Last week, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) took on President Obama’s record, arguing, “President Obama hasn’t run anything before he was elected President of the United States. Never ran a state, never a business, never ran a lemonade stand.”
The focus groups must have loved this, because Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus argued yesterday:
“[N]o matter what David Axelrod may say, President Obama’s private business experience hasn’t seen the inside of a lemonade stand.”
This is a pretty standard criticism for any presidential candidate whose background is legislative work. Recent major-party nominees like John McCain, John Kerry, and Bob Dole – none of whom served as a governor or business leader – faced similar critiques.
But as we’ve talked about before, these criticisms of Obama’s record were made four years ago. Since early 2009, he’s been president of the United States during a time of foreign and domestic crises. Obama may not have led a state or a business before getting elected, but he led a nation after getting elected.
The larger arc to all of this is that Republicans are eager to fight the last war – redoing the 2008 campaign as if it never occurred. It’s why we still hear so much talk from the right about Jeremiah Wright, birth certificates, and Obama’s pre-2008 experiences.
If you missed it, there was a good segment on this on Friday night.