The Corner

Obama’s Experience

I got a lot of heated, though only occasionally abusive, emails from Obama supporters about this article. I thought one point they occasionally made deserved a response: that George W. Bush in 2000 did not have a lot of experience, either, particularly compared to Al Gore.

It’s a fair point. Bush was less experienced than Gore, and it was both a reason to prefer Gore and a political weakness of Bush. Had attacks on America taken place on Sept. 11, 2000, I have no doubt that Gore would have been our 43d president.

But these points hardly challenge the point of my article: that Obama has few accomplishments, that his supporters strain to deal with the fact, and that it is a political weakness of his. Nor do they challenge my implicit point that it is a reason to prefer McCain to him. Besides, Obama is less accomplished than Bush was in 2000, never having run anything larger than a law review or stayed in one full-time job for as long as four years.

None of my emailers, perhaps interestingly, tried to make the case that Obama’s accomplishments are more impressive than I suggested.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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