Experience: Obama v. Palin

Josh Marshall headlines as “Sadly Nuts” a post responding to John McCain’s retort, to questions of Sarah Palin’s qualifications to serve as president, “If they want to go down that route, in all candor, she has far, far more experience than Senator Obama does.”

Says Josh,

Set aside the bravado. Can McCain possibly believe that? And if he does, what are we supposed to think of his own fitness to serve? Sen. Obama is certainly new on the national scene. But he’s serving his fourth year in the US senate. He’s run a successful national primary campaign. He’s deeply versed on all the relevant policy issues. Palin has been the governor of one of the smallest states in the country (by pop.) for 18 months. As recently as 2006, she said she hadn’t focused enough on Iraq to have an opinion one way or another about the surge.

Now, I agree, the burden is certainly on Team McCain to convince the country that Palin, a relative neophyte, passes the laugh test for Commander-in-Chief.  As regular readers — or even those who’ve read anything I’ve written about the subject since Friday’s announcement — know, I’m skeptical.

But McCain’s assertion that Palin has more “experience” than Obama is hardly absurd.  After all, all Josh can marshall in support of Obama is that he’s been studying up on national policy for his presidential run.  Three and a half years (if we’re not rounding Palin’s up, we’re not doing it for Obama) in the Senate, most of which he’s spent running for president, is hardly an impressive résumé by presidential standards.  (For comparison, see Biden, Joe or McCain, John.)   Palin’s been the chief executive for a state government for a year and a half, during which time she’s actually been doing her job, and was chief executive for a municipality for six years immediately before that.   Again, not exactly impressive, but it stacks up nicely.

If one goes beyond the job titles and dates part of the résumé and moves on to the “Accomplishments” section, as Bill Dyer does, one can even more easily argue that Palin is more qualified than Obama.  She’s actually gotten things done during her tenure in office, after all.

Many people would argue that eightish years of executive experience trumps none.  Indeed, as my colleague Dave Schuler pointed out yesterday in the comments of my “Sarah Palin, Small Town Mayor” post, it’s been twelve elections — 48 years — since the last time the American people elected a United States Senator to the presidency.   Since then, they’ve chosen:  A sitting president (Lyndon Johnson), a former two-term vice president (Richard Nixon), a sitting president (Nixon), a one-term small state governor (Jimmy Carter), a two-term large state governor (Ronald Reagan), a sitting president (Reagan), a sitting vice president (George H.W. Bush), a sitting multi-term small state governor (Bill Clinton),  a sitting president (Clinton), a sitting two-term large state governor (George W. Bush) — who lost the popular vote to a sitting two-term vice president (Al Gore) — and a sitting president (Bush).   That trend will be broken this year, barring tragedy, since both major parties have nominated a sitting Senator.  But, rather clearly, the American people prefer their presidents with serious executive experience.

My own predilections put Obama ahead of Palin in the preparation department because of his Harvard law degree, his years teaching law at Chicago, and his having boned up on national issues in a way that Palin hasn’t yet been forced to.   Whether the American people will see it that way is another question.

It should be noted, of course, that Palin is her party’s choice for backup quarterback.  Obama, on the other hand, would be the QB1.

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, this topic is generating a lot of discussion.

Nolan Finley, the editorial page editor of The Detroit News, doesn’t think either Palin or Obama are qualified, likening the to baseball rookies who need more time in the minor leagues.

[I]s Sarah Palin ready for the Oval Office? She’s been governor for just two years, and before that was the mayor of a small town. Had she finished this term and another, and sustained her early success, she would have earned a look for the ticket.  She’s certainly one of the GOP’s top young prospects, but she’s being called up to the big leagues too soon.

And so is Barack Obama. His resume is as thin as Palin’s. He was a community organizer in Chicago, served briefly in the Illinois Legislature and lucked into the U.S. Senate when his Republican opponent, the runaway favorite, got tangled in a weird sex scandal.  He, too, has a young family, plays pickup basketball and is very GQ. And as an added bonus, his wife is hot.

