Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Jason Cherniak helps his party win the next election

Verbatim Liberal blogger extraordinaire:
I've never understood the concept of the young, attractive, charismatic politician....

"Change"? "Hope"? That's all meaningless clap trap.
Not to be too snarky, I'll at least try to engage one of the few substantive arguments that Cherniak makes: that qualifications and experience matter, and Clinton is clearly better qualified.

1) I don't believe this is as much the case as Jason claims. She's largely run on the "qualifications" of being first lady, about which I simply won't write any more, and being Senator for a whopping 4 years longer than Obama -- during which time she accomplished little of note (being in the Minority) except to endorse the Iraq War. The rest of her career is of dubious value. Being on the board of Wal-Mart, which has been sued repeatedly for being the worst offender of women's and visible minority rights?

Given that people (though not the Senator herself) were talking up a Hillary campaign during the last cycle, when Clinton had been a Senator for exactly as long as Obama has been today, I don't see why Obama's "inexperience" is a game-ender.

2) If qualifications actually mattered in a general election, then Bill Richardson would be the nominee. To replace President Gore. Now, obviously, I think living in that reality would be preferable to living in this one. But it simply isn't the case that "the best qualified candidate" should win. The press is incredibly lazy, and hates nothing so much as an actual policy debate. Paul Krugman wailed and gnashed his teeth as much as he could, and still couldn't get the media to understand, in 2000, that 2+2=4.

But suppose Clinton wins on the strength of her qualifications -- who's more qualified, Clinton or McCain? McCain's been a Senator for decades, is better-versed in defense and foreign policy, and has way more legislative accomplishments of note. Now, he's also wacko to my eyes. But if you were looking at their resumes without the names, party affiliation, or ages, of the candidates, I think McCain would be the objective choice on "qualifications".

Or, to put it in a domestic vein, when will Cherniak endorse the unquestionably-better qualified (by now) Conservative government?

1 comment:

Jason Cherniak said...

If Clinton had run for the nomination last time, I would have had the same problems with her candidacy that I currently have with Obama's. Indeed, at the time I often told my friends that I thought she was trucking off her husband's name. Four years later, I think she's proven her ability to work at a national level in her own name without getting torn to pieces.