Sunday, September 14, 2008

Obama's age and experience

I just added this to my statement of why I support Obama (

The single most common concern I hear from people who are considering voting for Obama is that he is too young and/or inexperienced.  Regarding the former, here are the facts: He is now 46, and would be 47 when he takes office.  That is a year older than Bill Clinton, four years older than John F. Kennedy and five years older than Teddy Roosevelt when they took office.


As for his experience, I think it’s interesting to compare Obama’s to McCain’s.  Obama graduated from college 25 years ago (in 1983), only one year after McCain first went to Washington (he was elected to the House in 1982 and the Senate in 1986).  Obama didn’t go to Washington until after his election to the Senate in 2004.  I believe that being a politician for a long period of time, especially in Washington, is inherently corrupting – you lose touch with average people, become addicted to special interests and their money and lobbyists, etc.  So, I think Obama has just the right amount of Washington experience – and McCain has way too much.


Obama’s activities and achievements over the past 25 years have been exceptional:

·        Spent three years as a community organizer as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes on Chicago's far South Side.  During his three years as the DCP's director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization

·        Went to Harvard Law School and become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review

·        Directed a voter registration drive that registered 150,000 new voters

·        Taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years

·        Spent eight years as a State Senator, representing a district with over 750,000 people

·        Was chairman of the state Senate’s Health and Human Services committee

·        Spent four years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran’s Affairs committees


I don’t know about you, but all that is pretty impressive to me!


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