Republican presidential hopefuls listen as retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (C) speaks during the Presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on Sept. 16, 2015. 
Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty

A ‘true, honest to God amateur’ in the White House?

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, making his second White House bid, has noticed the polls showing amateurs leading the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And in a conversation yesterday with the Washington Examiner, Huckabee doesn’t sound especially pleased with the response the inexperienced candidates are receiving.
“I mean, I can’t imagine somebody would allow a doctor to do surgery on them who had zero experience and, in fact, had never been to medical school,” Huckabee said. “I can’t imagine that somebody would let them pilot the airplane they’re in if they’ve never been in the cockpit, but have played some video games and that’s their only experience.”
“If you look at all the ways in which one qualifies for any job in this country, this would be the first time in history that people would say, ‘Yeah, we’re looking to hire you for a job, but the more capable, experienced and competent you are, the less we’re likely to hire you. We want to hire someone who has never ever done this job, who has never done anything like this job, is completely unprepared for what they’re about to take place. We want a true, honest to God amateur stepping into the Oval Office and being the leader of the free world,’” Huckabee continued. “Think about how irrational that is put in that context.”
Well sure, when you put it that way, it doesn’t sound good.
Republican voters will have the final say on the matter, but Huckabee’s frustrations are rooted in reality. In fact, his complaints led me to make a chart.
The chart documents the years of experience in public office for each of the Republican presidential candidates, including Rick Perry and Scott Walker – two experienced governors who were driven from the race due to lack of support.
Looking at the chart, we see a field of White House hopefuls with fairly diverse public-sector backgrounds. We also see three candidates who, between them, have zero days in public service.
It just so happens, those three happen to be receiving the most GOP support, at least right now.
To borrow Huckabee’s phrasing, if Republicans want a true, honest to God amateur stepping into the Oval Office and being the leader of the free world, they have a few to choose from.