST
    is that Keating 5 has been adjudicated while the Rezko matter is pending.  Obama going there would be almost as stupid as attacking McCain for the rest of his lifetime of service.

    Go ahead, personally attack someone who is an acknowledged American hero with a life story out of a movie script.  I can't think of a better way to guarantee a McCain landslide.


    What will matter (none / 0) (#3)
    by mg7505 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:07:48 PM EST
    more than McCain's attacks is whether the media buys into the Right's hate-mongering. I'm not an Obama supporter, but no one deserves the kind of treatment he (or Hillary) will likely get. I was completely baffled when they did everything possible to help Bush win in 2000 and 2004. The way they have treated Clinton is also appalling. One could argue that NBC, more specifically Chris Matthews, is responsible for the past 8 years of backwardness.

    As I said (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:35:13 PM EST
    Obama's Media Darling status is critical here.

    Experience vs. Change (none / 0) (#4)
    by Korha on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:17:49 PM EST
    I'm perfectly happy to have that fight.

    Could you be more specific? (none / 0) (#7)
    by ding7777 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:31:16 PM EST
    What is Obama going to change?

    he'll try to make the same (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:33:06 PM EST
    changes Hillary would. The question is which candidate has the better chance of effecting change?

    Theories of Change (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:34:44 PM EST
    is a big issue. But candidate reception by the Media is a bigger one.

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#12)
    by spit on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:35:07 PM EST
    but it's a tougher one in the general than it is in the primary.

    FWIW, I think we are very likely to win that one, but I think it's something that is going to get pounded a lot, and I don't think it's going to be quite as simple to defuse in the general as a lot of people seem to.


    Yep (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:35:52 PM EST
    Obama will not ber running against Clinton in the General.

    Different world altogether.


    To be fair (none / 0) (#18)
    by Korha on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:39:40 PM EST
    Clinton is also going to run on the change narrative against McCain as well.

    It's true (none / 0) (#25)
    by spit on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:52:01 PM EST
    and I expect it to be a good tactic, but I don't think it's a slam dunk for either of them. Against Obama, the right will try to change it from "change vs. experience" to "inexperience vs. experience", and the question is how successfully they will manage that shift -- I suspect it won't work for them on domestic policy, but it likely will to a degree on foreign policy.

    Against Clinton, they'll take a different path, since she's harder to bill as "inexperienced". I'm not saying it'll be an easier one for us to deal with.


    fifteen years??? (none / 0) (#78)
    by diogenes on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:16:13 PM EST
    You can't give Hillary credit for fifteen years until the Clintons release the White House records/appointment logs/etc.  As it is she is trying to dodge what may or may not have happened with NAFTA.  Strange how Al Gore, how was there at the time, hasn't appeared to clarify this.

    Not really the point (none / 0) (#79)
    by spit on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:43:27 PM EST
    it simply won't work in campaigning. Most of the public has been aware of what Hillary Clinton has been up to, well enough to think of her as "experienced", since '92 or just before. She will not be effectively painted as "inexperienced", regardless of the merits (which I find lacking, to be clear -- she was a very active first lady, and took hell for it).

    I doubt the right would even try that route.


    I liked (none / 0) (#5)
    by Mystic55 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:25:45 PM EST
    McCain a lot in 2000.  He said a lot of things I liked.

    McCain in 2008 is a symbol of everything I do NOT like in Washington now.

    I think Obama's statement that he won't run again because Washington changes you is accurate.  McCain's experience can be used against him, just as much as the enthusiasm Obama supporters have is being used against Obama now.

    The key difference is, that all Obama has to do is play commercials wherein McCain fights McCain.  He wouldn't even have to say ANYTHING.

    Media will determine that (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:33:59 PM EST
    The battle is for the Media it seems to me.

    Obama also promised (none / 0) (#10)
    by ivs814 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:34:23 PM EST
    his constituents he wouldn't run for president.  It took him less than one year to break that promise.  Obama is the master flip-flopper.  The biggest difference is the velocity of his flips and how far he will flop as a consequence.  

    Yeh, too true -- and I know (none / 0) (#19)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:40:53 PM EST
    some Illinois relatives still ticked about that promise so swiftly broken.  First thing they say about Obama, before going on about so many missed votes since.  So they also say they give little weight to Michelle Obama's threat that this is his last run for the White House.

