Are You Experienced?

On a recently concluded call with reporters, Susan Rice was pushing back vigorously on the Clinton campaign's assertions that she trumps Obama in the national security experience department. Her strong points where when she pointed out that Clinton's claims of experience often seem overblown. Rice referenced the fact that Clinton's surrogates couldn't site any examples of her crisis-management experience, said that Clinton "claims to have negotiated opening the border of Macedonia, but that opening preceeded the opening of that visit by a day," and said that Clinton's "claimed to have played a crucial independent role in the Northern Ireland negotiations, but George MItchell said she was 'not involved directly.'"

I think that's all about right. Rice and the rest of Team Obama is quite a bit less convincing when they try to talk up their own candidate's experience in these domains. They wind up winning this argument since they're not the ones who've been trying to fight the campaign on this issue, but the reality is that like most presidents either Clinton or Obama would be entering office without significant diplomatic or military experience even though these are the most important aspects of the job. I'll take "little experience plus good ideas" over "years of experience have committed me to crazy warmongering" in a heartbeat, but that's the basic shape of things.

There were some more interesting ideas put forth on the call on more interesting topics -- including ideas aimed squarely at John McCain -- but it'll probably take me until tomorrow to get my thoughts together on them.

Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Politics

Just In