NOTE: This is just one American’s opinion. Everyone else’s point-of-view is welcome.

One key fact has been ignored as the media focus on the very bitter and ugly Republican primaries: just how qualified are Romney, Gingrich, Santorum or Ron Paul to actually be President? What long-term relevant experience do they have?

Does it matter? Probably not. But let’s take a look. Romney served just one term as Massachusetts’ governor from 2002 to 2006. His only “job” since then has been running for President. Yes, Romney’s got an impressive business pedigree (I don’t believe that Bain Capital is all evil), and there’s no question that the Romney family has a long tradition of public service. Still, does he really know how to govern as Leader of the Free World? Not from what I’ve seen. He can’t even lie effectively.

Gingrich? He hasn’t served in public office since 1998, and many of his former Republican colleagues who still run things on Capitol Hill clearly don’t want The Newt back. Santorum? I suppose he’s technically qualified, with more recent relevant experience, but take a look at his viewpoints. They are so out-of-touch with the mainstream that his current surge can’t and won’t last. If you haven’t already, just Google “Santorum,” as advice columnist Dan Savage asks. It’s both disgusting and brilliant. You just know the media and blogosphere will never let it go. As for Ron Paul, I’m sorry but the guy’s still a fringe figure; claiming that he knew nothing about all those racist newsletters with his name on them will never pass the smell test.

Which leaves the incumbent, President Obama. Is he really qualified to be President? Just before the New York State Primaries in April 2008, two very earnest young Obama supporters came to our door seeking our votes. We thanked them for coming by, but said we were Hillary Clinton supporters. They asked why, and we said experience. No matter how you looked at it, Hillary was a key White House adviser for eight years and a U.S. Senator for seven. While Obama was off to an impressive start as a first-term U.S. Senator, in our view he was hardly ready to be President of the United States.

Yet nearly everyone we knew viewed the guy as The One, The Messiah, the idealist who would fix Washington and make everything right that Bush had messed up. Like 53% of Americans who voted that fall, we chose Obama. After all, the prospect of President McCain, or worse yet, Vice President Palin, was completely unpalatable to us.

I’ll be charitable and say that Obama wasn’t ready for the job. The President has proven that he’s both human and a politician. He says what people want to hear. There have been hundreds of mistakes, bad judgements and displays of outright wimpiness. Too often, he’s listened to pollsters and advisers who are more in tune with the political and media zeitgeist than what’s right for the country. By hiring Larry Summers and Little Timmy Geithner to fix the financial meltdown, Obama let the foxes into the henhouse.

In my view, Barack Obama finally showed he was ready to be President about six months ago. After the smack down that he took from House Speaker John Boehner over the budget, he finally started fighting back. He installed a Consumer Protection Bureau chief to protect us from predatory lending when Congress was in recess. Dirty? Yes, but effective. Boehner seems to do a lot of crying and his troops are rebelling. There’s also been healthcare reform that will pay off in future generations, a correct path built towards re-establishing our global leadership, the beginnings of an energy policy, a retreat from wars that have drained us of our most valuable resource — people — and a strong response to terrorism.

History has proven this country will survive anyone as President. Even though that’s true, none of the current GOP candidates offer me any confidence that they can make our economic, energy, environmental or security situation better. Nor do I want to wait as they stumble through on-the-job training, as Obama has.

Yes, Obama’s given a very uneven performance, but I consider him the most ready to be President of the United States. As he ought to be.

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