    Nonetheless, Obama got (none / 0) (#28)
    by mg7505 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:53:46 PM EST
    major major support from Illinois voters in the primary. The Republicans would need a whole new narrative (Obama=ambitious/phony) to make that charge effective in other states.

    that's because the Hillary campaign and the (none / 0) (#33)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:59:22 PM EST
    press did not bring out issues as this Link. The Republicans are not as nice and the MSM will jump on their bandwagon for sure.
    So if Obama wins the nomination he better get ready for a lot of stuff coming out to light and that's not even taking into account the smears that will come out.

    Nonetheless.... (none / 0) (#36)
    by ivs814 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:03:14 PM EST
    It's always interesting to see how dismissive Obama fans are when their candidate's hypocrisy is highlighted.  You point out that he said he will not stay in D.C. because it changes you and then when I point out that he lied about not running for the presidency, you ignore that.  He is a flip-flopper and a liar and McCain with not hesitate to swat him down to size.  

    Flip Flopping (none / 0) (#42)
    by Mystic55 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:12:29 PM EST
    Is a term Democrats shouldn't use, because the ability to change your mind is a good thing.

    Showing CONSISTENT chameleon like qualities is one thing, ala Romney, (or...for that matter, at this point, McCain (torture, bush, taxes etc).  But changing your mind on a few things quite frankly is a GOOD sign of judgment.

    If you make a stupid promise, you should not be held to it if it will cause significant harm.  If Obama really believes that he would make a good president (and I think he would) then for him not to take the chance is stupid on his part.

    "No new taxes" is a stupid promise to make if it means having the country fall apart.  Perhaps one of the few good decisions H.W. made.

    So we don't stress when people say "Obama said this and then did this" because, quite frankly, 'flip flopping' is a charge made by Republicans against Kerry.

    And, quite frankly, Hillary has changed her mind many many times.


    the problem with this rationalization is... (none / 0) (#81)
    by tree on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:38:40 PM EST
    "If you make a stupid promise, you should not be held to it if it will cause significant harm.  If Obama really believes that he would make a good president (and I think he would) then for him not to take the chance is stupid on his part."

    ...that you've then admitted that he made a stupid promise to begin with. A promise that you think it is smart to break. Then the question becomes, what is he saying now that he (or you) will later claim was a "stupid promise"? Then, can we trust anything he says now? Or will it deemed "stupid" later on and so easily cast aside? Why, then should anyone take any of his promises at face value, since they are so malleable?

    And a secong point is that I'm sure that promising not to run for President so shortly after running for Senate was NOT a stupid thing to do in terms of winning a Senate seat. Voters want to believe that you'll stick around and really represent them, rather than using your office as a quick stepping stone to higher aspirations. So its only a "stupid promise" in retrospect, since he obviously was using it as a stepping stone, and was willing to lie about his promise. If he's willing t lie to the Illinois voters, why should we think that he's not willing to lie to all voters?  He didn't change his mind on an important issue after much reflective thought over the pros and cons. He decided that he didn't have to keep a promise that helped him get elected in the first place. Spin away if you want, but his problem on this is much bigger than  merely being a flip-flopper. It goes to trust and character.  

    What is the "significant harm" (other than to his ambition and ego?) for him to have honored his promise? Edwards was more progressive and had the better polling against Republicans, Clinton's positions are not that different from his, although they are marginally more progressive.  


    I think experience will count (none / 0) (#6)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:26:56 PM EST
    It is like going to med school. Do you know it all in 2 years or are you a better doctor in 6?  I don't think the lobbying thing will kill McCains chances. Most people really don't care how you get the job done as long as it is done. They know you play games. It is politics. Progressives want to win against the DC establishments. There is such hatred against the DLC,etc and so they like Obama because he is new and Hillary is part of the current establishment. I have been around too long to know that experience counts. My first vote was for Carter. I voted for Gore. I knew GW had really no experience but I thought when he got in that maybe he wouldn't do too much damage because he had intelligent people around him. I had no choice. The Supreme Court had intervened on his behalf. Well those intelligent people around him got us into a heap of do do. I think Obama is an asset to the Democratic Party but I am concerned with his being 2 years in DC. I think he would make a better President with more time there. I think experience means something vs on the job training.

    The Hillary clip that dkosers are hyperventilating (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:38:38 PM EST
    over seems relevant to me.

    LEt's not touch that right now (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:05:17 PM EST
    The sexism in the daily kos community is simply repulsive.

