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Obama v. Bush on "Experience"

Today GOP strategist Karl Rove highlights a continued weak point for Barack Obama - that 45 percent of registered voters in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll doubt the Illinois senator's readiness to be president. But Rove exaggerates the extent of public doubts about Obama's experience compared with George W. Bush's in 2000.

In a Washington Post-ABC News poll just before Election Day 2000, 52 percent of likely voters said Bush had the necessary experience to be a good president and 44 percent said he did not - numbers very close to the current 54 to 45 percent registered voter split on Obama. (Among those most apt to vote in November, 56 percent said Obama has the experience to be an effective president, 42 percent said he does not.)

Eight years ago, Bush's numbers on experience were better three weeks out than Obama's are today, but Bush was on the decline on that question, while Obama appears to be modestly improving. The 44 percent of voters who said Bush lacked the right experience as voting loomed was the most to say so in Post-ABC polls back to September 1999. (From the beginning of that campaign to the end, Bush trailed Al Gore by wide margins on the experience question.)

This year, when the general election campaign got underway in June, registered voters divided 48 to 48 on the adequacy of Obama's experience. Now, a narrow majority gives him positive marks on the question.

Will Obama's numbers on experience hold and be enough to "close the sale" as Rove asks? We will know in 19 days.

Does ... have the experience to be President?

Barack Obama, Oct. '08 (RV)

[Chart]

George W. Bush, Nov. '00 (LV)

[Chart]

By Jon Cohen  |  October 16, 2008; 4:21 PM ET
 
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Next: Presidential Debates: The Verdict is In

Comments

There is only one assessment which matters. Do we like Obama better than McCain? Experience counts for naught.

Posted by: Upstate Joe | October 16, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

The most pressing question:

Why isn't Rove in prison?

His meddling in the Justice Dept. threatened to turn one of the bulwarks of our political system undermined the credibility of our justice system.

Still a lot of unresolved questions that Rove has never answered. Mukasey too is showing signs of being just like Gonzo. A complete hack and a partisan.

The rule of law has been replaced by the misrule of men.

Posted by: JP2 | October 16, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I think the statistics should serve as a warning sign to undecided American voters. Experience really should count and if there are almost an equal number of people who are questioning a candidates readiness to serve as President, that perhaps is a critical indicator that the candidate is not ready to lead. Clearly George Bush was not ready to lead the nation and has spent the last eight years in training and only in the last couple of years have we seen Bush emerge as a genuine leader. Obama may think he is ready to be President as George Bush did -- both share a sense of entitlement to be President. But many of Obama's peers in the Senate including his running mate Joe Biden who was in fact was Obama's boss on the Senate Foreign Relations committee at various times expressed their concern that he was not ready to serve as President and that America can't afford four more years of on-the-job training. Something to think about folks. McCain is not eloquent but he does have leadership experience and has successfully negotiated across Party lines. Karl Rove's statistical question masks the more important one. In hindsight, who would have been the better President -- Al Gore or George Bush? That is the million dollar question which may provide some guidance to voters who are grappling with this issue of experience and readiness.

Posted by: Kathy | October 16, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Ask Rove whether McCain was right in blaming the current economic crisis on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae selling subprime loans, as he did in the first minute of the 3rd debate.

Posted by: jfc1 | October 16, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that McCain is assumed to be "qualified" or "ready" to be president? Have we not heard about what Gen. Clark said: just because one flew a fighter jet and got shot down does not qualify one to be commander-in-chief?

To use the McCain campaign slogan, McCain has never had "executive experience" as Palin has. Should the Republicans flip the ticket?

Posted by: Steve Chan | October 16, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

"McCain is not eloquent but he does have leadership experience and has successfully negotiated across Party lines. "

...Ok, so are you saying that Obama has no leadership experience and has never negotiated successfully across party lines?

I'm going to assume that in 30 years on Capitol Hill, McCain has led some organization or another, and negotiated with Democrats successfully on some issue or another. That still doesn't make him competent to be President, in my book.

Feel free to read your book any way you want.

