In an election cycle in which voters are rejecting career politicians, President Barack Obama on Tuesday praised Hillary Clinton for being an old, career politician.
During their joint campaign appearance in North Carolina, Obama said America is a “young country, so we like new things.” Obama, who got elected President in 2008 after not even having served a full term in the Senate, admitted that, “I’ve benefited from that culture. Let’s face it, when I came on the scene in ’08, everyone said, ‘he’s new.’”
Obama said he wanted to be “blunt” and argued that Clinton, 68, has “her share of critics” because “that’s what happens when you are somebody who’s actually in the arena.”
“That’s what happens when you’ve fought for what you believe in,” he continued. “That’s what happens when you’ve dedicated yourself to public service over the course of a lifetime.”
He said sometimes Americans “take for granted” someone like Clinton who has “been in the trenches” to “fight the good fight.” He added that, “sometimes, we act as if never having done something and not knowing what you’re doing is a virtue.” Obama said that does not happen with surgeons or airline pilots.
On a day when FBI Director James Coney’s legalese-filled exoneration of Clinton in her private email scandal reminded Americans of everything they hate about politics and career politicians, Obama curious comments about Clinton’s “experience” may go over as well as Dick Gephardt’s argument against Howard Dean during the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries
that an old pair of sneakers sometimes fit the best.