Let me see if I have this straight.

Being a freshman U.S. Senator with no executive branch experience at any level — qualified to be U.S. President.
Being a sophomore U.S. Senator elected because your spouse used to be U.S. President — qualified to be U.S. President.
Being a governor who cleaned up a high-level corruption scandal — not qualified to be U.S. Vice President.

The current president served as a governor, never as a senator.
His predecessor served as a governor, never as a senator.
His predecessor served as Vice President and representative, never as a senator.
His predecessor served as a governor, never as a senator.
His predecessor served as a governor, never as a senator (unless you count the Georgia State Senate),
His predecessor served as Vice President and representative, never as a senator.
His predecessor served as a senator.  He left office in 1974. 

It’s been thirty four years since the seated president had previously served in the U.S. Senate.  We will have again starting in January.  But there’s nothing about being a governor that just screams “unqualified” when four out of the last five presidents have been governors. 

Again, feel free to vote however you wish.  This question of who is “qualified” comes up most years, but keep in mind that if years of public service is the main criterion for “qualification,” there is no question who is the most qualified candidate to be the president.  Unless you want to bring Sen. Biden into the mix, in which case he’s spent more time in the Senate than Sen. McCain, Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton combined, but he’s still on the bottom of the ticket.

I’ll probably have another thing or two to say about silly campaign slogans over the next while.  There’s another one that’s been annoying me for some time.

2 thoughts on “Let me see if I have this straight.

  1. Being a governor who cleaned up a high-level corruption scandal

    I’ve heard the complete opposite.

    I’ve heard that she was responsible for starting “Troopergate”, and that the lawyer she hired to interfere with the troopergate investigation is being paid for by the governor’s office, not her own funds.

    It’s also been said when she was mayor of Wasilla she hired outside lobbyists to get $2.8M of earmarks for Wasilla, and still left the city near bankruptcy.

    And also, though it’s not beyond the ordinary for a politician to lie or fudge the truth, she presumably lied about being Miss Congeniality.

    I haven’t done my own research yet, but plan to.

  2. Okay, and those are all interesting things to explore — many things from the history of candidates come forward during elections, and the truth is that none of them is really all that wonderful.

    But the question was one of qualification based on experience, rather than of every detail of everything they’ve done, or, in this case, are alleged to have done. None of the nominees nor their running mates are without scandals in their past, real and alleged. I tend to think they also have aspects of their lives and character that are repugnant that aren’t widely known and may never be. All of them. I don’t see any of them in a position to look down their nose at any of the others and say “I’m qualified, and you aren’t.”

    Selectively looking at the merits of one’s own candidate and the flaws of the opposition is not intellectually honest. I’m voting for who I’m voting for for very clear reasons I’ve been very open about, and none of it has to do with any pretense that my guy is morally superior or more intelligent than or more qualified than the other guy. As the article I linked to recently about “You’re going to be disappointed, no matter who wins,” neither guy is going to make as big of a difference as we will either hope or fear.

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