John McCain went to the vault from the Democratic primaries and found a treasure trove of comments from Democrats on the unreadiness of Barack Obama to lead the nation. It includes the comments we’ve seen before from Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, but adds Chris Dodd and others — including perhaps the most effective spokesman:
You know, I am a believer in … in knowing what you’re doing when you apply for a job. Uh, and I think that … if I were seriously to consider running on a national ticket, I would essentially have to start now, before having served a day in the Senate. Now there may be some people who are comfortable doing that, but I am not one of those people. — Barack Obama, 2004
This spot thus far is only a web video, but I would expect to see more of that last clip featured in McCain ads in the general campaign. They want to make the case that Obama isn’t just asking himself to leave his comfort zone, but the entire nation. He did end up beginning his run for the White House very early in his first year in the Senate, before he had an idea how to do the job he had just won for himself, let alone learn anything about military strategy and tactics, foreign policy, or executive leadership.
Presidential candidates get lots of criticism about policy stances during primaries that can be replayed as negative ads by their opponents. This, however, is different. It underscores Obama’s unreadiness, his unqualified status to assume the highest office in the country — and Obama himself makes that case.