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Let’s Get Real

The questions were very easy but she was very smooth and does know “stuff” — which critics keep saying is the end-all and be-all of vice president-dom. What this shows is that interviewing, like most of campaigning, is an acquired skill which a bright person with decent communication skills can master with some effort. Those campaigning skills have a lot to do with being elected and much less to do with governing. That’s part of why the discussion about these outings is so divorced from reality. In “real life” you sit, gather data, make decisions, meet with other leaders and hire/fire advisors. None of that has much to do with learning a briefing book and spitting it out in an interview, no matter how tough or easy the questioning.

So when people argue about “experience” and “prudence” it is good to remember that those very qualities are revealed by what the candidates have done rather than what they say in an interview. That said, it’s better to do better than worse in these things because the chattering class takes them very seriously. Whether voters do is unclear.


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