Diary

McCain vs Obama: Part III - Leadership Experience

Much has been said in the media lately about leadership experience. Most of the comments have been directed at Sarah Palin, who is running as the GOP Vice President, not the President. And even though she served as a two-term Mayor of her home town and a one-term Governor of Alaska, the media seems to think she doesn’t have the leadership experience to hypothetically assume the Presidency should something happen to John McCain.

Nothing has been, or is being, said about the leadership experience of either presidential candidate. So let’s see what each candidate had to say about his own leadership experience.

Part III – Leadership Experience:

McCain:

“…And let me just offer an advance warning to the old, big- spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second crowd: Change is coming…

…I’m not in the habit of breaking my promises to my country, and neither is Governor Palin. And when we tell you we’re going to change Washington and stop leaving our country’s problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it.We’ve got a record of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment, and backbone to keep our word to you.

You well know I’ve been called a maverick, someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it’s meant as a compliment; sometimes it’s not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don’t work for a party. I don’t work for a special interest. I don’t work for myself. I work for you.

I’ve fought corruption, and it didn’t matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust, and they had to be held accountable.

I’ve fought the big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, and the first big-spending pork-barrel earmark bill that comes across my desk, I will veto it. I will make them famous, and you will know their names. You will know their names. We’re not going to allow that while you struggle to buy groceries, fill your gas tank, and make your mortgage payment.

I’ve fought to get million-dollar checks out of our elections. I’ve fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes. I’ve fought crooked deals in the Pentagon. I’ve fought tobacco companies and trial lawyers, drug companies and union bosses.

I’ve fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq when it wasn’t the popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I’d rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.

And thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petraeus, and the brave men and women he has the honor to command, that strategy succeeded, and it rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war, and threatened the security of all Americans.

I don’t mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I’ve had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way: In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test…

…Again and again, I’ve worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That’s how I will govern as president. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.”

Obama:

“…For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just “muddle through” in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell – but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.”


Hmmmm…judge the experience issue for yourself. I don’t think I need to say anything more.