On CBS: Is Hillary the Most Qualified Ever? Fact Check True!

Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and every other presidential candidate in history were mere amateurs compared to Hillary Clinton. At least that was the conclusion of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin when she appeared, on Friday’s CBS This Morning, for a panel discussion about the historic importance of Clinton’s nomination. 

This Morning co-anchor Norah O’Donnell asked the author and presidential historian to “fact-check” President Obama’s assertion that nobody was more qualified to be President than Clinton: 

NORAH O’DONNELL: Doris, I’m so glad you’re here this morning. Because one of the things that President Obama said in his speech was that there has never been a man or woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States. You’ve written definitive biographies on LBJ, Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln. Is that? Can you fact check that statement, please? 

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN: Well, you know, it’s pretty true. I mean, because she had experience at the local level first in Arkansas when she was First Lady. And then she is in the White House itself. So she sees the pressure that are on a president. 

O’DONNELL: For eight years as First Lady and four years of Secretary of State. 

GOODWIN: And then she is on the international scene and then she is in New York politics.

Goodwin added that even more important than experience was the quality of “temperament” which she defined as “It’s the character, it’s the disposition, it’s what do you make of your experience?” Character? Has Goodwin completely forgotten about the myriad of scandals that have surrounded Clinton her entire public life? Some historian.

 

 

The following are the relevant exchanges as they were aired on the July 29 edition of CBS This Morning

O’DONNELL: Doris, I’m so glad you’re here this morning. Because one of the things that President Obama said in his speech was that there has never been a man or woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States. You’ve written definitive biographies on LBJ, Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln. Is that? Can you fact check that statement, please? 

GOODWIN: Well, you know, it’s pretty true. I mean, because she had experience at the local level first in Arkansas when she was First Lady. And then she is in the White House itself. So she sees the pressure that are on a president. 

O’DONNELL: For eight years as First Lady and four years of Secretary of State. 

GOODWIN: And then she is on the international scene and then she is in New York politics. I mean I keep thinking about the idea that experience matters. And then people argue what about likeability? I think more important than either likeability or experience is temperament and temperament — 

GAYLE KING: Is what? 

GOODWIN: Temperament. It’s the character, it’s the disposition, it’s what do you make of your experience? You could have a lot of experience and learn nothing from it. 

CHARLIE ROSE: Bob Gates, who’s known lots of presidents and says the most important quality the best presidents have is temperament. 

GOODWIN: I couldn’t agree more. When FDR was interviewed by Oliver Wendell Holmes when he was like 92 —  the Supreme Court Justice —  and he came out saying “Well he’s got a second-rate intellect but a first-rate temperament.” And temperament is it. It means that was the attitude he took toward the Depression. Compared to the Trump convention where everything was so dark. The theme is “Happy Days are Here Again!’ in the middle of 1932. 

 

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