But it is embarrassing to hear Obama, 47, explain how his work on the streets of Chicago fully prepared him to be leader of the free world because he met a lot of people down on their luck. He’s been in the Senate just four years and has spent half of that time running for president.

And yet, last week in Denver, the elder statesmen of the Democratic Party walked one by one to the podium to extol the leadership skills of Obama. They had to be choking on their words. Obama doesn’t chair a Senate committee, hasn’t been one of its most influential voices, has never really led anything

[…]

This may just be old guy talk, but I still believe in the value of touching all the bases. Politicians like John McCain and Joe Biden spent decades learning their craft. They’ve dealt with crises on both personal and professional levels. There’s not much that will catch them off-guard.

And there are many others like them, men and women from both inside and outside Washington, who have been learning, doing and maturing for a long time and now stand ready to lead.  Yet for half of this year’s presidential ticket, we passed them by in favor of rookies.

This election will indeed prove the adage that anyone can grow up to be president. Only now you don’t have to bother with the growing up part.

Gerard Baker, US Editor and Assistant Editor of The Times of London, thinks it’s a slam dunk that Palin’s the better choice. He has a whole list of comparisons along these lines:

Obama: Worked his way to the top by cultivating, pandering to and stroking the most powerful interest groups in the all-pervasive Chicago political machine, ensuring his views were aligned with the power brokers there.

Palin: Worked her way to the top by challenging, attacking and actively undermining the Republican party establishment in her native Alaska. She ran against incumbent Republicans as a candidate willing and able to clean the Augean Stables of her state’s government.

That’s mostly unfair and, frankly, a little silly.  Still,  one can see that one needn’t be “nuts” or totally lacking in judgment to think it other than obvious that Obama is superbly qualified while Palin is unworthy.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. just me says:

    I think for this election is important to note the types of accomplishments.

    I think McCain went with Palin because of her record of standing up to the corruption within her own party. Hers is the kind of face we need on the GOP right now.

    Just how many corrupt politicians has Obama stood up to?

  2. Fence says:

    Good post. We aren’t handing out awards for best political resume, we’re trying to make a judgment about who is best able to lead in the next 4 years. Could it be Sarah Pallin? Perhaps (I have no way of knowing yet), but if so it won’t be because she’s been the one making appointments to a Fisheries Board or because Anchorage is 200 miles closer to Moscow than New York is to Moscow, it will be because of skills she had before she became Governor.

    There’s a urinal in the basement of the Old Executive Office Building that looks like it has been there for 80 years. That doesn’t make it ready to lead.

  3. cian says:

    I think McCain went with Palin because of her record of standing up to the corruption within her own party.

    Except, as we are coming to see, she has her own corruption problems. By all accounts Public Safety Commissioner Monegan was a good man doing a good job who was fired for not carrying out a bad, vindictive order from his direct boss, Governor Palin. While initially denying that she had contacted Monegan on the subject of her brother-in-law’s job, she now admits members of her staff did in fact contact him, but without her say so. Monegan on the other hand says she did contact him and has the emails to prove it which he has handed over to those investigating the affair.

    This may turn out to be nothing, but so far its not looking good and had she been Obama’s choice for VP, there isn’t a republican in the country that would say she was a suitable pick.

  4. sam says:

    She’s actually gotten things done during her tenure in office, after all.

    I’ve been reading some Alaska blogs recently. Here’s what one of them has to say:

    Palin ran as a social conservative, but she hasn’t pushed a social agenda. She ran as a tax cutter, but she put a collar on the oil companies and gained the state a substantial tax revenue increase – our only real source of state income – as crude oil prices went through the roof. Then, with heating fuel and gasoline costs eating us alive (the highest in the nation even though we own the resource – which you’d think would work as direct evidence against drilling more to lower prices!) she lobbied the legislature for a $1200 payout to each of us. This was not exactly a finesse move, and even above objections that it didn’t get us any closer to a sustainable energy policy, it was approved. The result: We all get free heating fuel this year. Not exactly a test of tough leadership or fiscal conservatism, but a popular move, it was indeed.

