Reason #24: Judgment and Leadership in Complex Times

Experience has been a major theme in this campaign season. McCain touts his years in the military, years in the Senate, and years, um….alive. He maintains that Obama is green because he doesn’t stack up in any of these categories. I must admit I did have early reservations about Obama’s lack of experience. However, I have come to realize that this election isn’t about experience; it’s about judgment.

Can you imagine a resume that would prepare someone to manage global crises in the areas of finance, energy, the environment, and religious extremism, while tackling major domestic problems such as healthcare, social security, education, and an unprecedented federal deficit? Oy.

So let’s look at a few examples our presidential candidates’ judgment over the past 2 months. Barack Obama picked Joe Biden, a running mate with 35 years of experience in the Senate; a solid reputation for being able to work “across the aisle;” and perhaps most importantly, significant foreign policy experience. Not only did he choose a person who complemented his skills, experience, and perspective, he picked a credible candidate for President. McCain picked Sarah Palin. I think this blog has adequately covered the brilliance of that decision!

How about the bailout package? McCain suspended his campaign (huh?!) to return to Washington to take responsibility for securing the needed GOP votes in the House. We all know how that went. He didn’t even manage to convince GOP members from his own state to vote for the initial bailout package. By contrast, when Obama was asked why he didn’t rush back to Washington, he expressed confidence in his fellow legislators and the finance experts involved in developing the bailout package. That’s what I wanted to hear.

I believe that Barack Obama is going to surround himself with smart, experienced people. He is not going to shoot from the hip and ask, “What would a Maverick do?” He is not going to ask (like Bush and Palin), WWJD? I believe he is going to listen to expert opinions, consider diverse perspectives, and apply sound reasoning to solve difficult problems. This quality, more than years of experience, is what these complex times require.

For judgment and leadership in complex times, the choice is clear: Obama.

And if you’re still not convinced, still trying to sort things out, then read this clear statement from Wick Allison, former publisher of the National Review: “A Conservative for Obama.”

–Laurie, mother of two, who can still land a double axel every now and then, Reading, Massachusetts

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