Posted by: jfc1 | October 16, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

The fact is you can't compare the previous political experience of Bush to Obama without also discussing their intelligence and competency at the same time. Experience only gets you so far...you also need good judgment, personal integrity, and the ability to lead in times of crisis. Bush fails miserably in these regards whereas Obama has consistenly demonstrated his possession of these qualities. Who is to say that someone who is well endowed with presidential qualities is less deserving of office than a man with the equal level of limited experience but unable to display ANY of these qualities? If you focus on just one aspect of a candidate, i.e. length of direct experience in Washington, you lose sight of the bigger picture. Obama has been a professor of law for a decade (at a legitimate and respected institution), which, to me, counts for a lot. He also has more brainpower in his pinky than Bush does in his whole body (he graduated from Harvard at the top of his class of his own accord, not because of who his father was). To wrap up, what Obama lacks for in Washington experience (which is also, to me, a good thing to be unmarred by the politics of WA), he makes up for in his many other abilities, and then some.

Posted by: Erin | October 16, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Let's "spread the wealth" and add even more entitlement programs than what we have now .. let's have fully-federally-funded abortion on demand ... government controlled healthcare ... let's give socialism a chance ... let's vote for Obama!

Posted by: Cassandra Washington | October 16, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

if...."52 percent of likely voters said Bush had the necessary experience"....than its obvious that either polls mean nothing or voters know nothing!

the only real way to test whether a person has the experience to run a country is to let them run the country. the REAL reason we vote for one person over another is their views and promises. not whether they have PREVIOUS PRESIDENTIAL EXPERIENCE written on their resume. i for one don't believe for a second that the President (especially Bush) makes any decisions on his own anyway. all decisions are determined by the factors placed in front of him by his advisors. and i am sure (in Bush's case) EENIE MEENIE MINIE MOE has been used more than once!

Posted by: theOin08 | October 16, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone gives Karl Rove credence. He is the leader of the blue meanies of the Bush administration. The black spider of spin. McCain has 26 yrs experience in the Senate and that makes him very well suited to being a senator. Pushing single issues and working with lobbyists. He did that to varying degrees of ethical competency. Some highs and some very lows. None of that makes him qualified to be a president. Being a POW 44 yrs ago doesn't qualify at all either. His capability with understanding complex issues and integrated policies and strategies is pretty inadequate. Similar to Bush, he'll need those types of people around him. Senator McCain is a poor communicator and will not be able to use the bully pulpit even adequately. He isn't respected overseas and as a 72 yr old 5'7" tall man with a high squeaky voice, it just isn't going to cut it. He is going to make comedians and cartoonists famous and rich. McCain has surely worked the circuit of friends in politics, corporate banking and S&Ls, the media, and Hollywood. He is very good at that and it is the latter that shows some talent for the presidency. And don't forget he has all of the Bush thugs around him. Now that is something and they do have experience.

Posted by: lucy2008 | October 16, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

McCain's barely controlled seething rage is an automatic DQ. Nothing else matters.

Posted by: David Young | October 16, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

"The fact is you can't compare the previous political experience of Bush to Obama without also discussing their intelligence and competency at the same time. Experience only gets you so far...you also need good judgment, personal integrity, and the ability to lead in times of crisis"

Bush graduated with an MBA from Yale and Obama got a law degree from Harvard. Neither were Phi Beta Kappa graduates or Rhode Scholars. Bush did serve as a governor and pretended to lead a baseball team. Obama encouraged people to attend city hall meetings and was adjunct professor and based on my research into his US Senate activity did not serve as an author or sponsor of any signficant legislation. His name was included on pieces offered by Kennedy and others but Obama was running for President and heeded the advice given to him by Gary Hart -- don't get caught taking a firm position on anything that can be used against you in a general election. There is no question Obama is a shrewd politician -- classic Chicago and classic Washington. You would have to be totally naive to consider Obama a Washington outsider. The only legtimate outside in this race is Sarah Palin.

Posted by: Kathy | October 16, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

let's give mccain a chance! screw socialism, i'm voting for feudalism!!!!!

Posted by: sensible | October 16, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Rove should have already gone to the Prison... not allowed to go on to work yet another creepy puppet toward the policy house. Actually, the fact that the man is still allowed to roam around the world as a "free man" is disgusting to any American with half a heart.

Tell Karl Rove one thing... there is a God and he'd better hope that he never has to face him, that somehow instead of dying like all of the rest of us he somehow escapes into a 3rd demension. Otherwise, he is simply F'd in a big way.

