A reader writes:
I too am disturbed that the “inexperienced” label is sticking to Obama. But his own campaign hasn’t done much to help. Instead, of comparing his own inexperience with the extensive experience of the likes of Rumsfeld and Cheney, neither of whom has ever run for president, wouldn’t Obama be better off making a comparison with Abraham Lincoln? Before being elected president, Lincoln had served one term in the House of Representatives and lost two races for the Senate. He never served in an executive office at the state level. Nevertheless, Lincoln became one of the greatest, if not the greatest, president in American history. I can’t imagine a better way to diffuse the concerns over experience than by pointing out that Obama is more experienced than Lincoln was.
Good point. Lincoln is also the patron saint of anti-imperialists and critics of foreign adventures; his patriotism was viciously attacked because he dared ask for evidence of the Mexican attack on U.S. troops that was the purported occasion for the Mexican-American War. The use of history in political rhetoric is a much-neglected art in this country.