Chicago PM Saturday 25 April 2009
Editors, National Review Magazine
You would have a hard job finding a bigger admirer of Rick Brookhiser than me. When he was in Chicago in 2005 to pitch his book, I apologized for not having a copy for him to sign, but did have an original copy of the second NR issue NR he ever had an article in - at age 16!
So it was a big surprise to see in his article "A Rhapsode and a Question Mark" in the February 9 edition: "[Obama] is also one of the least experienced [Presidents] ... but coming after George W. Bush... a little ignorance feels like bliss."
Before becoming president George W Bush was the managing partner of a business with a $60 million annual payroll. Sure, it was a baseball team, but $60 million is $60 million, whether you pay it to baseball players or baby sitters, which from all I've read is the biggest payroll Obama ever met, except for maybe the caterer for a senate office staff Christmas party.
Five years after leaving the Texas Rangers (with an $80 million payroll) W was elected Governor of the nation's second largest state, and re-elected 4 years later by a two-to-one margin. Texas only has a 1500 mile international border, but even that is considerably more international experience than 5 crucial pre-teen years slogging thru the mud of Indonesia.
And a governor makes buck-stops-here decisions every day. A state senator, Obama's most extensive government experience, makes no more executive decisions than a 3rd string Chicago Bears jock strap attendant, but at that, without the responsibility. I take on any Bush hater when it comes to naming W's shortcomings, but having more ignorance than Obama? Say it ain't so, Rick.
Arnold H Nelson 5056 North Marine Drive Chicago IL 60640
[I blind copy all sorts of folks with this stuff. To this note, an influential local Chicago blogger sent me this response:
"It is incredible that supposedly well-educated and informed people make such stupid remarks about Bush. I make a mental note not to easily trust people who have made such comments. Such people are a little too anxious to join the MSMherd, wherever their by-lines appear."]