Posted by: a guy with at least half a brain | October 16, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

YOU DON'T WIN ON INSULTS:......MCCAIN INSULTED ALL PRO-CHOICE WOMEN AS FANATICS IF THEY BELIEVE "THE HEALTH OF THE MOTHER" SHOULD EVER BE A CONSIDERATION IN A PERSONAL PREGNANCY DECISION!!! ....MCCAIN INSULTED ALL REPUBLICANS WHO EVER SUPPORTED BUSH BY SAYING "I'M NO GEORGE BUSH AND WE HAD HIS 8 MISERABLE YEARS OF HIS FAILED POLICIES." .....AND HE INSULTED ALL "MIDDLE CLASS" VOTERS BY IGNORING THEM AND THEIR NEEDS COMPLETELY WITHOUT EVEN MENTIONING US AT ALL.......THANK GOODNESS OBAMA WAS RIGHT ON ALL THE ISSUES OF THE ECONOMY, HEALTHCARE, ENERGY POLICY, EDUCATION, AND LEADING AMERICA, WHILE ALL MCCAIN COULD DO WAS BE AN ANGRY GRUMPY OL' MAN WHO INSULTED EVERYONE HE COULD THINK OF AS HE STUMBLED AND MUMBLED FOR ANSWERS EVEN ON SIMPLE QUESTIONS. === OBAMA AND BIDEN IN '08!!

Posted by: benighse | October 16, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama vs Bush indeed - his whole campaign is based on running against President Bush. McCain's is based on running against Obama. Neither man is especially FOR anything historically new. Anyone who works on the Executive side of government will tell you - the majority of government inefficiency can be blamed on the messed up way lawmakers do business. Every single one of them pushes, cajoles, trades, makes hallway deals, and sojourns with lobbyists. Both candidates are "Beltway boys", and play the game that politicians play, actors one and all. For all Obama's Rockstar qualities, he's still a baby kissing politician, but to his credit McCain isn't nearly as SLICK as Obama. The truth is, the most honorable citizens, the best men and women of this country, the most respected in any community, no longer seek to come to Washington, they simply wouldn't do it. If you want outside the beltway change, you have to get a leader from outside the beltway, and YES, even outside of politics of any kind. WE have allowed the Government to become hostile to good people. WE have elected, and continue to elect, the unscrupulous. I'll bet you this, out of decided voters who love one candidate or the other enough to dislike or even hate the opposition, 99% have not even taken the time to visit the website of your candidate and study the issues to see if they really are in line with your beliefs. Of the 1% who did visit the issues, 99% of that 1% haven't gone to the opposition's website to COMPARE the issues. In short we believe the sound-bites we hear, and allow excessive Media Bias to influence our choice. If that is the extent of time you want to invest in understanding the next leader of the free world, then America, you deserve exactly what you get. Once we realize we have a bought a pig in the poke, can we finally get serious about REAL CHANGE please? Replace the current congress and elect a 3rd Party for President in 2012!!!

Posted by: John | October 16, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I’ll take naïve intelligence over practiced stupidity any day. If Flip Flop McShame is able to draw on his experience to lead the US in a new direction why isn’t he championing his ideas instead of following standard republican operating procedure in lies, and attack ads. Is it that he truly believes Obama’s ideals are so clearly superior that instead of championing his own, his only chance is to tear down his opponent with lies and shameful acts?
No he’s just another spineless, brainless meat puppet for the father of lies, promoter of hypocrisy, and purveyor of spite controlling the republican party. Lacking more than empty promises and following the standard operating procedure of the new nazi con jobbers it’ll be just four more years of the practiced stupidity that’s gotten this country in the mess it’s in.

Posted by: cjacks | October 16, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

"the only real way to test whether a person has the experience to run a country is to let them run the country. the REAL reason we vote for one person over another is their views and promises. not whether they have PREVIOUS PRESIDENTIAL EXPERIENCE written on their resume."

There were people eight years ago who felt the same as you did and voted for George Bush and Dick Cheney. Iguess they felt that Al Gore had too much Presidential Experience. of course, he did win the popular vote. But you are in good company. Americans vote viscerally. I'd say 96 percent of Americans are with you and truly instead of wasting all this time and money, I maintain the best way to choose a President is to either host a Dancing with the President or the American President. Let people call in after each episode and vote with their mobile phones until were left with the last standing candidate -- the man (women can't win in this country.) We get what we deserve when we don't demand more from our leaders and from these political parties that are controlling our lives. I don't blame Obama or McCain for being politicians and not statesman. I don't criticize David Axelrod or Karl Rove for devising political strategies and tactics to get their guy elected. They know that in order to win they need to raise billions of dollars that can be used to self promote and to destroy their opponents. At least McCain has stood by his campaign finance promises and indeed he was the author of the campaign finance bill and has recognized what a serious danger is posed by this unfettered use of capital to sway the outcome of elections. American politics is a joke but it is truly no longer a laughing matter. Obama has no previous LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE. What fortune 500 company would hire Barack Obama to lead it with his level of experience? Any yet he is somehow ready to run the United States of America. Well maybe. Hope so. Sure scares me when I hear him talking about sending more troops to Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan which will be even more of a disaster than Iraq.

