The fact that the “inexperience” argument is being made by Obama campaign surrogate Gov. Deval Patrick, who was pilloried for his own thin resume when he ran for governor, makes it all the more interesting. It’s hard to imagine this attack line working for the Obama campaign, especially after it spent most of the 2008 election touting his “outsider” status and downplaying the importance of political experience.
From Meet the Press yesterday:
GOV. PATRICK: Sure. I like Chris [Christie]. He’s, he’s, he’s one of my favorites. I’m not going to–I don’t, you know, I wish him well. Not that well.
GOV. McDONNELL: You hear that endorsement?
GOV. PATRICK: No, that’s not what that was. But I–look, you know, he’s been governor for, what is it, a year and a half, two years?
GOV. McDONNELL: Yeah.
GOV. PATRICK: I think unemployment in New Jersey is higher even than, than the national average. It’s some unfinished work in New Jersey in order to have proof points for the case he wants to make.
Yeah, that year-and-a-half is paltry, compared to the, um, two years and one month Obama served in the Senate before announcing his presidential bid. Just for the sake of comparison, here’s what Patrick said about Obama’s inexperience back in 2007:
“I don’t care if the next president is a Washington insider. I care about what’s in his heart. I don’t care whether the next president has experience in the White House. I care whether he understands life in your house,” Patrick said.
Quotes like that will make it difficult for Democrats to make the case Christie lacks credentials. The 2008 debate over inexperience could be a double-edged sword, making it harder for Republicans who attacked Obama’s newness to politics to defend Christie’s, if he decides to run.