This might be a little high on the hyperbole scale …
I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office. She’s got the courage, the compassion, and the heart to get the job done. I have seen her judgment, I have seen her toughness up close.
— Barack Obama
… but, you know, I get where POTUS is coming from. And I don’t think it should be overlooked. If Hillary Clinton has an edge over Donald Trump in the November election — and she does, people, she does — this is the biggest one:
She’s actually qualified.
‣ She went to a public high school in Illinois. He went to the New York Military Academy.
‣ She is a Yale Law School graduate. He went to a prestigious business school after dropping out of Fordham.
‣ She worked behind the scenes for the Children’s Defense Fund. He went to work at his father’s multi-million dollar New York real estate company right out of college so he could make money.
‣ She was a lawyer for a congressional committee, way back when, looking into Richard Nixon’s wrongdoings. He made some more money off more deals, many of which are considered a little shady and most of which were overblown.
(From The New York Times: “Yes, there are about a dozen buildings in New York City that bear [Trump’s] name, but nearly all are branding relationships, not actual ownership. He sits so far down the pecking order of Manhattan real estate that Adam Pincus, head of research at the industry publication The Real Deal, doesn’t recall ever including Trump or his companies in their major rankings of developers, owners or property managers.”)
‣ She taught law and founded a child advocacy group in Arkansas. He wrote some books on making money and opened some casinos with his name on it. He now owns no casinos; most went bankrupt.
‣ She fought for better health care as First Lady. He became a reality TV star doing a show that purported to teach people how to make money.
‣ She became a U.S. senator. He thought about running for office and decided there wasn’t enough money in it.
‣ She served as Secretary of State under Obama. He opened a “University” that isn’t really a university at all.
‣ She’s fought for women’s rights her whole career. If you believe him, he’s had to fight off women his whole life.
It is, I think, unintentionally hilarious that Trump calls Clinton “Crooked Hillary.” We all know she has her faults, and many are legitimately more than just faults. She’s spent so much time in public life, in politics, that she plays the game probably better than anyone. That’s not a compliment. She’s bent the situation — and maybe the law — to her favor for years. She, perhaps, has even tried to live above the law on occasion.
That’s not good. It might even be mildly criminal.
But does anyone think that Trump has not done the same? You think his business dealings are all aboveboard? You don’t think he’s pulled on the law, used it to his advantage? (He has, of course, plenty, and he’s admitted it. That’s what filing for bankruptcy is all about.)
But all that is mostly extraneous. Put their experiences in public service side by side, in helping the needy, in navigating around politics and politicians, in running a country or knowing how to run one. It’s no competition. Clinton may not be the most qualified “ever” to be president, as the President says. But she’s very, very qualified. Trump isn’t close.
We won’t even touch on all the asinine things he’s said in the past several months. His critics rail about his temperament, his racist comments, his ridiculously petty Twitter attacks. Whatever. That, too, is just so much noise.
He’s not qualified. He doesn’t have the background. He’s unskilled when it comes to dealing with local governments, or state government, or Congress or (for god’s sake people, isn’t this clear?) international relations.
(Really. Again. He wants. To Build. A wall. A wall! That is his major international platform. A wall!)
Frankly, given what he’s said and how he’s said it … I don’t think he’s smart enough.
If this election is about character, about who is “crooked” and who’s not, neither of these candidates comes out looking particularly straight-arrow. And that’s a real shame. A pity, really.
Instead, we’ll have to look at who’s smarter. Who’s more experienced. Who’s more qualified.
Is there really any question there?