Posted by: Kathy | October 16, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

the bailout of wall street, the banks, the insurance companies is certainly spreading the wealth of all tax payers to the big crooks......duh.....why not spread the wealth to the little guy also?

Posted by: wm musson | October 16, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Dear benighse - "YOU DON'T WIN ON INSULTS:......"

Please stop yelling at us. All caps is not necessary, we feel you.

Posted by: John | October 16, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Forget about "experience" and consider intellect, temperment, eloquence, and character. Gramps was the class dunce, finishing dead last at the Naval Academy, is a deranged Hothead, speaks in confused, senile barks, and is a proven adulterous scumbag who deserted his first wife to marry a strung out, pill popping Beer Heiress half his age. Whereas Barack was at the top of his class at Columbia and Harvard Law School, is incredibly calm and cerebral in his approach, is eloquent beyond compare, and is a devoted husband and father to two gorgeous daughters. Experience? All Gramps can claim is that he is really, really old and is falling apart.

Posted by: shiva8 | October 16, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh, Kathy, at least going into Afghanistan deals with 9/11. Or did you forget that's how this all started?

And you also forgot that Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law while Bush Jr. had no honors on any of his degrees.

But don't let the facts stop you from spouting off some more

Posted by: KathyNasty | October 16, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone who works on the Executive side of government will tell you - the majority of government inefficiency can be blamed on the messed up way lawmakers do business. Every single one of them pushes, cajoles, trades, makes hallway deals, and sojourns with lobbyists. Both candidates are "Beltway boys", and play the game that politicians play, actors one and all. For all Obama's Rockstar qualities, he's still a baby kissing politician, but to his credit McCain isn't nearly as SLICK as Obama. The truth is, the most honorable citizens, the best men and women of this country, the most respected in any community, no longer seek to come to Washington, they simply wouldn't do it. If you want outside the beltway change, you have to get a leader from outside the beltway, and YES, even outside of politics of any kind. "

Right on John, I'm almost with you. But I wouldn't blame it totally on the legislative group, I think equal blame can be shared with the executive and the even the judicial. Fundamentally, our political system has become corrupted and I believe that McCain-Feingold were onto something with campaign finance, but not entirely -- but it is a beginning. We need to limit the amount of money spent on these political campaigns -- it is like pharmaceutical ads. I think we need to think about setting the Presidential term to six years, single terms so that we don't have this instant running for the next election. There are no statesmen left in Washington. The last one was John Warner who will be leaving office in January. The rest of these people are pure politicians. What frustrates me in this election is that Obama is being portrayed as somehow different because of the propaganda machine but in fact he is a master politician of the old school -- the Mayor Daly school. They are not leaders and not visionaries but cool political opportunist who calculate everything they do and say. Somebody should draft Joe the Plumber to run for President because at least Joe will be genuine. But power corrupts and there is nothing more corruptible other than the desire for power.

Posted by: Kathy | October 16, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I am trying to assess the significance level of an opinion that everybody can find on the Web: Is it truth that the republicans opposed sistematically, since the time of the Clinton administration, all the democrats attempts to legislate on that lending policies that lead to the current financial crisis? or, did I missunderstood when I saw president Clinton saying that the republicans were to be blamed for having opposed sistematically the democrats attempts to regulate on the financial system, just as Mr.Barack wants the people to believe, when he blames Bush for the current crisis? Am I wrong to blame Bush and McCain for the war on Iraq?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Nobody on this planet has ever had the experience of dealing with the mess this country and the world is in now. George W Bush has been the president for the past 8 years; he has plenty of experience but it's hard to imagine how anyone would feel better if he were able to keep his present job.
I'll take intelligence and vision anyday over mediocrity, regardless of one's presumed experience.

Posted by: Bob M | October 16, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

All of the comments concern whether Obama or McCain is more experienced or more qualified to be president. Considering the possibility of something happening to one of them after being elected....would we really feel like Palin is qualified? At least Biden would seem to be the better choice. I personally think that Obama would make the better president all things considered.

