Obama and "Experience"


"Obama also has valuable experience apart from elective office, and he also has to be careful about how he uses it. This is his experience as a black man in America and as what you might call a "world man" -- Kenyan father, American mother, four formative years living in Indonesia, more years in the ethnic stew of Hawaii, middle name of Hussein, and so on -- in an increasingly globalized world. Our current president had barely been outside the country when he was elected. His efforts to make up for this through repeated proclamations of pal-ship with every foreign leader who parades through Washington have been an embarrassment. Obama's upbringing would serve us well if he were president, both in the understanding he would bring to issues of America's role in the world (the term "foreign policy" sounds increasingly anachronistic) and in terms of how the world views America. Clinton mocks Obama's claims that four years growing up in Indonesia constitute useful world-affairs experience. But they do," - Mike Kinsley, declaring for Obama.

My Obama essay, discussed this morning on This Week, can be read here.