Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hillary Clinton's "Experience"

While listening to the election results from New Hampshire tonight and the accompanying analysis, one of the most striking statistics I heard was this one. On the Democratic side of the primary, people who thought "Experience" was a very important factor in their vote went 70% for Hillary and 5% for Obama.

This is absurd, but highly predictable. Hillary has made a huge point since the beginning of her run to talk about her "35 years of experience in politics". I know that if you repeat a questionable piece of data enough times, it starts to get a certain amount of traction. You can see this clearly in the lies and distortions made repeatedly by creationists. They say something like, "there are no transitional fossils" over and over and over. While this hasn't been true for at least 100 years, and every year we find more of them, it works. Oh, not everyone is taken in by it, but you can bet a lot of people believe it just because it is repeated so many times. How can it be untrue if I keep hearing it?

Hillary has been a Senator for the same amount of time as Obama. Yes, she was also the wife of a governor and President. And, in all fairness, there is a certain amount of experience to be gleaned from that. But it's not the same as if she had been a governor herself. It's really that simple. Their "experience" is really quite similar. Neither of them is in the same league as guys like Biden and Dodd. Both have enough experience to be credible Presidential candidates. Neither should beat the other 70% to 5% in the "Experience" factor.


The Exterminator said...

Hillary Clinton has much more experience lying than Barack Obama has. Maybe that's what the poll showed.

Lifeguard said...

How's this for another wonderful spin put on the NH primary results: since when is winning the second primary a "comeback," especially when you have been leading in all the national polls and have been a front runner in the state for all but the last week?

That's like saying in a basketball game, "We led the whole game. Fell behind by ten in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, and then pulled out a three point comeback victory."

It's all f--king impression management.

McCain made a comeback. Hillary just squeaked out a victory in a state she has always been a strong second int.

John Evo said...

You nailed it Lifeguard.

PhillyChief said...

I've yet to hear how a candidate can be both experienced and the "change" candidate. I think Hillary said she's been making change for 35 years. Huh?

It's all nonsense and it's only outdone by the nonsense of the media coverage. Comeback? Whatever. I'm just annoyed I missed a few minutes of SUV last night for NBC's urgency to chat about what the NH results were (with only 66% in, mind you) and what it meant. I think it's a ploy to make everyone purchase broadcast tv online. Between interruptions, increasing length of commercials and the VERY annoying thing of not only having ads for other shows in the bottom corners of the screen for long periods of time, but having them be actually video playing. It's a conspiracy to make watching "free" tv impossible without buying it per episode online or later on dvd.

Brendan said...

Hillary has been a Senator for the same amount of time as Obama.

Not that the "experience" issue is what matters to me, but a minor point of fact: Obama was elected to the US Senate in 2004. Clinton was elected to the US Senate in 2000 (and reelected in 2006).

I suppose, if you want to add in Obama's state senate record, the comparison is plausible, though that probably wouldn't fly with voters who do care about the "experience" issue.

the chaplain said...

Maybe Hillary has assimilated Bill's experience.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Two things:

1. Isn't the best experience, arguably the only experience, that's worthwhile for the job of President of the United States, (a most singular job title and description if there ever was one,) is that of President of the United States? IOW, there is no experience for the job that qualifies anyone, other than the job itself. If so, then we should simply keep reelecting Bush, because he's got the most experience. Or maybe his father. Or Hillary's husband.

2. Isn't the reason we have an election every 4 years to effectuate "change"? Change is built into the process, it's not the reason we vote for someone.

the chaplain said...

One experience area in which Hillary beats Obama hands down is in dealing with hostile media and political opponents. She's been in the spotlight since the early 90s, usually as the subject of derision and ridicule. She's proven time and time again that she can take it and dish it back out, which she'll have to do with the Republiturds.

Having said that, Obama hasn't had to deal with too much negative stuff, but he has been decisive and forceful when needed, such as with last year's madrassa garbage. He shut down that smear almost before it hit the airwaves. I think there's a pretty strong backbone beneath his polished exterior. He just hasn't had to reveal it nearly as much as Hillary has.

PhillyChief said...

So it's that much more surprising to see her cry after losing Iowa.

The Exterminator said...

chappy says: One experience area in which Hillary beats Obama hands down is in dealing with hostile media and political opponents.

So we're back to my original comment. You can call it spin, or PR, or negative ads, or "savvy," or -- ugh -- electability, but the bottom line is that you seem to be agreeing that Clinton has more experience lying than Obama has.

A trait we seem to admire in our presidents, since we elect so many liars.

the chaplain said...

Exterminator said, "the bottom line is that you seem to be agreeing that Clinton has more experience lying than Obama has."

If nothing else, she's about 15 years older than he is, so she's had more time, as well as opportunities, to hone her lyi- I mean, speaking, skills. :)

I hope that both Hillary and Obama do, on occasion, speak truthfully.
You said that perhaps Americans like their presidents to be liars since "we elect so many liars." If all of the candidates are liars, as you seem to think, our only choices seem to be not voting at all, or voting for a liar. If we do the latter, do we vote for the one who lies least or the one who lies best? And how can we tell the difference?

John Evo said...

I think Chappy is telling you politely that you can be TOO cynical, Ex. And I don't think you are, but you like to play the ultimate "Kurmudgeon" at times.

All politicians are cynical, opportunistic liars. As are Homo sapiens. So what do we do? We try to choose the best among them. Sometimes it's so awful that you can't punch the ticket for any of the ones available and you write in "Exterminator". I get that.

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