Posted by: Barb | October 16, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

All of the comments concern whether Obama or McCain is more experienced or more qualified to be president. Considering the possibility of something happening to one of them after being elected....would we really feel like Palin is qualified? At least Biden would seem to be the better choice. I personally think that Obama would make the better president all things considered.

Posted by: Barb | October 16, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"And you also forgot that Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law while Bush Jr. had no honors on any of his degrees.

But don't let the facts stop you from spouting off some more

Posted by: KathyNasty | October 16, 2008 9:16 PM"

Bush went to Yale and did better than John Kerry. Harry Truman didn't go to college at all.

Do you think Bush was a better President than Truman? Do you think Kerry would have been a better President than Bush?

But don't let the facts stop you from spouting off some more

Posted by: rmorrow | October 16, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what Karl Rove is currently LYING about!

Posted by: L13pa | October 16, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Gallup shocker: Obama only up by 2 with likely voters!

http://www.mccain08-hillary2012.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The rightful place for Karl Rove is guatanamo Bay. why should anyone take his word? The real Bush is McCain. watch this video and make your on judgement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VPJnKVj4yA

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

"Sheesh, Kathy, at least going into Afghanistan deals with 9/11. Or did you forget that's how this all started?"

Going into Afganhistan might have made a tad bit of sense initially following 9/11 because at least there was favorable world opinion and we needed to take some demonstrative action. But escalating military action in Afghanistan now and spilling into Pakistan would prove disastrous. I hope that Obama is just playing politics by suggesting that he intends to move troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. In reality every one knows that no American or Nato troops would ever capture Bin Laden. Right now drones are being targeted against bin Laden as they were during the Clinton administration and he still evades them. This is a vast territory and Bin laden is like a mole. But Bin Laden doesn't matter. We have done far more damage to ourselves than Bin Laden did in 9-11. This latest economic crisis is proving even more effective than 9-11 in destablizing the American economy. Who knows perhaps some aspect of this crisis was influenced by foreign elements urging short sales via the networks but the bulk of the problem started during the Clinton administration with unregulated derivatives, with the legislative decision to let commercial banks do investment banking and vice versa, with Freddie, Franky and Sallie out of control and with tax cuts and escalating costs of a two prolonged wars. Quite frankly I'm not confident that either Obama or McCain are ready to handle the challenges of the next term. Indeed I would suggest that the best ticket would be to elect Obama and McCain as co-Presidents because in fact I doubt either of their policies will be much different. Economic conditions will be determining political action for the next four years.

Posted by: Kathy | October 16, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

>Somebody should draft Joe the Plumber to run for President because at least Joe will be genuine.

No thank you.

>Bush graduated with an MBA from Yale and Obama got a law degree from Harvard.

Good comparison, except that Obama's father was a goat-herder while Bush's father ruled the free world. Seriously, you do know that Bush had open doors to any school he chose because of his father, right?

Posted by: alex | October 16, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I love election years for several reason, the main one being endless debates over what this various candidates "promise" to do if elected. I think history would show that most presidents do not fulfill their campaign promises. Either they try and fail, or just don't do it.

So where does that leave us when determining who is qualified for the job. You have to look at the history of the candidate before they were even thinking about running for president. Anyone can pretend to be someone they are not to achieve a goal. What happens when they reach their goal, In my experience most revert back to who they were before. This in my opinion makes character and integrity paramount. Do they lead from the front, or shout comments from the crowd. Do they stand up to their friends when they should, or do they go along with the flow (A president should be willing to stand up against their own party when necessary). Do they do what is right even when they may not agree with it. Do they admit when they are wrong. We get clues to these things when we look at what they have done.

I do not want to minimize the importance of the issues of the debates at all, they do play a role. However, the character of a person determines if they will do what they said they would. Integrity determines they way in which it is done.