    Experience is vastly overrated (none / 0) (#16)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:38:52 PM EST
    as a quality that the people look for.

    Nixon was more experienced than Kennedy, Ford more than Carter, Bush Sr. more than Clinton, Gore more than Bush Jr. And considerably so.

    The American people have quite the warm spot for the notion of the outsider (seen as one of them) marching off to DC to clean out the stables. Mr. Smith goes to Washington, and all that. Its a deeply resonant theme in the American psyche.

    And it is probably in play even more so this year, when the usual feelings of disgust with Washington games is at a fever pitch.

    The experience argument fell flat for Hillary for a reason. The people are simply not in the mood for a candidate who can demonstrate a lot of Washington experience. The place is rather toxic in their mind. They are looking for a "new deal" from their politics, and being a veteran of the established order is just not appealing.

    An assurance of competence is, however, important. So yes, Obama will be scrutinized for hints of political incompetence. But he seems to have performed well in the jobs he has had, and as a poltiical leader - if you look at the campaign he has run - he comes off as brilliantly competent.

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:46:41 PM EST
    Kennedy was a 2 term Senator and was a Congressman for 6 years before that.

    HE barely won BTW.

    Carter is one that will be used against Obama. After Watergate too. YOu think it helps your argument but Ford v. Carter is an interesting experiment if you think about it.

    He was the ultimate change candidate and had a strong base on the South. Barely won.

    Gore won the popular vote.

    I think you thesis is flawed and your evidence actually troubling for an Obama candidacy.


    if experinece were an important criterion (none / 0) (#31)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:57:16 PM EST
    then Joe Biden would be our nominee.
    Or Bill Richardson.
    Or Chris Dodd.
    Then maybe Hillary.
    Or even Dennis Kucinich. He along with Richardson, actually held an executive position.

    Unless you think that the Democratic electorate, polluted with all those independents and a few Republicans, is somehow in a totally different mindset that the general population, then it seems hard to understand why one wouldnt draw the conclusions that I do from this primary season.


    The democratic electorate (none / 0) (#34)
    by spit on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:01:36 PM EST
    is not representative of the voting population as a whole. That's indisputable.

    The independent and republican crossover votes are hard to gauge right now in terms of what they'll do in November after the campaigning for the general really gets underway. I'm not saying they'll all disappear, I'm saying it's hard to predict right now.

    Primary election politics are very different from general election politics, and always have been. If you don't believe that, then I'm just not sure what else to say.


    NO (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:04:34 PM EST
    Clinton was perceived, inaccurately, as the most expereinced.

    by whom? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:09:11 PM EST
    I don't agree with that. She made it the basis of her campaign, so she was loudly proclaiming it.

    But anyone paying attention could obviously see that the others were more experienced.


    Paying attention is the key :-) (none / 0) (#43)
    by RalphB on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:12:52 PM EST
    The voters (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:12:56 PM EST
    Check the polling.

    Sorry, every thing is NOT determined by YOUR, or my, perception.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#68)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:50:35 PM EST
    Clinton had experience and any woman who has worked her way up will tell you that. Women over 40 did not start at the top. We worked from the beginning. Take a look at her biography, see any experience there?

    What is it you want in order to classify her as having experience?

    I think you are discounting a life working in public service and many successes in researching, law, child protection, criminal justice, political action  and that was before Bill Clinton. And she is a mother who raised a responsible and successful chld in spite of Bill Clinton.



    You overstate your case (none / 0) (#56)
    by Democratic Cat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:26:47 PM EST
    Ignoring who was perceived as most experienced, it is incorrect to state that since Joe Biden is not the nominee, then experience is not "an important criterion." It only implies that it's not the only important criterion.

    Voters in the Fall are a different makeup than voters in the Spring, obviously, and may tilt in a different direction on the relative importance of experience versus a fresh face.

    Finally, the Bush administration is widely seen as incompetent. That means people are ready for change, yes, but they also want to know that the person who gets in can actually manage the job. I think McCain will hit hard on Obama on the experience issue, and I think we can count on a couple of orange alerts in September and October just to nudge the public along.


    not sure its overstated (none / 0) (#67)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:50:03 PM EST
    Given the way Biden, Richardson and Dodd performed, it is not unreasonable to conclude that experience counted for nothing at all.

    I agree that McCain will hit hard on the issue, but I just don't think it will be much of a major factor.

    The reappearance of the color alerts, after all this time, would, I think, be taken as a hilarious joke by everyone.