    Dermott Cole, a local news columnist wrote that Palin is unqualified to serve as vice president, even though he has no major beef with anything she’s done as governor so far. Her “chief qualification for being elected governor of Alaska,” he said, “was that she was not Frank Murkowski.” Everyone was pissed at Frank. He appointed his daughter to his senate seat after he vacated it to run for governor, cut a $250 per month “longevity bonus” to senior citizens, bought himself a jet for all sorts of questionable trips, and got real cozy with the oil companies, nearly giving away the store. We were all glad to see him go, and she’s been a welcome breath of fresh air in his wake.

    So here’s the main thing I take away from this news. The media players have been saying that Palin’s appointment takes the ‘experience’ criticism off the table for McCain. That was my first reaction, and so it has. But there’s more. Bringing Palin in after using that argument against Obama should make it clear to everyone that even McCain doesn’t believe his own campaign ads – the definition of a bullshitter.

    According to today’s local newspaper editorial, “Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation’s when he created the possibility that she might fill it.”

    I like the part about the $1200 dollar grant to Alaska citizens to help with the cost of fuel and heating oil. Hey, doesn’t Obama have a similar proposal? Anyhoo, here a link to Alaskan blogs if you’d like to see what the locals think.

  5. Bithead says:

    Let’s refocus, here.

    See, the thing about running from the lion is that you don’t have to be the fastest one in the world… just faster than the other person.

    The point, of course being that the question is not is Palin the best America has to offer, since that’s a test Biden fails completely… the question is who between the two is the better choice? Given not only her positions on the issues of the day, but also because of her greater degree of executive experience, the better of the two is Palin.

  6. DL says:

    The failures of Democracy to have an informed responsible electorate making the decisions of leadership has morphed into the absurd situation where widespread acceptance of devious deception among our presidential candidates is the norm. What sells,works and that is image. Utilitarianism works among idiots and sadly, idiots are allowed to vote. This requires that both sides sell image. It is a fact that the libs have nothing but image as their foot in the door to controlling your lives. Obama’s empty suit, photoshopped messiahship needs to be countered with another honest image. It is possible to be faithful to causes and present a buyable image. This is what scares the hell out of the liberals, because Sarah Palin beats them at their own game. They cannot allow her to enter the Whitehouse – expect the dirtiest campaign and media assualt upon a person and truth ever.

  7. PD Shaw says:

    Alaska is a different state. For one thing the Alaska National Guard fields an active missile defense system, and its air national guard regularly intercepts Russian bombers. The Governor of Alaska is briefed on national security and intelligence issues relating to these.

    Also, she has negotiated gas pipeline deals with the Canadians (State was involved as well). I don’t recall Obama having diplomatic relations with Canada.

  8. WR says:

    PD Shaw:

    I’d love to know where you get your inside information that Palin is somehow involved in national security and intelligence issue relating to Russia. Because the adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard disagrees (from the AP):

    “Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, considers Palin “extremely responsive and smart” and says she is in charge when it comes to in-state services, such as emergencies and natural disasters where the National Guard is the first responder.

    But, in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, he said he and Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations.”

    So, no. She’s not involved at all. And those who have been telling you that she is are lying to you. Wonder why they’d do that, if she’s so qualified…

  9. spencer says:

    The point that everyone seems to be ignoring in the qualifications issue is that Obama showed his expertise and management ability by running a successful campaign against an overwhelming favorite opponent. Many argue that in the US system the single best test of an individuals ability to be president is their ability to survive and win in our extremely demanding presidential primary system.

    This is an extremely testing exercise that provides Obama a level of experience that she can not match.

