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Amateur Hour with Barack Obama!

9:38 AM, May 12, 2008 • By DEAN BARNETT
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Instead of being a craven politician, which is in itself a redundancy, Obama comes across here as inexperienced and having exhibited - you better sit down for this - poor judgment. My biggest unease with Obama isn't about merely his lack of experience and qualifications. A larger concern is that it often appears that Obama hasn't thought about serious presidential-level issues with any rigor prior to entering the race. When you hear him stumbling while discussing the capital gains tax or ignorantly assessing FDR's negotiating habits, you begin to realize that the typical reader of this magazine has probably given the world's most significant matters more serious thought than the Democrats' presumptive nominee.

Obama's a smart guy. Scratch that - he's a very smart guy. You don't graduate Harvard Law School magna cum laude unless you have intellectual firepower to spare. Thus, it was shocking at the YouTube debate that he didn't seem to realize that he was promising an unprecedented and highly risky shift in our foreign policy. He was very blithe about meeting with the world's despots.

What's most concerning about a potential Obama administration is the whiff of amateur hour that the candidate often gives off. Yes, his campaign has done a swell job raising money and corralling voters, but when forced to discuss serious issues without the aid of a teleprompter, Obama often seems ill-informed yet still supremely confident. It took Obama 10 months between the YouTube debate and this weekend to realize his Goodwill Tour for Bad Men was a crazy idea. But as president, his decisions and policies, even the half-baked ones, will have consequences in real time.