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Qualification Debate


David Frum writes:  Can we conservatives please stop kidding ourselves about Barack Obama’s ‘qualifications’? Yes, if I had been a Democratic donor back in 2006, I’d sure worry about whether Barack Obama had what it took to be president. That was before he took on the toughest political operation in America, before he beat Bill and Hillary Clinton, before he won 18 million primary votes.”

“Obama’s nomination was not handed to him. He fought hard for it and won against the odds. ‘Qualifications’ predict achievement. Once you have achieved, it doesn’t matter what your qualifications are. Who cares whether the guy who built a big company from nothing didn’t have much of a resume when he started? But if you are applying to run a big company built by somebody else, the resume matters … “

If this is where Frum rests his case for qualifications, then what’s all the fuss?  Palin defeated an incumbent mayor, she ran for lieutenant governor in 2002 and nearly won that seat, she ran in the Republican primary against incumbent Republican governor Frank Murkowski and beat him and then went on to defeat a former popular Democrat governor, Tony Knowles.  Earlier in her career, she also ousted the Republican state chairman from an appointed position because she rightly alleged that he was misusing his public office.  While Palin did not run for president, of course, it seems to me that to dismiss her as an untested small town mayor as Frum did earlier is way off — particularly since he finds winning against the odds a qualification that predicts achievement.


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