Friday, April 25, 2008

A (Small) Silver Lining

David Kurtz at TPM captures this screenshot from Fox News: Note the use of the word "ready." This is the argument that Hillary's campaign has been pushing for a while now: that Obama, while a talented politician, just isn't ready to shoulder the responsibilities of the presidency. Hillary's campaign largely concedes Obama's obvious talent. That's to be expected in a primary (yes, even a primary with the supposedly evil Clintons). But it's encouraging to see this particular argument against Obama spilling over into Republican talking points. Saying that Obama isn't "ready" for the presidency implies that he will be ready for the presidency in the future. It's a tacit admission that he possesses the tools necessary to be the President. This is, in my opinion, a mistake by the Republicans. Instead of arguing that Obama lacks the competence and the experience to be President, they're basically arguing that Obama lacks just the experience. I don't think the experience argument will be terribly effective. George W. Bush was less experienced than Al Gore, and Bill Clinton was less experienced than George H.W. Bush. Americans like wunderkinds. We like to unleash potential, and see what raw talent can really do. But most of all, we don't like to wait. If we're told that Obama has the raw talent necessary to be a good president in the future, then we won't want to defer those benefits for 4 or 8 years. We want it now. So in this case, I think Americans' aversion to deferring benefits is good for the Democrats.


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