  10. just me says:

    This is an extremely testing exercise that provides Obama a level of experience that she can not match.

    Not sure I agree.

    Hillary was favored but not without weakness. It also helped that the media was fawning over Obama from the beginning. They liked his story.

    And I didn’t realize this proved the ability to lead the nation. I confess I do not pick my candidates by how well the campaign.

    However, Palin did manage to win a primary against a sitting governor and defeat a former governor, so she has proven herself capable of running a campaign.

  11. sam says:

    @just me

    However, Palin did manage to win a primary against a sitting governor and defeat a former governor, so she has proven herself capable of running a campaign.

    Ah, did you read my post above, from the Alaskan blogger? Relevant to your post:

    Dermott Cole, a local news columnist wrote that Palin is unqualified to serve as vice president, even though he has no major beef with anything she’s done as governor so far. Her “chief qualification for being elected governor of Alaska,” he said, “was that she was not Frank Murkowski.” Everyone was pissed at Frank. He appointed his daughter to his senate seat after he vacated it to run for governor, cut a $250 per month “longevity bonus” to senior citizens, bought himself a jet for all sorts of questionable trips, and got real cozy with the oil companies, nearly giving away the store. We were all glad to see him go, and she’s been a welcome breath of fresh air in his wake.

    Doesn’t sound like defeating those dudes was much of chore.

  12. Rick DeMent says:

    I’ll vote for McCain if he taxes corporations for windfall profits and gives me $1200. Is that his plan? Cool, also can we replace the income tax with a tax on what corporations produce? I’m on board with that too. Gosh I’m liking Palin more and more. With “experience” like that she doesn’t need anything else, just get the top of the ticket to follow her example in Alaska and they have my vote. She is way more socialist then Obama could ever dream to be.

    Palin = family values socialist … has a nice ring to it. 🙂

  13. Bithead says:

    I’d love to know where you get your inside information that Palin is somehow involved in national security and intelligence issue relating to Russia.

    I suppose it’s not occurred to you that would be a natural consequence of her being governor of a state that borders the place?

    Hmmm. And Canada, too, come to think of it. Foreign Policy experience… another thing Obama Biden doesn’t have. Interesting.

  14. WR says:

    Bithead:

    It doesn’t matter what’s “occurred to me.” Since I, like you, have no firsthand information on the matter, I turn to someone who does — the guy who’s in charge of the Alaska National Guard. And he comes right out and says it’s nonsense.

    But you choose to ignore that and go with what’s “occurred to you.” Is this how you perform all your critical thinking — ignore the facts and go with your opinion, even when directly contradicted by the trith?

    No wonder you’re a Republican.

  15. Steve Plunk says:

    Presidents do not make decisions without the input of very focused experts. The most important parts of a president’s decision making is their basic political philosophy, their understanding of how to reach a decision, and their character. If we want to elect presidents based upon who is smartest then perhaps a written test would be the best way. Obama’s law degree and teaching experience means little to me in terms of how he will make a decision.

    Palin’s experience is more real world and more like the average American. Her lack of knowledge concerning the history of central Asia, for example, is more than offset by the PhD.’s that will advise her. It is clear she will represent the people better than any politician in recent memory. A common citizen with uncommon resources for decision making.

    Obama’s experience in the Senate is much overrated. They call it the world’s greatest deliberative body. That means they think about doing things more than do them. As one of a hundred Obama was little more than a warm body casting a vote in accord with his party. He has no record of pushing his own legislation (too busy running for higher office) and had no national recognition for his leadership in the Senate. Not the kind of experience that prepares a person to be chief executive.

    McCain has been a leader in the Senate and has maintained a high national profile by standing firm on issues and taking stands that are sometimes contrary to his party’s wishes. McCain the senator knows leadership more than Obama the senator.

    We also need to remember campaigns are ran by campaign managers and staff. The candidate has input but can’t take much credit for campaign itself.

