Saturday, January 20, 2007

A lack of experience

Paul's post on the US election got me thinking about the experience of the candidates.

Of the six leading candidates (Clinton, Obama and Edwards in the blue corner, and McCain, Romney, and Guliani in the red) only two have any executive political experience. Romney as one term Governor of Massachusetts and Guliana's two terms as Mayor of New York, New York.

The Democrats look particularly weak Clinton and Edwards have a single term in the Senate each, and Obama only two years. Only Edwards has fought a really competitive election as a candidate. None has managed anything bigger than the proverbial whelk stall. Even if the presidential election is primarily a beauty contest. Executive experience does count. JFK was the last successful candidate who hadn't either been Vice President or a Governor (and of the two former vice-presidents LBJ had been President for a year by the 1964 election and George H Bush had been director of the CIA).

Now Bill Richardson may be riding to Democrats rescue, with well sourced reports that he will announce on Sunday. Richardson has just been re-elected as Governor as New Mexico (and produced one of the best political ads of the cycle in doing so). As a Governor he has the executive experience the others don't. Add to that his renowned charisma, and the fact that he probably secures New Mexico and would give the Dems a strong shot at Nevada and Colorado (which if they all went into the the blue column should give the Democrats the keys to the White House) and you have a pretty strong candidate. However the fix and others have always had concerns about whether he would be fully committed to the primary process and if he would be able to build an organisation match Clinton's or Obama's.

So at the moment I would think he, assuming he gets knocked out of the nomination race early, alongside Mark Warner (popular former Governor of Virginia) are probably my betting favourites for the VP nod at the moment.


Blogger Paul Walter said...

Interesting thoughts. Bill RIchardson would also help swing Espanic Americans in other states to the Dems.

I have added you to my Blogroll.

I like the title of your Blog. Very clever. Are you a Stealers Wheel/Joe Egan/Gerry Rafferty fan? Or is it the Reservoir Dogs connection which helped prompt it?

All the best

8:10 am  
Blogger Bernard said...


Well I like the song, but the main reason was the fact that I'm a Harlequins fan. Plus my general disdain for socialists and conservatives (...jokers to the right)

10:44 am  
Anonymous Ed Trelinski said...

Richardson is well known to have a Clintonesque eye for the ladies. There are rumors several stories of his past infidelities will appear as soon as he announces.

Admittedly, this wasn't a problem for Bill Clinton, but it's unlikely Americans will tolerate it in the current political climate. They are fed up with scandals.

Some are suggesting Richardson is on ly running to set himself up to be Vice President, where his infidelities would be less of a hinderance. His foreign policy experience, Latino heritage, political expertise and record as Governor of New Mexico would be extremely helpful to any of the Democratic frontrunners.

8:18 pm  

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