Obama Experience Versus Hype

The Clinton camp has made much of Barack Obama’s lack of experience in U.S. politics. Obama tries to deflect that by talking spin about ‘a fresh new vision for America’ and all that BS. It’s not surprising that the Obama campaign wants to play down the lack of experience – after all, there isn’t much there and they know it. That’s where the spin artist comes in with the counterbalance. And we have the other O (Oprah) now lending her ever fluctuating weight to the Obama campaign.

How much can Obama’s million dollar smile and billion dollar star power counterbalance the lack of experience? Just how important is experience in U.S. politics for a presidential candidate. VERY important and the voters know it. As noted in The Congressional Disadvantage, voters rely on experienced candidates to be presidents. That’s an historical fact.

So what do you have in place of experience? In Obama’s case: nice sounding spin. But voters should know by now that what the candidate says during the campaign may or may not be what will materialize if the candidate becomes president. Just look at George Bush in 2000. He campaigned for, among other things, smaller government and decreased government spending. Not only has neither one of those things materialized, but the opposite has occurred.

Now granted, it’s not fair to compare Obama to Bush, but you can look at any president in the last 50 years and see the same pattern. The same pattern of broken campaign promises. So in the absence of believable campaign rhetoric, we look to experience in choosing our presidents. Experience is the one thing there for everyone to see: supporters and critics. Spin it any way you want, but Obama has little of that.

Double Os

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