  16. Jamie says:

    I will be happy when both campaign realize the hypocrisy of each accusing the other of inexperience. both Obama and McCain went out and got the candidate to accommodate what they thought was lacking in their campaign.

    The real problem is they are both running against Washington. McCain chose a corruption fighter from as far away from DC as he could get while Obama chose a 36 year veteran of the Senate. Obama has the harder sell of hope and change here.

    As a side note, I think a lot of these complaints about Palin’s inexperience is a subtle jab at McCain being a senile old man who could keel over dead any minute and leave her to deal with Russia, Al Qeada, etc. I am surprised no one has compared McCain to Otto von Bismarck yet.

  17. Billy says:

    Shorter Bithead:

    Country: “Do you have foreign policy experience?”

    Palin: “No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express across the border from Canada last night.”

  18. sam says:

    It is clear she will represent the people better than any politician in recent memory.

    You have nothing more than a deeply held hope that this is true. Of course, if by “recent memory” you mean the last eight years, then yeah– but talk about a low bar.

    McCain has been a leader in the Senate and has maintained a high national profile by standing firm on issues

    That’s not quite accurate.

    John McCain — 61 Flip-Flops and Counting

    See the link for the rundown.

  19. cian says:

    the question is who between the two is the better choice? Given not only her positions on the issues of the day, but also because of her greater degree of executive experience, the better of the two is Palin.

    If only saying it made it so. In a recent Rasmussen poll, when asked the critical question ‘With Palin as Vice Presidential Nominee, are you more or less likely to vote for McCain?’ 6% of undecideds said more likely. 36% said less.

    The above poll was taken before the questionable firing of her Public Safety Commissioner became widely known, so I doubt the second figure above is about to go down any time soon.

  20. Anderson says:

    Nice way to shift the frame, JJ.

    The issue is not McCain’s assertion that Palin has more “experience” than Obama.

    It’s not that Obama is superbly qualified while Palin is unworthy.

    No. What McCain said, as you quote and then IGNORE, is:

    in all candor, she has far, far more experience than Senator Obama does.

    That’s just “nuts,” as Marshall put it. It stops being nuts when you reword it to quit sounding nuts.

  21. just me says:

    I think she has far, far more experience than Obama in several areas. Obama has more experience than she does in others. But comparatively neither is all that impressive in thickness of the resume-however Obama is the one at the top of the ticket. Attacking experience only highlights this.

    Also, I don’t think experience-at east in years is what McCain was looking for. I think he was deliberately looking for a reformer and anything but a DC insider. Palin fits that bill perfectly. It wasn’t the resume McCain was after-mostly because McCain’s resume is mroe than thick enough and he is the top of the ticket.

    He wanted, and found in Palin, somebody that would compliment his ticket and provide a “out to reform and fix what is wrong with our party, and make America better” type message, and Palin certainly fits that bill.

    In the end-Obama’s resume is pretty damn thin, so is Palin’s, but Palin is the VP nominee, Obama is the nominee. Debating resumes probably isn’t in Obama’s best interest.

    Actually-don’t remember now who said it-but I agree the best move right now for the democrats is to mostly ignore Palin and go after McCain-attacking the bottom of the ticket makes them look like they are scared.

  22. just me says:

    That’s not quite accurate.

    John McCain — 61 Flip-Flops and Counting

    I am sick of the flip flop attacks.

    The reality is that people change their minds all the time. My opinions have changed greatly from what they were when I was a teen, and when I was in my 20’s.

    The difference here is the reason behind the flip flop. If you opposed something, but then after learning further information, decided to support it or visa versa that indicates you are a thinker and open to new information.

    Flip flops do not really bother me, if they come with a stated reason for the change of mind, but denials of the previous position or nuancing the change of mind becomes irritating.

    I am willing to bet every politician in the US has changed his mind on at least one position over the course of their career-and even more so while compaigning then being confronted with the realities of the job once sworn in.

