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As I articulated recently, in my mind the “experience” issue is better defined as a “comfort level with the candidate.” As qualified or not qualified, not experienced or inexperienced. Experience is a component of qualification, not a qualification in and of itself.

As far as Obama goes, although I still struggle with it from time to time, following the election fairly closely for the last year has more or less convinced me that he is qualified, if not traditionally experienced. Does his resume stack up to that of past Presidents? No. Do I think that he’s a smart guy who will surround himself with other smart people? Yes.

Note however that this is a subject that I still grapple with. My opinions may or may not change, especially in light of the ongoing melt-down in his campaign over the last week to two. The McCain/Palin ticket has utterly confounded the Obama campaign for two weeks. If he can’t handle a woman in “lipstick,” how is he going to deal with Putin? Or Ahmandicrazyguy?

But even if I ultimately conclude that I am “comfortable” with Obama and his relative inexperience, that doesn’t mean that his limited record isn’t available for examination.

Here is Obama’s web page describing his Legislative Career and Accomplishments.

Don’t be taken in by the shear number of items listed on the page. Obama is just a regular Joe like you or I, and thus, he’s padded his resume a bit. His first issue, ETHICS/TRANSPARENCY lists five accomplishments. If you look closely however you’ll notice that there is only three separate items listed. In the first paragraph, he talks about the recent ethics bill which he helped pass. In the third paragraph he applauds and gives himself credit for an amendment to that same bill. The fourth and fifth “accomplishments” are really the same bill.

He also does the same thing further down under HEALTHCARE. The third and fourth “accomplishments” under that issue are essentially the same thing.

By way of comparison, keep in mind the following things that Joe Biden has done this year alone.

What a spring Sen. Joe Biden has had:

President Bush signed into law: Biden’s (and Sam Brownback’s) Second Chance act, which appropriated hundreds of millions of dollars to help criminals transition back to society. Next week, Bush will sign PEPFAR, a global HIV/AIDS bill that Biden played a key role in shepharding through the Congress. He led a CODEL to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey. His legislation reducing the crack/powder cocaine disparity will be considered in the fall. His approach to Pakistan has become the default approach supported by both Republicans and Democrats.

He’s delivered three major foreign policy speeches, including one — at Georgetown’s Gaston Hall — that helped to influence how the Obama campaign frames John McCain’s national security judgment. He led early hearings on the global food crisis and the rising crime rate, two issues on which the two presidential candidates are behind the curve; his legislation authorizing helicopters for Darfur passed the approps committee; he’s held numerous oversight hearings on Iraq and foreign policy….

As for Obama, a quick and dirty of his accomplishments:

  • Ethics/Transparency 2007 Federal Ethics Reform Law; Federal Funding Transparency; Ethics Reform in Illinois
  • Foreign Policy: Laws regarding international loose nukes and WMD. Congo relief.
  • Healthcare: Bipartisan laws in Illinois to expand state healthcare coverage; Lead paint enforcement; Federal flu pandemic research and response.
  • Energy: Ethanol and Flex Fuel Vehicles.
  • Education: Funding for black colleges and funding for summer learning programs. Special Note: Although Obama has made education a principle plank in his platform and education is primarily a state and local issue, Obama lists absolutely no accomplishments in education during his time in the Illinois legislature.
  • Military Issues/Veterans: Post-Traumatic stress, homeless vets, extending tax credits for active duty personel.
  • Justice: Death penalty reform; Video-taping of interrogations in Capital Cases; fighting racial profiling.
  • Working Families/Workplace Protection and the Economy: Establishing Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit; Temporary assistance programs; Plant closing and layoff procedures; whistle blower protection; protecting state employee overtime;
  • Women : Illinois equal pay act; helping abuse victims; affirmative action in science; mentoring programs.
  • Homeland Security/Disaster Response: Elimination of no-bid contracts in emergency situations.
  • To be honest, the only thing that really sticks out at me is the fact that the Education candidate has no record on education whatsoever.