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Tuesday, January 1, 2008
posted by Kyle Hampton | 1:00 AM | permalink
John McCain has been making the case in New Hampshire that he should be judged by his record. I think it is fair to say that McCain’s record is mixed when viewed by a conservative audience. However, the substance of McCain’s record, in some ways, misses the issue of why Americans have consistently chosen governors for president over the last 30 years. Even if you like McCain’s record, he has not been honing the skill needed for the presidency: executive acumen.

McCain tries to conflate what he has done (debate and vote) with what a president does (execute laws). While McCain’s record of experience is lengthy, it is in developing an entirely different skill than what a president does. It would be foolish to assume that the two are equivalent. Indeed, McCain’s experience is more pundit than president. He has spent his time making arguments like a pundit. The difference is that McCain makes a vote at the end of the day. Such a distinction seems to hardly qualify McCain more than George Will or Rush Limbaugh.

At the end of the day McCain’s record qualifies him for continued service in the legislative branch. The substance of that record merits deep consideration in looking at him as a candidate for Senate. However, switching over to the executive branch, McCain’s record is remarkably thin. If we are to judge McCain on his record, he should point to RELEVANT EXECUTIVE experience. Citing inapplicable skills does little to advance his argument of fitness for the presidency.

Mitt Romney, however, has spent a lifetime as an executive. He has refined and repeatedly succeeded at the top levels of business and government. His role was not one of debate and vote, but action and implementation. These are the skills required for the presidency. Mitt Romney has them.

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