    Hopefully you're correct (none / 0) (#71)
    by Democratic Cat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 05:02:05 PM EST
    You have more faith than I do that people will refuse to be manipulated. I hope you are correct on this one!

    Here's another one I heard from inside the McCain camp-- Barack Obama: more liberal than the Socialists. (Because of his liberal senator rating compared to Bernie Sanders'.) Now, if Sen. Obama were actually liberal, this would make me laugh a little more than it did.


    One reason the (none / 0) (#72)
    by mg7505 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 05:32:03 PM EST
    Experienced Crew (Biden/Dodd/Richardson) did not perform well was because Hillary was already viewed as a frontrunner, so they had one person in the "experience" role. Obama was the only antagonist, so he got cast opposite her. Say what you will, but the media, combined with celebrity status, determined what the ultimate showdown would be. That said, Edwards and Kucinich should be commended for staying in the race so long.

    topic of change is interesting. (none / 0) (#32)
    by ghost2 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:58:57 PM EST
    first of all, Obama had no choice but to run as the 'outsider' and 'change' candidate.  

    Second, it's a clever trick.  American public was heavily in favor of the Iraq war,  and American media was fully complicit in it.  Yet, changing  Washington resonates with them, because it leaves the voters and the media off the hook for Bush, for Iraq war, for Katrina, for deficit, high gas price, lack of health care, and everything else that has happened or just is.

    And it blames Hillary Clinton for all of wrongs of the past 7 years.  

    You wonder why Obama is popular??


    thats the way it always works (none / 0) (#46)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:14:44 PM EST
    the people get to change their minds.

    Yes, of course, whenever they are voting for change they are, in a sense, repudiating the choice they made 4 or 8 years earlier. There is nothing tricky about it.

    What does it mean that it lets people off the hook for the bad things that flowed from their previous bad decision?
    What would it look like if they stayed "on the hook"?
    The people realize they made a bad choice, so now they want something completely different. Such is life.


    Sadly... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Mystic55 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:15:30 PM EST
    I must agree with this.

    And I'm an Obama supporter.

    Then again, I'm voting for him for reasons involving Aristocracy and the perpetuation of anything that might give future Bush generations a chance.  Thus, Hillary simply cannot win with me.  She is a basically good person who does some very annoying things, but I don't hate her.


    LOL (none / 0) (#59)
    by Democratic Cat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:30:58 PM EST
    "She is a basically good person who does some very annoying things.."  Yep, no perfect politicians here; even the good ones have warts.

    Obama's inexperience and bone-headed decision (none / 0) (#17)
    by Prabhata on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:39:08 PM EST
    Hillary has touted her experience and has called Obama's campaign a campaign of words, but that's a mild criticism.  Obama will have to defend his decision making capabilities when the Republicans point out that his self interests cloud his judgment, for example:

    1.Obama contacted a man, Rezko, who is known to be under investigation to buy a house because Obama doesn't have enough money to buy the two properties. Rezko's wife buys the property next to Obama and the house and land deal close on the same day.

    2. after Rezko is indicted, Obama buys a piece of land from Rezko's wife who purchased the lot next to Obama.

    Hillary wont' go there because even though all the investigations have cleared her of wrong doing, it's not pleasant to revisit that chapter in her life and defend herself all over again.

    Pleeeze! Stop beating the dead horse. (none / 0) (#20)
    by 1jane on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:44:48 PM EST
    If my husband is a cop, does that make me qualified to be Chief of Police? Being an insider in the White House doesn't mean Clinton is qualified to be president anymore than living with a surgeon makes a person qualified to perform operations.

    Clinton left Yale Law School at age 25. Her only experience as an elected politician is her 6 years in the United States Senate where she largely raised money for her campaign and contributed money to the many superdelegates she hoped would vote for her. Now she's turning into Joan Crawford in the last days of her candidacy.

    Obama has 7 years of experience as an elected official in the Illinois State Senate and the US Senate. Edwards had 6 years of experience in the US Senate.

    Imagine how Dodd and Biden must have felt when Clinton kept bringing up her 35 years of experience. Both of the Senator's long years in the US Senate trump Clinton's experience.  

    Of course, as you probably already know, (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:51:43 PM EST
    Obama has contributed much more money to the campaigns of super-ds than HRC.  

    If you worked on a key issue on behalf of your husband, the Chief of Police, yes, you would be entitled to count that as experience if you were seeking appointment to that position.

