By Carole on Nov 16, 2011
During a presidential primary fight one contender highlighted the inexperience of another by saying, "The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training." Of course that was Vice President Joe Biden speaking about his current boss President Barack Obama. Over the past 3 years the nation has learned just how right Mr. Biden was, yet now the Republican Party is flirting with making the same sort of mistake.
While there is no specific experience required for becoming the President of the United States, a contender should at least be an informed citizen when it comes to current events. Former CEO Herman Cain's recent difficulty explaining whether he agrees or disagrees with President Obama's decisions regarding Libya is the latest evidence that he does not have even the most basic understanding of many challenges facing the nation and that his reactions when that evidence is revealed are hardly presidential.
Mr. Cain's recent slip in the polls has been attributed by many of his supporters to the mostly unsubstantiated allegations of inappropriate conduct when he was the chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association. While that salacious pseudo-scandal was certainly not good for Team Cain, what was more important to many primary voters was how Mr. Cain handled it. The mixture of playing the victim, selective/evolving memories and blaming others for his troubles without any proof did not exemplify the leadership qualities the GOP and the nation are looking for in the next president.
Now Mr. Cain's comments regarding Libya have been followed by accusations (Cain Communications Director J.D. Gordon said the video was "out of context in some measure"), excuses (also according to Mr. Gordon, "We were all going on four hours' sleep so he was tired") and claims of victimization (again from Mr. Gordon, the candidate had "endured 45 minutes of questions from the paper's editorial board").
Granted there is something appealing about Mr. Cain's political outsider status. But the GOP and the nation need someone who has the ability to competently handle a 45 minute press interview and knows at least as much about the country's most recent military action as a regular viewer of the evening news.
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