Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Romney's Refrain

I've been meaning to comment on this for awhile, and today may well be my last chance if McCain all but seals the deal tonight as expected. In any event, ever since Romney transparently pillaged Obama's "Change" theme, he has made a point of saying that we can't have change by just "putting the same people in different chairs" (or something similar to that). He then claims that his experience as a Blue State governor (and as a businessman) makes him uniquely qualified to be President.

There's just one problem with that argument, which essentially argues that you need an outsider to create change, preferably an experienced governor, and definitely NOT a sitting member of Congress: most Presidents in modern times have fit Romney's "outsider" definition to a "T." Indeed, the last time we elected a sitting member of Congress to the Presidency was JFK - almost 50 years ago! Prior to that, you had Warren Harding in 1920, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, Garfield in 1880 (who died a few months after taking office), and that's it. Of course there are a number of Presidents like LBJ who had prior Congressional experience, especially in the 1800s.

Compare that to the number of recent Presidents we've had whose prior experience was primarily as a governor: Bush II, Clinton, Reagan, Carter... The point is this: the idea that all we need for "change" is to elect another governor is utterly preposterous. If anything, recent history would suggest that what we need for "change" is to stop electing governors as Presidents!