Tuesday, February 12, 2008

So, the big argument in favor of Hillary Clinton is experience leading to judgment. Of course, experience is only worth what you learn from it. So, it's a little unsettling that Hillary still won't say flatly that voting to let Dubya invade Iraq was a mistake. The closest she's come is "If I knew then what I know now..." --- which really begs the question. I knew the vote was a mistake at the time it was cast. Why didn't she?

The corresponding argument against Obama is that he lacks executive experience. But then again, Hillary's most recently been in the legislature, for not much longer than Obama, and her executive turn managing health-care reform in her husband's administration was less than a total success. So, it's relevant to note that over the past year or two, they've both been running pretty much the same sort of organization --- a large presidential campaign. So, how have they done?

Obama's done pretty well. From having a low national profile, he's achieved a level of success which I think it's fair to say that no one outside his inner circle would have expected a year ago. As for Hillary, we have an organization which began convinced of the inevitability of its own success, staffed by people chosen more for their loyalty than competence, which planned for a swift, early success, and now seems adrift when that success failed to materialize.

Sound familiar?

Personally, I'll vote for whichever one of these guys wins the Democratic nomination, and I'm not entirely happy with either --- Obama's Harry and Louise act on health care is really ticking me off. But if Hillary's supporters think that experience is the reason to support her, it's that same experience --- and, as I said up top, her apparent failure to learn the right lessons from it --- which is leading me to prefer just about any sane alternative...


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