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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Comments

Jeff

What is it about Obama's "judgment" that is so remarkable? For all his talk about bipartisanship and how no single party has a monopoly on wisdom, he's a strict party-line voter. Yes, he's great to listen to, but what issues has he thought creatively or uniquely about that aren't the same as any other Democrat? I'm not saying he'd be a bad President, or that McCain would be a better President, but if we look objectively at his plans and voting records, and ignore for a moment his great skill behind a microphone or at a keyboard, what, specifically, sets him apart? I really don't see anything. He's no different from any other Democrat. Again, I'm not saying that doesn't make him a good choice in November, but how does it make him special?

Eric H. Zagrans

Jeff, thanks for your comments and your question. I think he has displayed excellent judgment in several areas, most importantly in opposing the invasion of Iraq before most others came around to opposing the war. He correctly foresaw that the war would not only weaken America's standing with allies and third-world countries, but would disastrously divert key resources from the real focus of the war against terrorism and the people who attacked us on 9/11 -- Afghanistan. By the way, he has not been a strictly party-line voter in the Senate. For example, he supported the so-called Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA), a measure introduced by conservative Republicans and opposed (correctly in my opinion) by most Democrats. He has displayed his independence from party allegiance on various other occasions. I hope this helps to respond to your issues and concerns.

Jeff

Here's another thought -- how many of the "successful" Presidents had prior executive experience? (As a governor, not a mid-level bureaucrat.)

You count Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, and Clinton as the successful Presidents. Of these, only Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy weren't governors. (Eisenhower was a military governor in Germany, but that probably doesn't count.) So 5/8 successful Presidents had previously served as governors.

That leaves Taft, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Taft (Cuba and the Phillipines), Coolidge (Mass.), Carter (Georgia), and George W. Bush (Texas) were governors -- meaning 6/10 unsuccessful Presidents had not previously served as governors. If you don't count Taft, it's 7/10.

Small sample size, to be sure, but maybe we can tell more about a candidate's ability as President based on prior service.

office 2010

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