Does America Really Want the Most Qualified Candidate Ever?

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Here is President Obama last night, after singing the praises of Hillary Clinton:

That’s the Hillary I know. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire. And that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.

I wasn’t too thrilled with this bit of Obama’s speech. Not because I want to get into an argument with conservatives about just how qualified Hillary really is, but because it seemed wrong for the moment. The conventional wisdom says that Americans are angry and want an outsider, somebody who will shake things up. Being the most qualified person ever is exactly the opposite of that. If Americans really are angry with the status quo, this was precisely the wrong way to sell her.

A little later in the speech Obama used the hoary old “in the arena” passage of Teddy Roosevelt fame. But if he was going to use it at all, this is the place he should have done it. Hillary has been in the arena, fighting all her life, while Trump has spent his life on the sidelines, bickering away and inventing feuds with other B-list celebrities. Experience is what underlies this difference, but it’s a more positive way of making the point, and a more negative way of portraying Trump’s lack of experience.

Oh well.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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