    IL state senator is a part-time position.

    Joan Crawford?  


    You know what's funny jane? (none / 0) (#26)
    by Teresa on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:52:07 PM EST
    Remember the State Senator from Texas who couldn't answer the question about naming one accomplishment of Obama's? The defense of him I read everywhere from Obama supporters: He's only a State Senator, he shouldn't be expected to know these things.

    Although a commenter here stated (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:54:37 PM EST
    this particular Texas state senator is quite intelligent and doing a good job for his district.  

    That was my State Senator :-) (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by RalphB on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:55:48 PM EST
    and he's a sharp guy.  If he couldn't think of one, it's because he didn't think there was anything worth talking about.  Pretty sad really.

    O.K. I just have to ask. (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:04:53 PM EST
    If he's such a smart guy, why is he supporting Obama?

    who knows? didn't say genius. (none / 0) (#48)
    by RalphB on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:15:50 PM EST
    I do know that when he as mayor of Austin, he was hardly a liberal light.  Worked with the developers to get past the Save Our Springs alliance so they could build near aquifer recharge zones, etc.

    He was on national TV (none / 0) (#80)
    by Kathy on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:47:08 PM EST
    pretty smart, except for the being humiliated part.

    Ummm (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:03:02 PM EST
    Tell that to McCain.

    But play the ostrich if you like.


    BTD is right, but (none / 0) (#73)
    by mg7505 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 05:34:49 PM EST
    the great irony is that many Obama supporters back him because he supposedly has the best shot against McCain.

    More dangers (none / 0) (#40)
    by koshembos on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:05:46 PM EST
    Agree that being Bush again is a major problem for Obama. (Let's face it, Drum rolls the dice for the same reason people elected Bush.)

    Another major danger is Hillary Democrats. As opposed Drum and his dice, I see a vote for Obama as a Russian Roulette. I'll have to have some drinks before I can forget the hate that Obama helped to create. You see, some of us still remember segregation and Antisemitism.

    All Due Respect (none / 0) (#49)
    by xjt on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:16:42 PM EST
    The idea that McCain has "no shot" against Obama because of some Iowa poll eight months out is ridiculous. It proves nothing.

    Is that in Iowa? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:18:10 PM EST
    When was the last time a Democrat won in Iowa?

    Longetivity does not equal Experience (none / 0) (#51)
    by Seneca on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:19:56 PM EST
    Obama has a valid point when he argues that longetivity in Washington does not equal experience. Obama has had many valuable experiences: as a community organizer, professor constitutional law, state congressman, Illinois Senator.

    Hillary spent some years as a president's wife and some years as a do-nothing congresswoman. You tell me who has more experience.

    At any rate, we can have fun in our little spin-zone spinning "Obama's inexperience" as long as we recognize that we're just playing the political game of spinning perceptions and that we're not really levelling with each other truthfully.

    Spin on...

    Ok ignorance is no excuse (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:24:13 PM EST
    Tell the people benefitting of the SCHIPS program she has been a do nothing congresswoman.  I won't even mention other legislature she has sponsored or co-sponsored even in a hostile Republican dominated Senate.  Please

    Talk about spin (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:28:19 PM EST
    What a hilarious comment.

    Wow, you have done so little research (none / 0) (#60)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:34:30 PM EST
    on Clinton that it's stunning.  Just curious, are you a voter?

    Dude, she's a Senator, not a Congresswoman (none / 0) (#61)
    by Democratic Cat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:38:37 PM EST
    And I'm sure you know that, but you are just trying to downplay her accomplishments. If she was really so inexperienced as you say, you wouldn't need to misrepresent her background.

    This is a thread to discuss how the general election might play out on the experience issue. Do you think people's perceptions of reality --and how those perceptions are spun -- don't matter in how they vote?


    Semantics... (none / 0) (#65)
    by Seneca on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:45:10 PM EST
    Hillary is a member of Congress. Congress is the national legislative body comprised of the House and the Senate.

    Granted, the term "congresswoman" does suggest membership in the House, but it would not be totally inaccurate to use the term to refer to a member of the Senate.


    It's not common usage (none / 0) (#66)
    by Democratic Cat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:47:37 PM EST
    and given the tenor of your remark, it seemed clear that you were trying to downplay her credentials. "Some years as a President's wife." Please.

