The media spin meisters and some political candidates seem to think experience is all that matters, and it happens to be that very same experience got us all into this mess in the first place. It's time for fresh ideas, not more recycled crooks and their cronies in office.
Hillary Clinton declared the other day -- apropos of whom, she didn't say, or need to -- "We can't afford on-the-job training for our next president." Barack Obama immediately retorted, "My understanding is that she wasn't Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration. I don't know exactly what experience she's claiming." As wit, that round goes to Obama. Clinton was elected to the Senate in 2000, her first experience of public office. Obama was an Illinois state senator for seven years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. In terms of experience in elective office, this seems to be a wash.
Who Needs Experience? Washington Post
Warren Buffett likes to say, when people tell him that they've learned from experience, that the trick is to learn from other people's experience. George W. Bush will leave behind a rich compost heap of experience for his successor to sort through and learn from.
Judgment Trumps Experience Wall Street Journal
Leadership is, at its marrow, the chronicle of judgment calls. These will inevitably write the leader's legacy. Don't get us wrong. We are not discounting the importance of experience. Seminal and appropriate experiences must be drawn on and understood before judgments can be informed. But experience is no guarantee of good judgment. There is a huge difference between 20 years of experience that advances one's learning and one year of experience repeated 20 times.
In fact, there are numerous times when past experiences can prevent wise judgments. Barbara Tuchman long ago observed how generals tend to fight the last war, refusing to face new realities, almost always with disastrous consequences. And often, especially in today's dizzying world, we need to understand what Zen Buddhists call the "beginner's mind," which recognizes the value of fresh insight unfettered by experience. In this more contemporary view, the compelling idea is the novel one. Perhaps no one articulated the nature of the beginner's mind better than the composer Hector Berlioz when he said of his more popular rival Camille Saint-Saëns: "He knows everything. All he lacks is inexperience."