Obama Inexperienced on Day One

Monday, 20 Oct 2008 09:47 AM

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Barack Obama’s camp brandishes the Halloween hobgoblin that if something happens to President John McCain, age 72, his successor would be an “inexperienced” vice president.

The “heartbeat away from the presidency” factor appropriately requires voters to decide how they are going to calculate what constitutes “experience.”

In the history of the United States, there have been vice presidents who had more executive experience, and those who had less, when they succeeded a president.

Yes, it’s true Sarah Palin would become president should McCain, at some point in the next four years, no longer be president. That’s a constitutional reality well worth thinking about seriously.

The truth is the chief executive of America’s largest state has more management experience than Obama and his veep choice, Joe Biden, combined.

She has been in public service for 12 and a half years, all but four of which as a top executive in management. She spent those four years gaining legislative experience while serving on the Wasilla City Council.

She then served six years as mayor, one year as chair of Alaska’s strategic Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the past year and a half as governor of Alaska. Before all that, she ran the family commercial fishing business for three years. That’s 11 ½ years in management.

It’s only fair that the same close consideration should be given to the prospect of Biden’s having to succeed Obama.

One of the two senators from Delaware, the next-to-smallest state, Biden has spent the past 36 years, his entire public career, in legislating, not managing. There is a world of difference.

So, why focus almost exclusively on his opponent’s experience?

If you are worried about someone who has been labeled by her opponents as inexperienced possibly having to succeed McCain as president somewhere down the line, here’s another way to look at it: How about someone who has had only 10 ½ years of public service — and all of that in legislative experience, none of it in management?

That would be Obama, with seven years as an Illinois state senator from Chicago and then the past 3 ½ years in the U.S. Senate, much of the time as a candidate for the nation’s highest office.

There’s no danger of his possibly stepping up as vice president to succeed a president at some future date, since he wants to start out as president, himself.

If elected president of the United States, Obama would bring his extensive management inexperience directly into the White House with him on his very first day in the Oval Office, the command post of the world’s most-powerful executive.

Talk about on-the-job training!

And speaking of talk, what has Barack Obama ever run — except his mouth?

John L. Perry, a prize-winning newspaper editor and writer who served on White House staffs of two presidents, is a regular columnist for Newsmax.com.

Read John Perry's columns here.

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