What's the real value of experience in this presidential election? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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What's the real value of experience in this presidential election?

Both political parties feature a candidate with deep experience governing, and another with a relatively thin resume when it comes to political office. Much is being made by critics on both sides about the lack of "experience" on the other ticket.

The US Constitution is very clear on qualifications for president and vice president, and neither office requires any experience at all.

What would the Founding Fathers think about all this talk about experience? Could it be they left that out of the equation on purpose?

Courtney Lane set out to find out if this "experience" issue has proved to be a critical one in US history, and if it's really important to those who will ultimately be governed by one of these presidential teams.


They've both been criticized for a lack of experience.

But when it comes down to it, experience is not a job requirement for the President of the United States.

"It's very difficult to guess who's going to be a good President based on their background."

Dr. Larry Carter teaches presidency courses at UT Tyler.

He says there's no mold to define or make up what it takes to lead the country.

"We've had military we've had non-military. We've had older, we've had younger."

But of course this election is going to be history-making, no matter who wins.

"It's going to be complete different because McCain will be the oldest, Obama could be the first person of color, we could have the first female vice president. It's just incredible and really does show, whether some people like it or not, that we are a diverse nation. And you're going to have to make your pick based on that," said Dr. Carter.

Many eyes are now on Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and wondering if she has what it takes to possibly lead the country.

The Smith County Republican chair says, absolutely.

"I think she's got good experience and what she's done, she's done. Like with Wasilla, Alaska she cut their property taxes. she did everything she said she would. She took on the Republican party, as far as corruption and the big spenders up there. She's governor of a state, she's actually run something and my question is what has Obama run?" said Ashton Oravetz.

"If you look at the amount of experience that went into the Bush administration and the mess that we're in now I think that judgment counts for a whole lot more than experience," said David Henderson, Smith County Democratic Party Chair.

Some Democrats say McCain's VP pick shows a lack of judgement on his part.

"I think she's scary," said Henderson. "She's a perfect choice for the flat-earth Republicans but she doesn't really speak to the needs of America... I think Obama's got great judgement. He exercised great judgement in picking Joe Biden to be his vice president. Joe Biden wasn't the most popular choice but he brings a world of experience and judgement to the table."

It'll all come down to who Americans believe is a safer pick to lead the country.

Many eyes and ears will be on Sarah Palin as she speaks at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night.

In case you may have forgotten from history class, the Constitution says the requirements for becoming the President of the United States is you must be a natural born citizen. You must have 14 years of residency and you need to be at least 35 years old to be president or vice president.

Courtney Lane, reporting. clane@kltv.com

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