martes, 15 de marzo de 2016

The myth of Hillary Clinton's "experience" and how Bernie Sanders should respond (cc @mmflint @killermike)

By Victor Hernandez

I've been hearing this litany for a while now: Hillary Clinton has a lot more experience in government than Bernie Sanders and that's why she should be the Democratic candidate.

The last time I heard it was from actor Jeff Daniels during an appearance in The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He claimed Hillary Clinton had more experience and, if things got really bad, Bill Clinton would be "upstairs."

But that's a fallacy. And Bernie Sanders should start responding to that myth of Clinton's "experience."

First of all, any Democratic voter who claims they like Hillary Clinton because of her "experience" is lying. Those same democratic voters voted for Barack Obama in 2008 even though he had no experience whatsoever in office aside from a short stint as US Senator (2005-2008) and 7 years as a state Senator in Illinois from 1997 and 2004. Meaning he didn't have experience with national issues for more than 3 years before he was elected President.

Why did Democrats vote for Obama? Not because of "experience", but because they wanted change. Hillary Clinton doesn't offer change. She offers more of the same.

Now lets take a look at Hillary Clinton's experience. She was Secretary of State for 4 years, from 2009 to 2013. She didn't even continue as Secretary of State because she wanted to focus on running for President.

In other words, her "experience" in office wasn't as important as her personal political aspirations.

Before being Secretary of State, Clinton was a senator for 8 years; from 2001 to 2009. That could be considered extensive experience dealing with national issues.

But if that's how you want to measure Clinton's experience, then Bernie Sanders has far more experience as a Congressman, serving since 1991 to the present. That's 25 years of experience dealing with national issues. Oh, and he was also the mayor of Burlington, Vermont for 8 years.

By the way; Bill Clinton upstairs? I thought Jeff Daniels supported Hillary Clinton for HER experience, not her husband's.

Politics isn't just about experience. It's about ideas. Abraham Lincoln had pretty much no experience in office (2 years in the US House of Representatives and 8 years as a local Representative in Illinois), but he was one of the greatest Presidents in American History. Not because of his experience, but because of one idea that everybody said it was impossible; ending slavery.

Bernie Sanders supporters should really learn to respond to the Hillary Clinton "experience" myth with facts and try to convince Clinton supporters to Switch sides. Here are the facts. Go ahead and use them.

- Victor Hernandez is a political blogger and the author of Love Robots, a sci-fi novel dealing with political and social issues using real data (available on ebook here: and paperback here: He supports Bernie Sanders for the Democratic  nomination and for the Presidency.

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