Posted by: Jon | October 16, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Dick cheney has a heart problem and karl Rove will find his health in jeopardy soon Obama get elected.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Let me see if I've got this right... - None of Obama’s associations prior to being elected to national office have any relevance. - His Executive experience is running for President but that's more important than Mayor or Governor. - He raised taxes 94 times in his short Senate career after promising to cut them, but he really IS going to cut them now. - We are not allowed to question the "deal" he got on his house, his dissertation, his associations, his beliefs or even the $800,000 + to Acorn during the Primaries despite the continual investigations over the last several years. - We are not allowed to question his current economic advisers with direct profitable relationships with the financial companies we are now bailing out. - Over 40% of Americans who don't pay taxes will get a "tax cut." I thought that was welfare's job. - He is going to "kick the special interests out" yet seems to beholden to many. - We all get health care while simultaneously cutting taxes on 95% of Americans, saving Social Security and welfare, increasing jobs, saving the financial sector, making peace in the Middle East, solving the energy crisis and Global warming and walking on water. Please help me out, because I'm really confused on what we are supposed to judge him on unless it's simply rhetoric and good looks. If he had an affair, maybe Americans would actually get interested in what he's done instead of just what he says.

Posted by: Paula | October 16, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why so many people are down on Palin. Ok she is not Hillary Clinton in terms of her understanding of domestic and international affairs but she has served as a successful mayor and governor. People like her. I don't agree with many of her positions but I like her style. She does represent middle class America and is honest and frank and is truly a Washington outsider. And that I like. There is something to be said for someone who takes time to go door to door and talk to her constituents. Certainly she as any of the other candidates would need to surround herself with the best and brightest experts and engage these people and use their counsel to make decisions. A good leader is not necessarily the most intelligent person in the room as much as the person who can make the best decisions based upon the best available knowledge for the benefit of the country. I think that Sarah Palin would be just as good a leader as Barack Obama but ironically at this point in time Biden and McCain would be the better choices for President at least to serve for the next 4 years. Both Obama and Palin would benefit from serving 4 years as a Vice President. It is truly too bad that America doesn't have a better system of preparing people for the Presidency.

Posted by: Kathy | October 16, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I've known many shady characters in my life, but I have never met a terrorist, and I certainly have never had tea with him in his living room. Judgement matters.

Posted by: Jack | October 16, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

How is it that we all know the names of Sarah Palin's kids, but we don't seem to know anything about Obama's past? Perhaps it is because the media hasn't done its job. Shame on them, and shame on us for allowing this to happen.

Posted by: Holly | October 16, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Instead of getting schools to compete against one another, Sen. Obama wants to throw more money at the failing schools, and somehow rehabilitate them that way. Kind of like giving the drunk on the street five dollars.

Posted by: Joe the Teacher | October 16, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Kathy is on to it, there is a lot more self inflicted damage than was done by 9/11. Economically, deaths/injuries, freedom, justice, international standing and support (went way up after 9/11, now reversed and then some). Iraq, Pakistan, US models of democracy - not.

Posted by: Peta | October 16, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I care not what Karl Rove has to say unless he is testifying under oath in a court of law following his indictment.

Posted by: Gardenia | October 16, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

McSAME didn't vet Sarah Plain Stupid
Didn't vet Joe the plumber, who turns out not to have a plumbers license, or is rich (Like McSame said)
Turns out Joe the plumbers employer isnt considering seeling the business either. The business makes around $100,000.00 a year, not $280,000.00, Joe also makes around $40,000.00...so both Joe and his employer would benefit under OBAMA.
How could anyone even remotely think McSAme is qualified?

Posted by: Gary Gelormino | October 16, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

More experience does not equate to better leadership. In the case of McCain, it equates to being stuck with the same old Washington thinking and in the same old rut. So, is experience critical, NO! Leadership characteristics and skills are what matter. Successful leaders surround themselves with those who are subject matter experts.
And as for Palin, she is a power hungry who is dumber than a stump. I haven't heard an intelligent word from her let alone a complete sentence.

Posted by: Lisa | October 16, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Kathy is not on to it.
Palin doesn't have much experience and what she has been shown to be shaky.
Many people DON'T like her, she scares the bejeebers out of many people.
She is obviously (to anyone who sees through her act) way out of her depth except when it comes to duping and using people to get where she wants to climb.

One thing that isn't clear is if she or Bush is the biggest problem McCain has (or was until he showed his flakiness under pressure).

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

While important, experience shouldn't be the only criteria for electing someone to public office - competence, intelligence, judgement and vision - are equally important. Sen. Obama has those, Sen. McCain does not.

McCain has no vision - his negative campaign is all about his feelings of entitlement, not about an inspired vision for the future. With his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, McCain showed us an example of his poor judgement. Intelligence? Bottom of his class at Annapolis versus President of Harvard Law Review tells it all. Competence? Has McCain ever explained how/why he crashed two planes (one near Biloxi and one enroute to or from Philly)? I thought he was supposed to be a fiscal conservative, those things are expensive.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

As one of my spritual masters, the great Rev. Orton Nenslo, once said, "All YOU need to know is that the people who decide how things get run put different puppets on stage every once in a while, and let the drones have lots of fun thinking they are the ones who decide which puppet it is and that it will make a BIG difference."

