Yesterday, in commenting on Barack Obama’s astonishingly thin presidential credentials, I compared him (unfavorably) to candidate John Kennedy. National Review makes a better comparison when it invokes candidate Jimmy Carter.
Carter’s resume was pretty thin too, though unlike Obama Carter he had meaningful administrative experience, having served as governor of Georgia for four years. Unlike Kennedy, who overcame doubts about his experience, maturity, and credentials in part by running as a serious, tough-minded student of foreign and security affairs, Carter ran as a bridge-builder who was above politics-as-usual. This, of course, is Obama’s approach as well.
But Carter, as a southerner and Washington outsider with a mixed ideological history, could plausibly present himself as an anti-politician and potential bridge-builder. To view Obama, a Senator with an unadulterated leftist voting record and few discernible moderate (much less conservative) positions, this way is laughable, though not necessarily unmarketable.
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