The EXPERIENCE factor

Let me preface this blog by stating that nobody comes into the job of POTUS with any on-the-job experience. A vice president can rightfully claim to be experienced for the job based on the simple fact that he or she had been part of the Executive Branch in a previous administration. The fact remains that a vice president is not the President despite the fact that they might have assumed the position for a few hours while the President was under anaestesia getting a tooth pulled.

So in spite of the claims by Hillary and McCain that they are more experienced, I see both of them in the same category as BO. They have experience in other areas but not the presidency. Hillary slept in the White House for eight years. That does not qualify as experience.

The current issue of TIME magazine has a cover page article titled “Does Experience Matter in a President?” which examines the work experience of all forty three Presidents prior to their ascendency to the job. There is also a related story “The Science of Experience” in the same magazine that examines experience in further detail. I strongly encourage those of you who are unsure about who to vote for in the upcoming elections to take a look at these stories and get some perspective on this issue.

I remember coming out of college having to explain to prospective employers that my lack of practical experience as a cobol programmer stems from the simple fact that no one was willing to give a rookie a chance. I am greatly indebted to my first boss Becky Piatt who was willing to give me a prove myself.

Have a look-see and let me know what you think. 

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  1. danderoo | Mar 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm | Reply

    Is experience a factor? With all due respects, Mr. Smith, your just-out-of-college experience doesn’t really compare. At the time, your weren’t expected to run Microsoft. Obama-maniacs cite President Lincoln’s lack of experience as an appropriate metaphor for Senator Obama. But there’s a difference.

    Like Senator Obama, Mr. Lincoln was extremely articulate and was gifted at controlling a crowd. He obtained a huge following merely because of his eloquence and reasoning skills as it related to issues of the day. He presented logical arguments for his positions and as a result, it was difficult to debate him.

    Senator Obama, while eloquent, has yet to present a solid, logical argument for (or against) anything. His anecdotal evidence of how poorly the current administration has leveraged the economy, particularly with regard to social issues, is just that, anecdotal and represents outliers to the broader population.

    I talked to a friend of mine the other day at Starbucks, an Obama-maniac herself, and she expressed such a high opinion of the Senator; of what terrible shape the country is in, that I couldn’t help but notice (and comment) that it must be indeed be terrible for her–as she got into her BMW SUV. Her argument was that we’re spending millions in Iraq and that money could be better spent here on social programs. Isn’t that interesting?

    And yet, that’s exactly where Obama and Lincoln depart. Lincoln never, ever thought that it was the government’s responsibility to solve social issues. It was the individual’s opportunity to become whatever he (or she) wanted. Success, in Lincoln’s view was individualized, and not socialized.

    So to bring the discussion full circle, when it comes to surgery, and I can choose between someone who’s been practicing surgical medical procedures for 20 years, or a rookie, I’ll choose the veteran every time. The office of the POTUS requires the same level of experience and expertise, and quite frankly, neither of the Democrat candidates can compare to Senator McCain.

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