Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Obama: Getting More Experience Every Day

If Bill Clinton is right about the importance of experience in a candidate for President, shouldn't he be backing Joe Biden or Chris Dodd who, between them, have been in Congress for 66 years?

But the former President's doubts about inexperience are selectively aimed at Barack Obama as his challenge to Mrs. Clinton gathers strength, today with an endorsement in the New Hampshire primary by the Boston Globe.

“When is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running?” the ex-president asked in a PBS interview Friday night, deftly slicing eleven months off Obama's resume.

Obama responded yesterday that Clinton himself had said when he ran in 1992 that a candidate can “have the right kind of experience or the wrong kind of experience” and that his own involvement in government for over a decade matches Clinton's ten years as a governor back then.

"When it comes to waging peace," the Globe editorial says, "Obama has the leadership skills to reset the country's reputation in the world...Obama's critics, and even many who want to support him, worry about his relative lack of experience. It is true that other Democratic contenders have more conventional resumes and have spent more time in Washington. But that exposure has tended to give them a sense of government's constraints. Obama is more animated by its possibilities."

The perception that he is now running against two Clintons may very well help Obama, if voters consider it a learning experience.

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