Barack Obama — and the media — have given Hillary Clinton a pass on the issue of experience. Hillary talks about being ready on day one to be president — especially important in a time of terrorism when a new president will be tested, she says.
Clinton is a second-term senator. Obama is a first-term senator. Yet Obama is the one about whom it’s always asked, “Does he have enough experience to be president?” As if Hillary, ipso facto, does have.
Obama has done a lousy job of showing how his experience — as a community organizer, a law-school teacher of constitutional law, a state legislator — prepares him for the presidency. He could be saying he’s had great experience being close to real people’s lives, knowing what they struggle with, learning how to move people and help them help themselves. But he hasn’t challenged Hillary on the experience issue.
And the press — my god, what a single-celled organism. Nobody — not Russert, not Matthews, not Wolfie — is challenging Clinton on her experience. She’s talking as if she’s this seasoned leader who’s made all these tough decisions and has all this executive background — and nobody challenges her on it. Yes, I’m an Obama supporter, because he can, in my view, not only win the White House but move the country. But come on, people, let’s ask some tough questions.
Which brings us to the other Clinton.
Remember the great bumper sticker from 2004 — “Re-elect Al Gore”?
Bill Clinton is liking the sound of “re-elect Bill Clinton.” He had a good time in the White House, and he wants to get back. And he’s kind of losing his mind. He’s getting pissed off, and he’s defensive and he’s unattractive. He’s mischaracterizing what Obama says and slamming him for what he didn’t say. Bill is running again.
Peggy Noonan, on Meet the Press today, said the way Hillary is allowing Bill to run around and get angry and red-faced on her behalf (or is it on her behalf?) is like a woman sending her husband out to tell the neighbors to be quiet. If she’s running for president, Noonan asked, why is she having him go out and do the tough stuff? And if Bill is doing this on his own, Tim Russert’s panel asked, and Hillary can’t control him, what chance does she have of controlling him in the White House? And there we are, back at the start of this little rant. Bill Clinton wants to be re-elected.
Or, to hear Hillary’s story, Bill want to be president for the first time. Succeeding her previous two terms running the country.
— Bruce Benidt payroll calculator free kind