Dec 16, 2007 Politics and Poker
Former President Bill Clinton made an unusually direct attack Friday night on Senator Barack Obama, one of his wife’s leading rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, suggesting that voters who would support someone with Mr. Obama’s experience were willing to “roll the dice” on the presidency.Appearing on “The Charlie Rose Show” on PBS, Mr. Clinton repeatedly questioned Mr. Obama’s preparedness for the White House, noting that he took office in January 2005 and became a presidential candidate about two years later. (Mr. Obama was an Illinois state senator before that.)
“When is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running?” Mr. Clinton said. At another point, he appeared to compare Mr. Obama to a “gifted television commentator” running for president. “They’d have only one year less experience in national politics” than Mr. Obama, he said.
Why, Bill Clinton — that scheming, philandering, political assassin! That traitor to the cause of another black man being elevated to the Presidency! That . . .
. . . completely on-target Bill Clinton.
Yes, Obama is in the driver’s seat in terms of the Democratic polling right now. It’s delicious to see the coronation of Empress Inevitable be delayed or even threatened this way. But the fact is Bill Clinton has hit Obama in his absolutely most vulnerable place: His utter lack of appropriate experience for the job of President. As I wrote almost a year ago:
What struck me was the picture that went with the article — how absurdly young Obama is, especially for someone in his first term in the Senate, to run for President. Yes, black people age “better” than we flinty alabaster Europeans; and Obama is blessed too with a thin, Kenyan physique that accentuates his downright boyishness. But he doesn’t only look young: He is young, very young. We have had young Presidents, and the results have been decidedly mixed — especially in matters of judgment and maturity, in fact, especially in modern times. This does not speak to the personality of Barack Obama; but young he is, too young to for the job he says he wants now.
I understand that he is very liberal, perhaps more liberal than Senator Clinton. That would probably cause me to oppose his nomination if I were not so compelled by the idea that he is too inexperienced to be President of the United States. I am not moved by the fact that he is well-spoken, and a member of a minority that has never occupied the White House, and bright. I am all those things, too, and though I’m two years younger than he is, this is no Constitutional deficiency. Besides, I look 50, whereas he looks about 24. I think it’s time again for a round-shouldered President, and plus, I’m not quite bald yet. Yet I restrain myself despite these obvious qualifications, because I am not ready.
Senator Obama is not ready.
And yet he may win the nomination. But thanks in part to Bill Clinton, and his far better-aged better half, and the campaign they’re determined to wage against Obama, he will certainly not be elected President.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News.
UPDATE: What a mess!
UPDATE: Now a playing in a Ron Coleman Info-Me-Cial near you!