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Songs of Experience

October 23rd, 2006 · No Comments

So, the current spate of articles about Barack Obama’s presidential prospects all seem to make at least a passing reference to how weird it is that a guy whose political experience is a stint in a state legislature and less than one term in the Senate has suddenly become the Great Half-White Hope of the Democratic party. Which is legit, but why doesn’t this seem to be an issue in the case of Hilary Clinton? Sure, she’s been in the public eye for a long time as first lady of Arkansas and the United States in turn, but when it comes to experience in elected office, it looks like she’s in the same boat as Obama: Less than one term in the Senate, and not even a stint in the minors beforehand.

Incidentally, re: Yglesias’ recent post on Obama’s rhetorical skills, it’s (justifiably) a longstanding joke that white people sometimes betray subconscious racism by condescendingly expressing amazement at how “well spoken” or “articulate” some educated black person is. But, uh, is there some escape clause here so that people can observe that Obama really is an extraordinarily gifted orator without sounding like jerks?

Tags: Horse Race Politics