The Corner

Re: Back to Interoperability

Ramesh, just so we’re clear, that would be the same post in which you said, “I don’t see why [Giuliani is] uniquely qualified to be Secretary of Defense or State, let alone president,” and that it was “mystical” or “childish” to argue otherwise (i.e., to make what I might have thought was the unremarkable contention that someone who had exhibited a high degree of competence in one of the most difficult government executive positions in the country was uniquely qualified by virtue of that experience, in comparison with the rest of the field, to fill the most difficult government executive position in the country)?

Yes, how could I possibly have overlooked your explicit praise of Giuliani’s executive competence? 

I guess I need remedial reading or something, ‘cause I’m sure confused.  In NR’s endorsement of Gov. Romney, you and the other editors write (italics mine):  “It is true that [Romney] has less foreign-policy experience than Thompson and (especially) McCain, but he has more executive experience than both.  Since almost all of the candidates have the same foreign-policy principles, what matters most is which candidate has the skills to execute that vision.

So, if I have this straight, what matters most is executive experience, unless of course you happen to have twice as much executive experience in a more difficult executive position than the candidate NR has endorsed … in which case you are not fit to be Secretary of Defense or State, much less president.  And this from the guy who wrote a glowing account of Senator McCain’s fitness to be president despite the absence of any “what matters most.”

Whatever.  I don’t want to become more tedious than I already am.  You say you’re not holding Giuliani to a different standard.  I think you are — that, having determined to oppose him for sound reasons, you’re now at the point of disparaging even his patent attributes (attributes for which you’re generous in giving Romney credit where credit is due).  It’s fine to argue that Giuliani’s not the best candidate, and it is not my purpose to run down Romney, who I agree would be an excellent president.  But it’s just stubborn to argue that Giuliani’s experience does not make him uniquely qualified — especially when Giuliani’s experience is unique and you’ve defined experience as being paramount.  The NR endorsement of Romney seems to argue that Giuliani is highly qualified (“did extraordinary work as mayor of New York and was inspirational on 9/11″) but that his nomination would pull apart the coalition needed for victory.  Is it that hard to say that without denigrating the guy’s qualifications?

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