22 November 2007

Does living abroad make you a better candidate for President?

From Obama:
"A lot of my knowledge about foreign affairs isn't just what I studied in school -- I studied international relations when I was in college -- It's not just the work I do on the Senate foreign relations committee. It's actually having the knowledge of how ordinary people in these other countries live."
Clinton, again, not quite getting it, said:
"Voters will have to judge if living in a foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face the big, complex international challenges the next president will face," Clinton said. "I think we need a president with more experience than that, someone the rest of the world knows, looks up to and has confidence in."
And Obama gets a response right, for once:
"I mentioned that one of the reasons that I got it right when it came to Iraq was because I lived overseas when I was a child," he said. "It gives me some judgment and perspective around what other people think about America and how they might react or respond when we make some of the decisions that we do."

"Of course, both the Republicans, in their talking points, as well as Sen. Clinton said, 'Well, I don't think that what Sen. Obama did when he was 10 years old is relevant to our national security.' I didn't say that."
Obama nailed this one, finally. He mentioned Republican Talking Points, which is bullshit but a coy move to undercut Clinton. He attacked on judgement and that is really his strong point. Everyone is talking about experience. I say, screw experience if you have bad judgment.

It occurs to me that the reason Obama will win and Clinton won't is that he is able to frame himself and she is not. Everyone has already made up their minds about her. Obama still has the possibility of convincing everyone that he is the best candidate.

And you know what, yes, living abroad is better experience than talking with foreign leaders as first lady. You get to see how other people view the US from the ground, not from what point of view that the government wants you to see it. Being first lady is not training for the Presidency. Sleeping across the hall from Bill Clinton doesn't make you Bill Clinton.