Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 22, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

HOW DID HE DO IT?....Why do I dislike George Bush? Because of his policies, obviously, and also because of temperament and personality characteristics that rub me the wrong way. But there's more. Whenever I think about this, one of the things that always settles into my mind is that he just doesn't deserve to be president. He never paid his dues.

It's not just that he got the job based partly on his family name. You could say the same thing about FDR, JFK, Bush Sr, and Al Gore, and it doesn't especially bother me about any of them. It's more that I just can't figure out how he managed to become a consensus party choice for president after a mere single term as governor of Texas.

Compare this to every other president since FDR. Here are the number of years of political experience each one had before he became president: 22, 23, 0, 14, 26, 18, 26, 14, 14, 22, 16.

With the specialized exception of Eisenhower, every single other president has had at least 14 years between first winning political office and becoming president. George Bush had six.

I just don't get it. Sure, he's a Bush, but even so how did he manage to convince the vast majority of the Republican party apparatus that he should be their favored candidate? After all, he had minimal experience, he obviously didn't have any special intellectual or personality characteristics that make you sit up and take notice, and his father wasn't even that popular with most Republicans after his dismal loss in 1992.

So how did he do it? It remains, to me, the most mysterious of questions.

Kevin Drum 9:11 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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