Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Clinton's Off The Record Experience

It looks like the recent release of Hillary Clinton's schedule from back when she was first lady is casting shadows of doubt on the amount of experience she accrued during that time.

From the NY Times:

Clinton’s Schedules Offer Chance to Test Assertions

When the World Trade Center was attacked for the first time on Feb. 26, 1993, President Bill Clinton flew to New York to be briefed on the attack and the response by city, state and federal authorities. According to newly released White House calendars of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s time as first lady, Mrs. Clinton stayed behind in Washington to attend a photo shoot with Parade magazine and a performance of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Seven years later, in October 2000, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton were enjoying a quiet weekend at their new home in Chappaqua, N.Y., when word came that the Cole, an American destroyer, had been attacked in a Yemen port. Mr. Clinton rushed back to the White House to deal with the crisis. Mrs. Clinton returned to the campaign trail in her run for the Senate.


The release last week of more than 11,000 pages of her public schedule as first lady presents an opportunity for a closer examination of those claims.

Mrs. Clinton’s aides argued that the calendars backed up her argument that her time as first lady was marked by substantial foreign policy experience, although they emphasized that the calendars only show her public events and do not reflect the wide sphere of influence she had with her husband and others.

Here is my problem with Clinton's aides assertions. The American primary and presidential race are basically the longest, most arduous, and intense job interview in existence. If one accepts her aides' "experience by osmosis" line of thinking then every first lady has the needed experience to run the nation. Broaden the spectrum of that train of thought and many spouses of CEO's are qualified to run companies (as would the CEO's administrative assistant). My point is that since Senator Clinton is effectively applying for one of the most important public positions in the world she's going to have to run with the resume she has rather than the resume she wishes she had (ie. one that is documented and quantified.)