The most significant gap between the Democrats on the one hand and the Republicans on the other actually involved the nature of their political experience, not their ethnicity or age. All eight Democratic contenders have served in the United States Congress – and an amazing six of the eight are either current or former members of the US Senate. Only one of the Dems (Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico) has held a significant administrative office, though some thirty years ago Congressman Dennis Kucinich served a disastrous two years as the “boy mayor” of Cleveland.You would think that Democrats could learn a lesson from the past history, the nearly 40 years of recent Presidential history. Not since John F. Kennedy has a President been elected that did not have prior executive experience.
On the Republican side, in dramatic contrast, four of the candidates (Romney, Jim Gilmore, Tommy Thompson, Mike Huckabee) have served as governors, and frontrunner Rudy Giuliani made his reputation as mayor of the nation’s largest city. While all the Democrats boasted Congressional experience, only half of the GOP contenders ever served in either House of the US Congress.
John F. Kennedy (D)--prior political experience as Senator
Lyndon Johnson (D)--Vice President and Senator
Richard Nixon (R)--Vice President
Gerald Ford (R)--Vice President and Congressman (not elected VP or President)Jimmy Carter (D)--Governor of Georgia
Ronald Reagon (R)--Governor of California
George H. W. Bush (R)--Vice President and head of CIA
Bill Clinton (D)--Governor of Arkansas
George W. Bush (R)--Governor of Texas
Look at the list, the last three Democratic Candidates to win office had executive experience. Look at the top three contenders to win the Democratic nomination, the only one with "executive" expereince is Hillary Clinton and she can't really list First Lady as a job and her experience in the health care effort is better forgotten by the Democrats than touted. Yet, the Democrats seem to be ignoring Bill Richardson, who is, in my opinion the best qualified candidate in the Democratic field, and he was Congressman, Energy Secretary and oh yeah, the current Governor of New Mexico.
Among the top three Democratic contenders, Senators or former senators all, John McCain has more experience in the Senate than the three of them combined. Not exactly a strong depth chart.