Monday, November 13, 2006

Can Barack Obama Avoid the Senatorial Curse?

Being a United States Senator is probably not the best of career choices if you're aiming for the top job. While almost all of the 100 members of the Senate think of themselves as a better President than the one sitting in the Oval Office (with the current occupant they might actually not be all that wrong about it), hardly any of them ever gets elected. The last one being JFK.

Everyone is aware of this, of course. So, it seems very odd when people advise Senator Barack Obama to get more experience for the Presidency by sitting in the Senate for a while longer while doing exactly that might seriously damage any hope of ever getting elected in the first place.

The Washington Post has noticed this predicament and runs with the headline "Time in Senate May Be Irrelevant if Obama Runs":
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) might be well advised to stay in the Senate several more years before running for president, as many strategists have suggested. But there are at least 40 reasons to challenge that advice.

That is the number of senators who have tried, and failed, to reach the White House since Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) accomplished the feat in 1960. Nearly all of them had more Senate experience than Obama, underscoring the light regard that American voters show for senatorial longevity and expertise in presidential elections.

The new primary calendar seems to favour Obama. It will be hard for anyone, including Sen. Clinton, to beat him in the South Carolina primary and he might do reasonably well in the Nevada Caucus as well since his appeal transcends widely beyond African-American voters.

1 comment:

mbcarl said...

No entries on Vilsack's Nevada visit? It seems like he's the only one paying attention to us at this point.