September 12, 2007

Zbigniew's zingers

"...I asked Brzezinski, who knows from experience, how he responds to the Clinton line that as First Lady Hillary participated in numerous important foreign policy debates and, especially, the oft-repeated fact that she has visited 82 foreign nations. "I would say my travel agent has probably been to more than 82 countries," Brezezinski said with a smile, "but that doesn't qualify my travel agent to be secretary of state or president." Moreover, he added, "Being First Lady is not the same thing as showing, on her own, that she understands what is really at stake in a situation, and to understand it early on, and not to understand it when a lot of other people have belatedly reached the same conclusion."
(via Michael Crowley at The Plank.)

I agree with Brzezinski, but he certainly has a way of putting it.

This also allows me to air a long-standing gripe I've had about the coverage of the Democratic candidates, which is: if Obama weren't in the race, both Hillary and Edwards would have to answer some hard questions about their own experience. Edwards's claim to experience is almost as slender as Obama's (and he failed the major test of his term in the Senate, the Iraq war vote). Hillary has been an witness to executive leadership, but not a participant accountable to the public--and when she was given an opportunity to acquire this type of experience (her healthcare plan) she failed too. But because Barack Obama's only previous experience in government has been as a state senator, Hillary and Edwards rarely have to answer tough questions about their rather thin resumes. This should give Democratic primary voters some pause about rejecting Obama on the grounds of his inexperience alone, because the alternatives aren't exactly FDR.