The Spectacle Blog

The Democrats’ Resume Enhancement Strategy

By on 3.24.08 | 11:01AM

The Washington Post has a long-overdue article out today noting how Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have greatly exaggerated their involvement in key legislation.

It opens with this anecdote:

After weeks of arduous negotiations, on April 6, 2006, a bipartisan group of senators burst out of the "President's Room," just off the Senate chamber, with a deal on new immigration policy.

As the half-dozen senators -- including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) -- headed to announce their plan, they met Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who made a request common when news conferences are in the offing: "Hey, guys, can I come along?" And when Obama went before the microphones, he was generous with his list of senators to congratulate -- a list that included himself.

"I want to cite Lindsey Graham, Sam Brownback, Mel Martinez, Ken Salazar, myself, Dick Durbin, Joe Lieberman . . . who've actually had to wake up early to try to hammer this stuff out," he said.

To Senate staff members, who had been arriving for 7 a.m. negotiating sessions for weeks, it was a galling moment. Those morning sessions had attracted just three to four senators a side, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) recalled, each deeply involved in the issue. Obama was not one of them. But in a presidential contest involving three sitting senators, embellishment of legislative records may be an inevitability, Specter said with a shrug.

The article also notes Clinton's embellishment of her role in the Northern Ireland peace process as well as the passage of S-CHIP when she was first lady.

Say what you want about John McCain, but he has long been a leader in the Senate. Oftentimes, it's been in areas that have enraged conservatives--immigration, "Gang of 14," campaign finance reform--and other times, such as fighting pork barrel spending or pushing the surge strategy, he has fought on the same side as conservatives. But the overarching point is that McCain has long been in the thick of things in the Senate, taking a leading role in important legislation. None of the remaining presidential candidates have any executive experience, and there for their legislative records will become central to the general election race. On this basis, McCain comes across as far more prepared to be president than either of the two Democrats.

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