Every President brings his own experience and expertise to the office. Eisenhower was an expert at coalition politics. JFK, like Clinton, was an expert on rhetoric and skirt chasing. Lyndon Johnson (who learned from studying FDR) was an expert on bureaucratic empire building. Nixon was a competent lawyer who excelled at nurturing grievances and intrigue. Ford like Johnson knew inside politics better than any real craft. Carter was a small time micro-manager, he knew the back end of a ship and the front end of a peanut warehouse. Reagan not only remembered the economics he learned at college but he really knew the skills he learned as a union boss and as a professional communicator. Ronald Reagan may have been America’s President with the broadest outside experience. Bush 41 was like Eisenhower. He knew the world of diplomacy and intelligence. Bush 43 knows B-school stuff, spreadsheets and tickler files for accountability. He also knows the energy business, you can hear it in his press conferences. McCain knows survival and endurance and how the military works but like Obama, and most other politicians who make it this far, he has limited experience out of government. Obama knows rhetoric, low level cause advocacy, which is not the same as really being a good lawyer, and almost nothing else.
Jul 15, 2008 - 8:07 pm