I think Obama’s experience, or lack of it, is going to become more of a factor. It got me wondering if any other President (I am assuming he becomes the candidate) has had as little experience at federal or state executive level. Obama has to date had just three years in the Senate – one of which was mainly campaigning. And the Senate is about legislating not governing. He’s so new he won’t even have chaired a committee.
Bush had only six years as Governor of Texas. Mind you Texas has GSP of US1.1 trillion, so that is no small economy.
Clinton has a massive 12 years as Governor of Arkansas and a further two years as State Attorney-General.
Bush 41 was Vice-President for eight years, CIA Director for a year, Ambassador to the UN for two years, and a Congressman for four years.
Ronald Reagan served eight years as Governor of California, which has a GSP of $1.73 trillion.
Jimmy Carter served four years as Governor of Georgia with a GSP of $380 billion.
Gerald Ford had nine months as VP, but previously 25 years in Congress including nine years as House Minority Leader.
Nixon was VP for eight years, a Senator for two years and a Congressman for four years.
LBJ was VP for almost three years, a Senator for 12 years and Senate Majority Leader for six years. Also in the House for 12 years before that.
JFK was a Senator for eight years and in the House for six years before that.
Eisenhower had never held elected office, but as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe for WWII displayed considerable executive ability.
Truman was VP for a few months, but a Senator for 10 years before that.
And finally FDR had been Governor of New York (GSP $1.1 trillion) for four years. He also had been Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and a VP candidate before he became President.
I like Obama, but I really do wish he was standing in 2012 not 2008. Apart from arguably Eisenhower I don’t think we have had such an inexperienced candidate. And going from the Illinois State Senate to Leader of the Free World in just four years may just be asking too much. Time will tell.