  23. PD Shaw says:

    I’d love to know where you get your inside information that Palin is somehow involved in national security and intelligence issue relating to Russia.

    I got it from reviewing the Alaska National Guard’s Strategic Plan 2008-2012: Securing the State, Defending the Nation. I never said that the Governor was involved in command issues concerning the defense system, nor that she’s briefed upon every situtation in which Russian aircraft is intercepted.

  24. spencer says:

    It is now being reported as fact that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant.

    Great example of her strong Christian upbringing.

    Ought to make her right at home with her “tobacco row” constituents.

  25. od says:

    I suspect most unaligned voters will say they both have more or less the same amount of experience, and consider efforts by either side to say their choice (Palin or Obama) as having more as being the usual partisan politics and another reason to conclude that they’re all just politicians saying whatever it takes to get elected – and then most will conclude its not worth bothering to vote.

  26. Brett says:

    I think the idea about why Obama would be more qualified is that he’s proven himself in the areas where it matters during the Presidential campaign. He’s shown that at the very least, he can operate the electoral and fund-raising machinery very well, which can be hugely important in getting people on your side in Washington D.C. as well as building groundswell support for your plans once in office.

    On top of that, he’s at least attempted to compensate for this weakness on his part by pulling in a bunch of experienced advisors, Biden only being one among many. This is fitting with what has been described as his nature throughout his political life, where most of his colleagues described him as very pragmatic and ambitious, absorbing a lot of ideas without really becoming fundamentally part of their group (read the article on “Obamanomics 101” in the New York Times).

    But what about Palin? She has more executive experience than Obama, so presumably she at least knows her way around an executive office, and is familiar with how a governor (and president) frequently interacts with a legislative body. But at the same time, I’m not so warmed by her experience in fighting corruption and description of being a “reformer” who pisses off the corrupt Alaskan establishment, even if they deserve it(the legislature pushing for the “Troopergate” inquiry is a Republican-dominated one in Alaska). You have to be really careful who you piss off and when in Washington, since as part of the President’s office you have to get legislative support to get your bills passed.

  27. jeff b says:

    If we are going to judge these two on economic policy grounds, I’m strongly in favor of Palin. Her state has no income tax, no sales tax, and no property tax. Practically all of the state revenue is derived from taxing corporations at the point of production. I must say, this vision for the American economy is bold and radically different from any proposed by either McCain or Obama. If this is the kind of economic policy that Palin would bring to Washington, sign me up.

    Unfortunately I don’t think this is really what we would get from the Palin administration.

  28. Beldar says:

    Dr. Joyner: You, like most others who are only starting to look at Gov. Palin’s credentials, have omitted her time as the chair and ethics officer of the Alaska Conservation Commission (the state agency which regulates oil and gas), which followed an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor in 2002 (in which she came in a close second in the GOP primary, losing by only a few hundred votes).

    I’m not going to argue that the run for lieutenant governor is, on its own, a great credential. Contrary to those who argue that Barack Obama’s qualifications to be president are proved by his success in the Democratic primary, I think the most one can say about experience in political campaigns is that they tend to make you a better candidate.

    But Gov. Palin’s service on the Alaska Conservation Commission is significant. First, it marks the beginning of what’s become a very in-depth exposure to the intersection between government and the energy industry. Alaskans in general tend to be more attentive to energy issues because so much of their state’s economy and their state government’s budget depend on that industry. But Palin has been focused heavily on energy more or less continually since 2004 — a claim that neither Barack Obama, Joe Biden, or (for that matter) John McCain can make.

