BRODER STRAINS TO MAKE A POINT
David Broder is welcome to say, as he does in today's Washington Post, that American voters prefer candidates for president with "executive experience," but this is really a stretch (emphasis mine):
... By contrast [to the Democratic field], the Republican field is loaded with people who are accustomed to being in charge of large organizations. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee were governors of their states of Massachusetts and Arkansas, Rudy Giuliani served as the mayor of New York, and John McCain, as he likes to remind audiences, commanded the largest squadron in the Navy air wing.
In the past, voters have preferred to entrust the White House to those with executive credentials....
Show of hands: How many of you knew McCain was a squadron commander? You knew he was in 'Nam, you knew he was a POW, but I bet you didn't know this. Possibly it was widely known in Iowa and New Hampshire, where voters get a lot of face time with the candidates -- I wouldn't even bet on that -- but McCain is the leading Republican candidate nationally, and I'd wager that most of the GOP electorate across the country doesn't know this specific fact.
As far as they know, McCain is a senator -- and as Broder reminds us, no sitting senator has become president since JFK. Too bad for Broder that we're almost certain to elect a sitting senator (McCain, Clinton, or Obama) this year.
And show of hands: How many of you think a relatively short period of commanding a squadron as a young man forty years ago means that you are now, in your seventies, "accustomed to being in charge of large organizations"?
Well, Broder really likes this executive-experience idea. He brought it up last May to suggest that we just might have a general election pitting ex-governor Mike Huckabee versus ... er, sitting governor Bill Richardson. How's that scenario working out for you, David?