What's a Resume Got to Do with It?

Obama may not have much political experience, but not all Presidents need it

Barack Obama is the freshest face in the early lineup of presidential candidates. Is he too fresh? Would eight years in the Illinois state senate and four in the U.S. Senate qualify him for the Oval Office in 2008? American political history gives an answer: a resounding probably.

Thirty-seven men have been elected President since 1789, and the American people have applied two different standards in evaluating their achievements. The first was formulated by Alexander Hamilton, who test-drove the presidency in the Federalist papers. The difficulty of winning the job, he argued, virtually guaranteed it would be held by the best men....

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