Now that it appears Obama has locked up the democratic nomination, it is important to give careful consideration to his qualifications, not just his ideas (and the same is true for McCain).
Although a political activist prior, he was first elected to public office in 1996. From first elected office to president in 12 years? Doesn’t seem right to me. Think about it. (I’m sure some of my readers will be able to enlighten my about other recent presidents who have had less experience when elected. Feel free to let me know.)
Obama is eloquent, I’ll give him that. He is woefully informed on business and international policy (my opinion, but made after carefully considering his positions). In a perfect world a president should have both style and substance; in an imperfect world, I’ll take substance over style any day.
“Motivational speaker” is often used negatively when substance is perceived to be lacking, regardless of style. Charisma can be used for good or bad. Focusing only on speaking ability and charisma is a poor way to elect a leader.
At the end of the day, you might still like what Obama stands for and more importantly, what you think he can do if elected president. I’ve got no quibble. Disagreement is part of the political process. But whenever it comes time to vote or support any leader, consider the substance of his or her experience and not just the style of his or her communication skills. Experience is important.
While I agree in principle that “experience is important,” most of us, to judge from opinion polls of the unprecedented unpopularity of the incumbent, no longer believe it is the whole story. After all, Rumsfeld and Cheney had tons of experience, and where did that get us?
Bush’s failed presidency was perhaps not due to a lack of experience (he had fewer years in office than Sen. Obama prior to taking office) so much as a lack of judgment, a lack of rigor in absorbing the lessons of history, and lack of leadership skills. Had he bothered to read his own father’s memoirs he would have avoided taking out Saddam because it played into the hands of Iran, which is now on the rise in the region.
I’m prepared to vote for Obama in hopes he might undue the work of these “experienced” politicians.