Fighting the last war

Updated
 

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.

Barack Obama

Fighting the last war

Updated