Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hillary, Barack, Experience

What an AWESOME article by Nick Kristof!

The point is not that experience is pointless but that it needn’t be in politics to be useful. John McCain’s years as a P.O.W. gave him an understanding of torture and a moral authority to discuss it that no amount of Senate hearings ever could have conferred.

In the same way, Mr. Obama’s years as an antipoverty organizer give him insights into one of our greatest challenges: how to end cycles of poverty. That front-line experience is one reason Mr. Obama not only favors government spending programs, like early-childhood education, but also cultural initiatives like promoting responsible fatherhood.

Then there’s Mr. Obama’s grade-school years in Indonesia. Our most serious mistakes in foreign policy, from Vietnam to Iraq, have been a blindness to other people’s nationalism and an inability to see ourselves as others see us. Mr. Obama seems to have absorbed an intuitive sensitivity to that problem. For starters, he understood back in 2002 that American troops would not be greeted in Iraq with flowers.

January 20, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

Hillary, Barack, Experience

With all the sniping from the Clinton camp about whether Barack Obama has enough experience to make a strong president, consider another presidential candidate who was far more of a novice. He had the gall to run for president even though he had served a single undistinguished term in the House of Representatives, before being hounded back to his district.

That was Abraham Lincoln.


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