March 4, 2008
As once again citizens in four states go to the polls today, it has been interesting to see how the presidential campaign has unfolded. While many political pundits have made note of the number of times the words “change” and “hope” have been used in the campaign, I would like to highlight another word. That word is “experience.”
On the Republican side, John McCain talked about his experience in Washington while Mitt Romney talked about his experience running a business. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has made a big issue of her years of experience compared to Barack Obama. My feeling is that experience is important, but character and values are even more important. Obviously, you don’t want someone in the Oval Office who doesn’t know his or her way around Washington. At the same time, the American people haven’t exactly felt that experience is always a major prerequisite to the office.
In the last few decades, American voters have often put the less experienced candidate in office. President Gerald Ford was certainly more experienced than Governor Jimmy Carter. And after four years as president, Jimmy Carter was more experienced than former governor Ronald Reagan. But the American people put the less experienced candidate in office.
In 1992, you could certainly say that George H.W. Bush was experienced. He had served eight years as vice-president and four years as president. Before that he had been ambassador to China and the head of the CIA. But in spite of all of that experience, the voters elected Governor Bill Clinton.
Sometimes experience is all that it’s supposed to be. One president came into office with tremendous experience. He served ten years in the House of Representatives, was minister to Russia, then served ten years in the Senate, and four years as Secretary of State. James Buchanan was elected in 1856 but served only one term because he became one of America’s worst presidents. In 1860, he was defeated by an inexperienced one-term congressman by the name of Abraham Lincoln.
©2008 Probe Ministries
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Kerby Anderson is president of Probe Ministries International. He holds masters degrees from Yale University (science) and from Georgetown University (government). He is the author of several books, including Christian Ethics in Plain Language, Genetic Engineering, Origin Science, Signs of Warning, Signs of Hope and Making the Most of Your Money in Tough Times. His new series with Harvest House Publishers includes: A Biblical Point of View on Islam, A Biblical Point of View on Homosexuality, A Biblical Point of View on Intelligent Design and A Biblical Point of View on Spiritual Warfare. He is the host of "Point of View" (USA Radio Network) heard on 360 radio outlets nationwide as well as on the Internet (www.pointofview.net) and shortwave. He is also a regular guest on "Prime Time America" (Moody Broadcasting Network) and "Fire Away" (American Family Radio). He produces a daily syndicated radio commentary and writes editorials that have appeared in papers such as the Dallas Morning News, the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury, and the Houston Post.
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