    Usage is Senator for (none / 0) (#76)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 06:27:53 PM EST
    upper house of Congress -- plus it has the advantage of being gender-neutral.

    But there is no such thing as a "state congressman."  The term is legislator.


    Or state senator, of course (none / 0) (#77)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 06:30:05 PM EST
    in his case, since Obama was in the upper house in Illinois -- I meant to say that the parallel to Congressman/woman is legislator (also conveniently gender-neutral).

    Obama should get out now (none / 0) (#52)
    by dem08 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:23:20 PM EST
    For all the reasons cited here and especially at Taylor Marsh, Obama should get out now.

    The question is: can his ego handle losing? I worry that many Hillary Supporters will go elsewhere, and the rift this race has shown will tear apart the Democratic Party for years to come.

    This race is 1968, with a dash of 1980. Like Carter as sitting President in 1980, Hillary was the consensus candidate until the jealous wing of the party entered Obama because they have a fear of strong women. Kennedy, also represented the jealous wing.

    If Obama gets the nomination, Hillary's idealistic supporters may sit out the election.

    While Hillary would then be in a great position to unite the party in 2012, it is a shame that Obama is spoiling her chance to be president now.

    Ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Democratic Cat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:42:41 PM EST
    Neither should get out. Let the people vote. If Obama wins, it's not my preferred outcome and I think the Dems may very well then lose in the fall. But that is Democracy. We actually let the people vote. (Of course we don't always count all the votes, but that's a topic for another thread.)

    No disenfranchisement! (none / 0) (#69)
    by RalphB on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:54:56 PM EST
    Take this thing all the way.

    He should not (none / 0) (#74)
    by mg7505 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 05:42:13 PM EST
    get out of the race, because like it or not, he's the frontrunner and has more money. But as a Hillary supporter, I will say that that money could go towards a variety of places instead of an Obama campaign:

    1. Defeating Republicans instead of Hillary. Since his donors are supposedly lower-income and will max out their personal budgets long before November, it makes sense to use their cash as wisely as possible.

    2. The "Democratic Republic" of Congo, where millions (literally) have died in a civil war. Obama even passed legislation to help the country out, but his money isn't where his mouth is.

    3. Helping the people of Kenya, where atrocities are being committed in the name of "Democracy" and Obama's own Luo people are being disenfranchised... while he spends big money on his personal ambitions and doesn't even speak the Luo language. There are too many layers of irony here to unravel, but the sadness is overwhelming.

    Of course Hillary's $$ could go to all these sources too, but as long as neither is going to drop out, might as well buy a plane ticket for the flight of fancy.

    I'll let you have the floor. You spin just fine. (none / 0) (#53)
    by Teresa on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:23:31 PM EST
    Hillary spent some years as a president's wife and some years as a do-nothing congresswoman.

    Post is to Seneca. Sorry. (none / 0) (#55)
    by Teresa on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:25:18 PM EST
    Clinton is my Senator! (none / 0) (#62)
    by Seneca on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:39:58 PM EST
    Listen, I live in New York and have seen plenty of HRC.

    She has triangulated her way through her Senate career. She has had a few fine moments, but she has never taken any real risks.



    Right and Obama Has? (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:42:01 PM EST
    Obama has almost no chance (none / 0) (#58)
    by MarkL on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:29:33 PM EST
    against McCain---especially given how divisive he has been during the Democratic primary.
    On top of that, so many Democrats love McCain, I expect him to peel off about 30% of the Dem. vote.

    Out of HRC, BO, and JMc (none / 0) (#70)
    by NJDem on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 05:00:26 PM EST
    guess who is the only one who has managed to introduce a bill in Congress while on the campaign trail the last year?  

    Yup, HRC.  Four bills in fact.  

    I don't remember them all, but one dealt with HIV/AIDS research, and another was the only bill ever to focus on environmental discrimination (i.e. addressing disproportionate pollution, etc. in poor urban areas).

    She is a workhorse.  Period.  And she has a far better attendance record than either of the two.

    Amen! (none / 0) (#75)
    by mg7505 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 05:42:57 PM EST
    executive experience (none / 0) (#82)
    by diogenes on Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 05:43:54 AM EST
    The most recent example of the candidates' ability to lead organizations is in their respective campaign organizations.  If Hillary would run the country the way she's run her campaign, we're all in trouble.  And the way she's run her campaign was predictable based on preexisting hubris and character flaws (the same ones that inspired her 1993 secret health plan, etc).  She is NIXON.