Posted by: SODDI | October 16, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

WHEN do we get the truth about the universal draft?

McCain and Palin cannot prosecute another war without another army to send to Russia.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Gen. Clark said: just because John McCain flew a fighter jet and got shot down does not qualify him to be commander-in-chief.

McCain's crime against the USA will get him a pardon from Bush after he loses. Oct 2001, on Letterman, lies to the USA, and leads the USA to war against Iraq, based on WMDs.

FALSE propaganda to lead the USA to war is a crime, John McCain. Some fake patriot you are. A criminal.

And who is the source of that false propaganda, you are still hiding? Fake. Criminal.

You say you know how to catch bin Laudin, and yet you are keeping it a secret from Bush and Condi!! Some patriot. FAKE.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Palin is yet to be on trial for her crimes involving using Yahoo to avoid state laws supporting freedom of information inquiries.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Kathy | October 16, 2008 10:06 PM

No Kathy, Palin will not be surrounded by the best and brightest if she is elected. She will continue her practice she uses as governor.
In Alaska she has her best friend from the 2nd grade in her government. She has her Wasilla high school friends in appointed positions which used to be held by highly qualified professionals. She has no well qualified friends. She didnt go to Yale or Harvard and she majored in Journalism, not business or law. None of her associates have a clue and neither does she. Why do you suppose she hides her state business with her school friends by using Yahoo and not the state email system?

Posted by: Bruce Becker, D.D. | October 17, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Why is McCain automatically assumed to be an experienced, steady hand? He's a hot head, he's erratic, his campaign has lurched violently from one day to the next, his leadership during the banking crisis has been non-existent, and his main complaint about the Bush administration is that it wasn't extreme enough on foreign wars or on taxes. Obama is a picture of stability and rationality by comparison.

Posted by: DBX | October 17, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Holly, if you know nothing about Sen Obama, you haven't been paying attention!

BTW; His children are named Malia and Sasha. Jeez, just admit you won't vote for a man who's half-black.

You also, Kathy.

Posted by: Herman | October 17, 2008 2:54 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what the numbers were regarding Bush’s experience when his job approval ratings were at their peak.

Posted by: forexthinker.com | October 17, 2008 3:34 AM | Report abuse

wow very interesting http://www.jaiderbertoli.com

Posted by: jaider bertoli | October 17, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I would feel a lot more comforatable with Obama if could be more fully honest on issues like Ayers or Wright. We get glossed over spin that is deflective vs honest leaving us wondering what he really believes.

If we included all the facts of his relationship with Ayers instead of what on sounds good, I would have a lot more respect for him. He describes Ayers as a College Professor and a guy in the neighborhood. He is a professor and a guy in the neighborhood that did some depicable actions a long time ago - but he is also unrepentant, what photgraphed recently stomping on the American flag and has extremely radical ideas on education as the means for revolution and are anit-american to say the least. Obama should admit that he has worked more closely with Ayers than he has let on, helped to funnel money to his eduction projects, included commentary on Ayer's book, and was close enough to be in his livingroom to advance his political career.

He leaves most this out and does not seem to recognize Ayers for what he is today. I would like to know if Obama sees him today as an unrepentant terrorist or just a college professor? Does he see his education intiatives as mainstream ideas he believes in or radical ideas that he does not endorse in any way?? Same with Wright. He claims he had not idea and it took him 20 years to drop out of this church. Will to take him that long to recognize these philosophies in other people or does he just think we are dense enough to believe his story on this one as well?

This is what we do not here from Obama so we don't know really what he thinks or if he will tell us the truth or what makes him more acceptable in the election process to the center?

Posted by: Lynnman | October 17, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Carl Who?

Posted by: collette | October 17, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Spreading the wealth is the only option to peacefully step away from the oligarchy we've been living in for eight years. Wake Up! We've been robbed. Follow the money trail surrounding Iraq. Our military didn't get rich, but many companies associated with Bush/Cheney have made (tax free) billions. So when McCain sneers about Obama "sharing the wealth" McCain illuminates how Out-of-Touch with average struggling americans (the majority) who want someone to step in and share the wealth and medical coverage. After all, average americans are sharing their wealth to bail out wall street.

