Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obama says McCain doesn't have executive experience

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Updated: 8/22/08 8:26pm

On 60 minutes tonight Obama said they he and McCain had the exact same about of executive experience. The comment comes around the 30 second mark on this video. Sorry Senator Obama, but I beg to differ.

McCain's combat duty began in 1967 when he was thirty years old. He was almost killed later that year. Lieutenant Commander McCain was almost killed when a Zuni rocket discharged on the flight deck. Of the USS Forestal here escaped from his jet and helped another man escape before the explotion. After this tragedy McCain volunteered to serve on the USS Oriskany.

On October 26 1967 McCain went down in Hanoi and was taken Prisoner by the Viet-cong. He served two years in solidary confinement. He was offered release but refused because their were others who had been POW's longer. August of 68 is when a prolong series of torture began. He was beaten every two hours! His injuries has left him unable to raise his arms above his head. McCain was released on March 14, 1973 after serving five and a half years has a POW.

When John McCain came back to America he received rehab for his injuries and attended the War College in 1976 he became a commanding officer of a training squad in Florida. The squad won a Meritorious Unit Commendation.

In 1977 McCain served as the Navy's liason to the U.S. Senate According to McCain, this was the begining of McCain's political career. McCain retired from the Navy in 1981 has a Captain. He had received 17 Millitary rewards: The Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal were just a few of them.

So McCain was a Lieutenant Commander and a Captain. After receiving some comments saying this shouldn't qualify has executive experience I thought I should find out what the responsiblities for these ranks were.

A Lieutenant Commander is a senior department officer on a large ship or shore installation. They may also be commanding officer or executive officer (second-in-command) of a smaller ship or installation. Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) is a junior officer rank, with the pay grade of O-4. Lieutenant Commander ranks above Lieutenant and below commander. Lieutenant Commander is equivalent to the rank of Major in the other uniformed services. The Lieutenant Commander is the most senior of the junior officer ranks.

Captain (CAPT) is a senior officer rank, with the pay grade of O-6. It ranks above Commander and below Rear Admiral (lower half). It is equivalent to the rank of Colonel in the other uniformed services. Navy Captains may also fill important senior staff positions or have shore based command assignments, such as commanding officer of a naval station, naval air station, naval support activities, specialized centers or commanders of test wings or training air wings.

John McCain was an officer in the U.S. navy for 14 years. He trained men and gave orders that entire time. He made decisions that other men had to follow and he had these men's lives in his hands. Has an officer he was also responsible for setting an example for his men to follow. If that doesn't count has executive experience I must not understand the what the term means.

I guess Obama once again forgot about McCain's military record when he was speaking on 60 minutes. Obama seems to forget about McCain's military record frequently. It's come to the point I no longer believe it's an accident. I believe that Obama is intentionally ignoring McCain's military record because he doesn't have one of his own.

Does not having served make someone unfit to be President? Absolutely not. Just as simply being in the military does not make someone qualified to be President. However saying someone with 14 years of executive experience in our military has the same amount of executive experience has a Freshman Senator who served has a community organizer and a State Senator is absurd. If Obama really believes McCain has no executive experience that alone should disqualify him from becoming our next President.


  1. Full disclosure: I'm an Obama supporter.

    I appreciate the full account of McCain's military service record; just this evening I was having a similar conversation with a woman while I was canvassing in her neighborhood. We came to a similar conclusion as Sen. Obama, that on the question of executive experience he and McCain are on the same footing.

    Had Sen. McCain reached an echelon like his father or grandfather, I might grant that his military experience qualifies as executive experience. But I don't understand how the experiences you outline so qualify. Serving your country is admirable, but not executive. Being a liaison to the Senate is respectable, but not executive. Being shot down while fighting on behalf of one's country, withstanding 5.5 years of torture: courageous; not executive. Commanding a training camp for recruits? How is that distinct from coaching a sports team? (I'm not claiming that Obama ever did this, but you can see the parallel).

    There are a lot of things about John McCain's record of service that we should take into account, both in his favor and against it. But it strikes me as a farce--and something of a desperate one at that--to say that his military record, as you outline it, is tantamount to executive experience.

    Obama was the president of the Harvard Law Review. In his own words, his work as a community organizer, a senator, and a presidential campaign all have elements of bringing people together (i.e. assembling a team, an executive decision like filling a cabinet, making appointments, etc).

    I am NOT saying that being president of the HLR, or these other roles as the head (executive) of various political endeavors are the kind of experience we mean when we say "executive experience." But you must also grant that McCain lacks the same!

    When we say "executive experience," aren't we talking about signing or vetoing bills? About setting a budget and getting it passed? About setting priorities for a firm of some sort? About hiring and firing and giving vision to the organization? I'm pretty sure that is what we mean, and I'm unconvinced that McCain has any better a claim on this matter than Obama.

    There are a lot of good reasons Americans should be thinking hard about this election. I don't think the question of executive experience, given the two men we have a viable chance between, is one of them.

  2. I was going to comment, but kyle pretty much said everything I would have. I don't understand how the experience you cite is in any way "executive experience." That's why Obama doesn't bother talking about it. It's irrelevant to McCain's qualifications for president. Besides, I think America is well aware of McCain's service, and lord knows his campaign never misses an opportunity to bring it up.

  3. I think I answered both of your concerns with my update. However I doubt you'll admit your mistake.

  4. I wonder why the BOTS didn't bring up Obama's Executive experience as Chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge for 5 years. Bill Ayers the TERRORIST gave Obama that job, he was quite proud of it when he was running for the Congress, even bragging about it in a interview, but now he won't mention his very close association with the TERRORIST Ayers. McCain was a Officer and ran a large operation in Pensacola, that is Executive experience.