Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Ready on Day One"?

From tonight's debate, a question from Univision's Jorge Ramos:
Senator Clinton, yesterday you said -- and I'm quoting -- "one of us is ready to be commander in chief." Are you saying that Senator Obama is not ready and not qualified to be commander in chief?
Apparently she didn't take the bait during the debate, even though she was handed the opportunity on a silver platter. But Hillary Clinton has said on a number of occasions that Obama doesn't have enough experience to serve as President.

On 60 Minutes a few weeks ago, Hillary Clinton said it slightly differently - Barack Obama isn't ready to be president because she hasn't faced the kind of attacks that she has. In essence, she's 'run' for president once already and is able to withstand the expected assault.
" know, Senator Obama has never had, I don't think, a single negative ad run against him. He’s never been on the receiving end even in this campaign. It’s been incredibly civil by any modern standards," Clinton said. "Until you have been through this experience, you have no idea what it's like. And he hasn't been. He's never, ever had to face this. And I think that I am much better prepared and ready to, you know, withstand whatever comes my way."

"Are you saying he couldn't handle it?" Couric asked.

"I'm just saying that I've been there and I know how to handle it. And I think that one of the factors the Democrats should take into account as they make their decisions in these upcoming elections is who could be the best nominee to, you know, take us to victory in November," Clinton replied.
So the only person who should run for president is someone who has already run for president. And so the entrenched powers stay in place.

This is also the thing that pisses me off about her whole "ready on day one" approach. She's saying, in essence, that someone who hasn't worked within the White House can't be ready for the job.

This means that the only people who should be running for president are:
  • former presidents;
  • former vice presidents;
  • chiefs of staff;
  • spouses of presidents (if they have acted as advisors during their spouse's presidency);
  • former top advisors of presidents;
  • and maybe some cabinet-level secretaries like Sec'y of State.
In essence, only the people who have already touched the top echelons of power are entitled to run for the presidency.

It's an elitist argument. Moreover, it's the argument of the entrenched power structure. Only those who have already held power could possibly argue that only those in power are qualified to serve.

This is the way that outsiders are kept out of the reins of power. It's time to turn the page. The established players have failed us and think that they're entitled to stay at the top of the power structure simply because they've already been there. To hell with all that.

Barack Obama for President.

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