Alex Massie

The Experience Primary

The Experience Primary
Text settings

This interesting snapshot of voters' hopes and fears and immediate impressions of Barack Obama comes from The Washington Post's campaign blog The Trail:Tagobama20071214

The Post explains that the cloud:

includes the top thirty-nine words mentioned, each of which was cited by 8 or more people. The size of each word represents the number of people who said it. So in this instance, the biggest word, "inexperienced," represents 123 people, the next largest, "young," represents 83, etc.

No wonder Bill Clinton decided to hammer Obama on the experience issue. As Marc Ambinder relates:          

In a hard-changing interview with Charlie Rose tonight, Bill Clinton said Americans who are prepared to choose someone with less experience, are prepared to "roll the dice" about the future of America. "It's less predictable, isn't it? When is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service before he's running?"

"What do you want to do -- whether you think it matters that, I mean, in theory, no experience matters," Clinton said. "In theory, we could find someone who is a gifted television commentators and let them run. They'd have only one year less experience in national politics..."

Of course, the idea that someone is qualified to be President based on their having been married to a President is perhaps even more absurd than presuming that being the son of a President is proper preparation for becoming President oneself. So, in this respect at least, it's not clear to me that Hillary can actually win any "experience primary". What has she actually ever done? (Apart from making a monumental hash of health care reform. But that's a good thing, apparently! She's learned stuff from that experience, you see...)

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleSociety