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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What Constitutes "Experience?"

If you've been watching television, you've no doubt seen the multitude of campaign commercials that tout this candidate or that candidate's "experience."  One candidate says he has "courtroom experience" as an assistant district attorney, another calls himself a "small business owner."  Most people take the claims at face value and roll with the punches, as it were.  But that doesn't mean we should.

Most of the candidates running for public office right now have either had "experience" in the public sector - in other words, politicians who want to maintain a career in politics.  One candidate in particular has received government paychecks in one form or another most of his adult life, but claims he is a "successful small business owner."  Can you have it both ways?  I think not. 

Another candidate "took a break" from politics, but shortly thereafter jumped right back into the game when the time was right to run for office again.  I think we forget that many of the folks running for office right now are part of the problem we've faced in the past.  Republicans and Democrats alike have made some lofty promises and most have failed to keep those promises but we keep seeing the same crowd showing up at the trough of public payroll, don't we?

This is going to be a wildly different campaign cycle and voters are willing to more closely scrutinize the claims of candidates.  To me, it will be a refreshing "experience" for some of these candidates.