Allow this dissent on ‘most qualified’ candidate for POTUS

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 01: President George H.W. Bush waits on the field prior to the start of the game between the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

“I can say with confidence there has never been a man or woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.”

So said the current president, Barack H. Obama, this past week at the Democratic National Convention that nominated Clinton to run for the presidency.

I am going to quibble with the president on this one.

Hillary Clinton probably is more “qualified” on paper than either Obama or her husband to become president. Obama served in the Illinois Senate and then briefly in the U.S. Senate before being elected president in 2008. Bill Clinton served as Arkansas attorney general and as governor of his home state before being elected president in 1992.

Clinton’s wife served in the U.S. Senate and as secretary of state after serving as first lady — while taking an active role in policy decisions made during her husband’s administration.

But is Hillary Clinton the most qualified person ever to seek the office?

For my money, the honor of most qualified candidate — in my lifetime, at least — goes to a Republican.

I give you George Herbert Walker Bush.

You are welcome to argue the point with me if you wish.

But G.H.W. Bush’s pre-presidency credentials are damn impressive.

He flew combat missions in World War II as the Navy’s youngest fighter pilot. Bush then came home, moved to Texas and started an oil company. Then he served in Congress, where he represented the Houston area for a couple of terms before losing a Senate bid to Democrat Lloyd Bentsen.

That wasn’t nearly the end of his public service.

He would later be appointed to serve as head of the CIA, as special envoy to the People’s Republic of China, as chairman of the Republican National Committee, as ambassador to the United Nations — and then he served as two vice president for two terms during Ronald Reagan’s administration.

I get that President Obama wants to cast his party’s nominee in the best possible light. Given that she’s running against someone — Donald J. Trump — who is likely the least qualified candidate for president in U.S. history, the president perhaps can be excused for a bit of embellishment.

But a great man is still with us.

Sure, President Bush lost his bid for re-election to Bill Clinton. That, though, must not diminish the myriad contributions he made in service to our beloved country.