Presidential Qualifications: Primary edition

The Clinton and McCain camps like to say that Obama is young and lacks experience. Musician Tom Rush has some thoughts on that:

There’s a story I like about how Henry Ford wanted his engineers to come up with a certain carburetor design. They worked and worked, and reported that it couldn’t be done. So he took the job to two guys from the mail room, with no engineering training whatsoever, and they worked and worked, and did it.

They talk a lot about Obama’s lack of experience, but I’m thinking that, to the extent that it’s true, it might be a good thing. It seems evident that all of our current problems were carefully (or carelessly) crafted by people with lots and lots of experience. Tons of knowledge about The Way Things Should Be Done have led us into all kinds of very bad situations. Maybe we need someone who doesn’t know how it’s done, or that it can’t be done, to have a try at straightening things out.

Others say that a president must have had prior executive experience. Well, maybe, but if the current occupant is our standard, maybe not. It is important to note that it takes a skillful executive to run a grueling and costly presidential campaign, which involves policy, media, money, and a volunteer army, plus a good measure of damage control skill. For all her brains and experience, Clinton has managed her campaign very poorly and they’ve got serious financial problems. McCain barely has his act together.

Quite apart from his skills as an orator, Obama has run an extremely well-organized and executed campaign. He’s got foot soldiers on the ground all over the country, he’s raised beaucoups de bucks, and when the Rev. Wright issue exploded he faced it with grace and power.

Presidential qualifications? Vote Obama.


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