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Theodore C. Sorensen, former special counsel and adviser to President John F. Kennedy and a widely published author on the presidency and foreign affairs, practiced international law for more than[…]

Sorensen wrote that George Bush’s lack of foreign policy experience pre-2000 led us astray in Iraq. How is Obama’s lack of experience any different?

Question: How is George Bush’s lack of foreign policy experience different than Obama’s

Ted Sorensen: Well I have a feeling that sentence may have been taken out of a much broader, more relevant context in which I said, “George W. Bush came to Washington with no judgment; with no sense; with no brains.” And unlike John F. Kennedy who had traveled all over the world; who had served many years in both the House and the Senate; who had written two books; who had written extensively on foreign policy . . . So the difference between the experience and qualifications of George W. Bush and John F. Kennedy . . . If that’s what I was addressing, it’s too vast to make that possibility. But I would add that the same vast difference exists between George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Obama has demonstrated judgment in opposing Bush’s war in Iraq. Obama has the . . . as I mentioned earlier, has a perspective of viewing the United States from other countries. George W. Bush had been around . . . had been . . . I was told he had been outside this country only once, which was to visit his father when his father was our representative in China. And even then Bush expressed no interest in learning about China. So Obama has experience and judgment that George W. Bush, even after seven and a half years in the White House, still doesn’t have.


Recorded on: 1/30/08