In the Democratic primaries, and now in the general election, candidates have raised the experience factor, on their behalf and to criticize their opponents. But no one is truly prepared to be president, as Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonOvernight Health Care: Biden unveils vaccine plan with focus on mass inoculations | Worldwide coronavirus deaths pass 2 million | CDC: New variant could be dominant US strain by March Biden chooses Amanda Gorman as youngest known inaugural poet Biden taps former FDA commissioner Kessler to head vaccine efforts MORE recently observed when he was asked about it. No candidate knows what issues he’ll face as president, and there is no comparable experience to prepare anyone for the daunting and extraordinarily powerful office.

In recent history, the case could be made that George H.W. Bush had perfect qualifications to be president — a former congressman, ambassador, CIA chief, party chairman. But he was run out of office when the economy turned bad, and never had a second term. His incompetent son George W. Bush was elected, and reelected, despite his obvious shortcomings. Now, years later, “W” has experience, and even the Republican Party is running away from him — based on his experience.

Hillary Clinton’s claim that she had better experience than Barack Obama, repeated now by John McCain, proved hollow. One real test of what kind of president any candidate will make is the kind of campaign he or she runs. As CEO of a prolonged and intense, national, multi-million-dollar effort, that involves financial sophistication, media management, staff selection and control, critical planning of strategies, complex organization, and judgment under pressure. It provides an insight into what kind of president that candidate is likely to be.

Hillary Clinton and John McCain failed that test; Barack Obama passed with flying colors — as evidenced by his upset and unprecedented victory over a favored but badly executed Clinton primary campaign, and his present lead over his veteran opponent, John McCain, a national hero. And, as back-up in case of tragedy, look at who both candidates chose as their running mates — the first and critical executive act of their potential administration. Obama chose an experienced and politically sophisticated senator; McCain chose a relative novice, a manifestly unqualified running mate.

Most serious candidates have had relevant experiences — both Sens. McCain and Obama do. Let’s talk character, intellect, poise, reputation, energy.