12.23.2007

Hillary Clinton: A Résumé Can’t Buy You Love

Hillary is right. Experience does matter. Unfortunatley for her, hers doesn't make the case for success. Almost every decision she has made on national security has been wrong and knowing that, still can't say so. And the public is quite aware it, as the numbers prove.

From Frank Rich:

For Mrs. Clinton, the failure of “experience” as a selling point was becoming apparent even as her husband continued to push it on Charlie Rose. Last week’s ABC News-Washington Post poll in Iowa found that she clobbers Mr. Obama on the question of who has the most experience — 49 percent to 8 percent. But to little end. That same survey had Mr. Obama ahead by 4 points over all because, as this year’s pervasive polling matchup has it, the electorate values change over experience.

The rabid hunger for change, it turns out, has made the very idea of experience as toxic as every other attribute of the Bush White House. The once-heralded notion of a C.E.O. presidency, overstocked with “tested” Washington and Fortune 500 executives like Cheney and Rumsfeld, is now in the toilet with Larry Craig...[snip]

But for Mrs. Clinton, the problem isn’t just that the Bush years have tarnished the notion that experience is a positive indicator of future performance. She has further devalued that sales pitch with her own inflated claims of what her experience has been. Ted Sorensen, the J.F.K. speechwriter now in the Obama camp, saw the backlash coming in a recent conversation I had with him after Mrs. Clinton had mocked Mr. Obama for counting his elementary-school years in Indonesia as an asset.

Hillary should be careful about scoffing at other people’s experience,” Mr. Sorensen said. “It’s not as if the process of osmosis gives her presidential qualities by physical proximity.”

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