Presidential Experience: A Look at the Data: Op-Ed by David Wise (F82)

The Hill

It is interesting that in spite of the attacks four years ago and since on Barack Obama’s inexperience that Governor Romney gets a free pass in spite of having the least amount of relevant experience of any major party nominee since corporate lawyer Wendell Willkie in 1940. In making this judgment I rely on analysis of experience of all past presidents with special note of what set the top performing presidents apart from the less successful according to the three most recent polls of presidential historians (conducted by Siena College, C-SPAN and the University of London) developed as part of a larger research I am conducting. Those results highlight, in addition to total years of relevant experience, the following experience in declining order of significance: prior foreign or national security policy experience, total years as a legislator (state and national), years of senior Washington experience (executive and legislative) and having served as a governor.

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