Posted by: Collette | October 17, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

On Ayers: Compare Obama's association with Ayers to McCain's association with Bush/Cheney... Which is more frightening?

Posted by: Collette | October 17, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Karl Rove? The only time I want to hear from him is when he speaks at his sentencing.

Posted by: Jack | October 17, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, when it comes to palling around with terrorists, we're leaving out the warmongers, war profiteers, liars and torturers who have taken over our own country and run it, insofar as they have been allowed, like a fascist dictatorship. Oh, but that's our own country so you can't say that.

Posted by: 1G | October 17, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Look at what DW has given us...a systemic failure on many counts...a sad time for America...I am going for the smart elitist on this one...McCain is much more of the same...

Posted by: chuckles | October 17, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Mcain parellels Bush policies up to a 95 difference. In other words ld Mac is given an "A" in voting for the worst president in American history.

Arizona...
near last in health care...
near last in public education...
in 26 years McCain never pushed once for legislation for the science and or implementation of solar/sustainable energy even though Az. has the most capacity for alternative energy in the union.
AZ- a right to work state. This means you are underpaid for your work and your skill and your health care is medicore and expensive.

Ask Arizonans what has J. McCain done in 26 years? Youll hear silence.

You might hear some war hero jive...
or maybe that he brought gambling to the Indian nations/reservations of the state. Oh and he brought liquer to those casinos too!

Mccain never met a war he didnt vote for!
Ugly, your darn right its ugly!

Posted by: rube | October 18, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Having mac and plain stupid in the white house terrifies me.....I mean please, even I know what the BUSH DOCTRINE is that Charles Gibson asked her about...and it's a fact, 1/3 of vice-presidents have become president thru unforeseen events....as for EXPERIENCE, Obama has EXACTLY the same as.........Lincoln, and coincidentally, they from the SAME state.......

Posted by: Anonymous | October 20, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Powell was part of the Administration that Obama is running against. The only thing the two have in common is their color. Powell has simply joined the other 98% if Blacks voting for Obama.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 20, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Experience cannot make someone a good leader. There are many poor managers who have been managing for 20+ years; and many great leaders are great on day one. But, experience can make a good leader better.

Posted by: John Brinckman | October 20, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The corollary question that should be asked is who has the intelligence and judgment to be president. On this one, Obama beats Bush by a statistically significant margin.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 20, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

How is it that we all know the names of Sarah Palin's kids, but we don't seem to know anything about Obama's past? Perhaps it is because the media hasn't done its job. Shame on them, and shame on us for allowing this to happen.

Posted by: Holly | October 16, 2008 10:25 PM
-------------------------
What kind of idiotic statement is that? Can you read? Are you incapable of using search functions on newspaper websites? On TV network websites? Any of these sources would show you after ten seconds of effort that Obama's life has been well-covered by the media.

If you're so interested in Obama's career, why don't you review the information provided on this very site: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/campaign08/timeline/

But like so many incorrigibly dishonest anti-Obama-iots that post here, you just repeat this repeatedly debunked rightwing blogosphere mantra.

Just for once I'd like to see some poster take an actual Obama policy policy and reasonably, without twisting the facts, argue why they can't support it. I might not agree, but at least I'd gain some respect for McCain supporters. As it is, their credibility has practically bled out.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 20, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTS REPUBLICANS CAUSED HOUSING COLLAPSE WITH STEALTH MONEY

AP Press Release........
WASHINGTON – Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.

Associated Press Release link follows

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081020/ap_on_bi_ge/the_influence_game_housing

Gary Gelormino Seven Hills Ohio 44131 (216)447-0081

Posted by: Gary Gelormino | October 20, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Experience is a major issue to look at for president. I mean would you want a sergeon who's never been to med school operating on you? I sure wouldn't and that's why when you're looking at something major like RUNNING A COUNTRY, experience matters.

Posted by: Laura | October 20, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting that voters seem to think that campaigning is increasing Obama's experience to be President of the USA. It makes no sense. . . climbing on a stage and talking(?)and talking(?)and talking(?)

Go figure, how crazy is that?

Posted by: Cantabrigian | October 21, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

It appears that some voters think that campaigning is giving Obama experience to be the President of the United States.

Go figure. How crazy is that?

Climbing a stage and talking(?), and talking(?), and talking(?)

Posted by: Cantabrigian | October 21, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

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