October 20, 2008

Obama’s Lack of Experience is Scary

By Donald G. Mashburn

To think of Barack Obama being president of the world’s top global power, and commander-in-chief of the world’s greatest military power is scary! It’s more than scary; it’s mind-boggling and hard to comprehend how the American people could contemplate such a risky course.

One wonders how we got to this point. Have members of the Liberal Left become so strongly organized and so liberally funded that they have been able to buy the nomination for their chosen One? Is the future well-being of our great nation being sacrificed to be replaced by a new order that is so obviously socialistic as to be repugnant?

That a lawyer, with no applicable training in the important areas of command, business experience, or decision making at an executive level could even be considered for president is enough to make Franklin Roosevelt, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, or Ronald Reagan shake their bipartisan heads in disbelief.

For the plain simple fact is that Barack Obama has virtually zero experience that would qualify him to be president.

He has never been in executive charge or command of any important enterprise. He has no background of making decisions in business, the military, or in any capacity where he had to make important decisions involving people and financial resources, and then be held accountable for and live with the results of those decisions.

He’s never had to make event-changing decisions affecting large numbers of other people, in business or military, and have those decisions evaluated by peers, superiors, and sometimes by those with more knowledge of the mission or enterprise.

Perhaps even more revealing is that Obama, as a civil rights lawyer and community political activist of southside Chicago ward politics, has no background that lets him identify with working Americans of virtually every walk of life.

He could not go on a construction site and have anything in common with the construction workers.

He could not go onto the floor of a drilling rig, as John McCain did, and talk convincingly with the roughnecks and drillers.

He could not walk into a factory and talk with any insight to the workers operating machines, controlling or monitoring processes, or assembling the things we use in living, or that are produced for others to use to live, or to produce other things.

Obama could not talk with – much less command – the members of any military unit with any kind of insight or experience gained from his southside Chicago experience organizing protest and activist groups.

And outside of his familiarity with Chicago’s transportation system – and until he got his donor-funded campaign airplane – Obama could not have talked, with any personal knowledge, with workers in the transportation industry, whether they be airplane pilots, mechanics, or other airline personnel; truck drivers, or rail workers.

And he has already shown a broad and deep ignorance of energy and natural resource exploration, development and production, and its importance to our nation’s security.

Perhaps most important, Obama does not have the decision-making experience in financial and human resource allocation and management that all effective managers must have. Obama simply has little applicable experience for any top management job, with his only credits being a lawyer and community political activist.

Decisions are event specific, decision-making is not; it’s a skill developed only through experience. Experience that Barack Obama didn’t gain as a community organizer in southside Chicago.

Of all four candidates on both tickets, Gov. Sarah Palin has the most executive experience in governance. As governor of Alaska, our largest state, she alone has had to deal with state politics, and the political people that gravitate to state capitals and legislatures.

John McCain has considerable experience in positions of command, not to mention that jet fighter pilots make more decisions in a combat stint than a senator in Washington will make in a lifetime. A major difference is that the pilot’s decisions must be right, and he must make them for what’s best in the situation at hand. He can’t pander, ponder, pontificate, and pussyfoot around the issue at hand – or hand it off to a committee.

Moreover, McCain commanded the Navy’s largest training naval air wing, no small accomplishment in itself. Needless to say, McCain, who reached the rank of captain – the highest rank below admiral – probably would be more confident and competent than any of the candidates as commander-in-chief of the military.

In military accomplishments, with his incredible record as a true war hero, John McCain towers so far above either Obama or Biden – or both of them rolled into one – that one wonders how we ever got to this comparison.

And of all four candidates, Barack Obama is the most inexperienced – almost embarrassingly so – in any way an objective person can look at it. He has never run anything but a political campaign. He has never had the opportunity to develop those decision-making skills that are required for any successful executive.

By aspiring to become president and commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful nation, Obama has taken audacity and hope to absurd and unheard of heights.

PERSPECTIVE

The General Abandons the High Ground

By Donald G. Mashburn

Gen. Colin Powell has endorsed Barack Obama for president – much to no one’s surprise. Certainly, it’s no surprise to anyone who has followed both Powell’s career and the present presidential campaign.

Powell has served this nation with distinction, as a military leader and as our first black secretary of state. But he was never the committed soldier in the ranks of traditional conservatism, as his record shows.

One would think that as a general, Powell would have put a high value on experience and demonstrated ability. So, one must wonder, why does Powell think the most inexperienced candidate that can be recalled by living observers is ready to lead this nation and be commander-in-chief of its military.

The answer certainly isn’t found in Obama’s long, meandering path through at least three colleges. The answer doesn’t lie in Obama’s years as a community organizer, or even in his work organizing activist protest groups.

Powell surely could not have been thinking of Obama’s short history in the Illinois state legislature, where he voted “Present” more than 130 times, according to reports on his record.

And Powell certainly could not be thinking of Obama’s brief time as a U.S. Senator, where he distinguished himself in nothing, for some 180 work days before he began his run at the presidency.

In short, Colin Powell could not have been looking at Obama’s weak and thin record in politics, or any significant, applicable experience before getting into south Chicago politics.

So, what is there besides the rhetoric, hope and audacity that led even a lukewarm Republican to endorse a man with skimpy experience as Barack Obama? General Powell knows, but he hasn’t yet put it into believable words.