Political experience isn’t everything
March 17, 2008
Experience? Plenty of people on Capitol Hill have experience. Ted Kennedy’s been passing legislation since the 1960s, John Kerry’s been involved in his anti-war activism since the 70s, and Karl Rove’s been the brainchild of the Republican party for decades.
All politicians have experience. Otherwise they would not have been elected by their state or nation. That’s why Hillary Clinton’s endless claim of experience has not gripped the American people as a whole.
No doubt, Clinton has a hefty record in Washington and would be an excellent president, nothing new or extraordinary, just business as usual.
But many people fear that once Obama is in office, he will be clueless and will only worsen situations in our country.
Let us not forget that Obama has a fair amount of experience as well. Not only was he elected by the people of Illinois to the Senate, Obama has also worked at a grassroots level with people in the streets of Chicago as the Director of the Developing Communities Project. While in Chicago, Obama also served as an attorney with Miner, Barnhill & Galland from 1993 to 1996, representing community organizers, discrimination claims, and voting rights cases.
Later on he lectured constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School, a highly competitive and prestigious institution. Working at a grassroots level and serving as an attorney and a senator exhibits Obama’s adeptness as both a politician and a social worker.
And yet Clinton still scrutinizes his record and speaks so highly of her own. Yet if we look through the piles of pages of her political past, Clinton also has experience in shrewd politics.
In the 1990s, when the Clinton administration tried to create a plan for universal healthcare, Hillary and her husband refused to negotiate with Congress and conjured up the plan behind closed doors. Experience in politics can also lead to the influence of such stubborn negotiation.
Although Clinton cites a lengthy career in international diplomacy, Obama has in fact made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in his seven years within the Senate.
And if that’s not enough, let us also remember that a president is not alone in the White House. Obama will have an entire cabinet of advisers, a Congress that can hold him steady, and a wife to whom he can relate.
Evan Bakker, staff writer