No sooner had Romney announced his running mate than the media had drummed up their talking points about Paul Ryan’s lack of “private sector” experience. The New Yorker had an article claiming that his private sector experience can be pretty much summed up by summer jobs working at McDonald’s and working for Oscar Meyer, driving the “Weinermobile.”
Who cares? I don’t get all this talk about “private sector” experience. In the grand scheme of things, why does it matter what your career was or what jobs you had before entering politics? If they really want to bring up private sector work experience, how about our own president’s? What was he, a community organizer? He helped people get jobs…or something. Obama supporters like to bring up that he was also a part time Constitutional Law lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. Sounds pretty prestigious, but doesn’t someone have to know something about the Constitution in order to lecture on it? Apparently not. He also worked for some local Chicago law firms before becoming an Illinois State Senator and effectively ending his private sector work experience. And these things somehow qualified him to be leader of the free world?
During the last presidential election, some on the right had criticized then Senator Obama because of his lack of private sector work experience. Good thing Politifact was there to set everybody straight. They point out that he absolutely had private sector experience and a lot of it. He used to dip ice cream for Baskin-Robbins. That’s “private sector,” right? And, he worked at a deli. He also worked at a souvenir shop in Hawaii. If they have to use Obama’s teenage summer jobs as “private sector experience,” then why are they mocking Paul Ryan’s Oscar Meyer job? Ryan also worked as a waiter and a fitness trainer while he was in college. He worked as an intern and a staff economist for a senator, and he worked as a marketing consultant for his family’s construction business. Again, why does all this matter anyway? Why do you have to have any experience at all outside government in order to be president or vice president?
The Constitution makes clear that in order to be qualified for vice president, you simply have to be qualified for president. You have to be a natural born citizen, a resident of the U.S. for at least 14 years and be at least 35 years old. It doesn’t say anything about what kinds of jobs you had to have before getting into politics. It doesn’t even say anything about having to hold “public sector” positions before becoming president or VP either. Paul Ryan has been a congressman longer than Obama was a state senator and U.S. senator combined. So, it doesn’t really matter what public/private work experience Paul Ryan has or doesn’t have. The media will always find something to gripe and complain about.
Even though Romney’s got a good balance between public and private experience, the media didn’t like that he fired people. Obama fired people when he was a community organizer, but I guess that was different. Since he had little experience in the private sector, the fact that he fired people made it look like he was experienced. He had to fire people. He must have been the private sector king. Romney fires people, and it’s a national scandal.
If Romney and Ryan are the new heirs to the throne, I sure hope Romney fires a ton of people . . . in the public sector.