    Second, although she’d been a reformer and opponent of government corruption/favoritism since her time as a Wasilla city councilman and then mayor, she significantly expanded those credentials — at enormous potential political risk — in her capacity as the ACC’s ethics officer. In particular, she focused on ethical lapses by fellow Commissioner Randy Ruedrich, who was also (and unfortunately still is) the statewide GOP chairman. Ruedrich was refusing to complete and file disclosure reports that would have detailed his personal dealings with energy-related companies. When Reudrich ignored her complaints, she went to the state attorney-general, Gregg Renkes. When Renkes ignored her (and threatened her with prosecution if she became a public whistle-blower), she went to the GOP governor who’d appointed her, Frank Murkowski. Murkowski was then, of course, one of the troika of Grand Poobahs of Alaskan GOP politics, along with Congressman Don Young and Senator Ted Stevens.

    When Murkowski ignored her too, however, Palin resigned. And she had every reason to believe at that point that her political career, on a statewide or larger stage, was dead.

    Nevertheless, despite threats of prosecution, she went public as a whisle-blower. She wrote a famous op-ed for the state’s largest newspaper which contained the memorable statement that the only difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick. And she proceeded to prove that point by continuing to direct public attention on the scandal.

    She was helped along by criminal investigations that have since ended up with indictments and convictions of several public officials. Renkes was forced to resign as attorney-general. Reudrich ended up agreeing to pay a substantial fine for his ethics violations — not just the noncompliance with the disclosure forms, but substantive violations based on too-close ties with and favors from VECO, the drilling contractor that’s been at the center of most of the Alaskan ethics scandals — and to quit the Commission.

    And the capstone came when Palin ran in the 2006 GOP primary against the incumbent governor who’d appointed and then ignored and tried to silence her, Frank Murkowski. She whipped him soundly, and then went on to whip another former governor, popular Democrat Tony Knowles, in the 2006 general election.

    Barack Obama mouths platitudes about how “he passed” ethics reform legislation in the U.S. Senate. In fact, that was done on a bipartisan basis in which he was only one of many senate sponsors, and it was at no risk to himself or his party. Palin, by contrast to Obama, actually put her entire political future on the line to take on political forces far better known and more powerful than she was, relying on nothing but her own integrity and, ultimately, the public’s.

    In terms of calendar tenure, then, her service on the Alaska Conservation Commission is not terribly significant. But in terms of subject matters she was exposed to, it was significant, the beginning of an intense education in energy matters. And in terms of accomplishments, it’s a résumé credential that ought not be slighted. It’s proof positive of her integrity, her guts, and her zeal to stand up to corruption.

    I hope you’ll agree with me that this would be worth at least a mention in any discussion of Sarah Palin’s credentials and experience.

  29. jukeboxgrad says:

    “It is now being reported as fact that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant.”

    Quick! Someone use this headline: It’s Juno in Juneau.

  30. Eric says:

    [Bithead…] Is this how you perform all your critical thinking — ignore the facts and go with your opinion, even when directly contradicted by the trith?

    Yes, WR, this is exactly what Bithead does–in every post. Black is white, up is down, no experience is experience. Wingnut logic is a twisted, funny thing, isn’t it?

  31. Rick DeMent says:

    “It is now being reported as fact that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant.”

    One more breathtaking example of the effectiveness of the “abstinence only” method of sex education.

  32. Bithead says:

    It doesn’t matter what’s “occurred to me.” Since I, like you, have no firsthand information on the matter, I turn to someone who does — the guy who’s in charge of the Alaska National Guard. And he comes right out and says it’s nonsense.

    And because he wears a uniform, I’m suppsoed to accept he has no political motivation, right? Shaw’s points apply, here as well.

    Sorry, no sale.

  33. Bithead says:

    Yes, WR, this is exactly what Bithead does–in every post. Black is white, up is down, no experience is experience. Wingnut logic is a twisted, funny thing, isn’t it?

    YEah, funny thing how yo’ve yet to point up facts that counter what I’ve been saying. You merely assert.

  34. Bithead says:

    That’s just “nuts,” as Marshall put it. It stops being nuts when you reword it to quit sounding nuts

    .

    The only way it’s nuts is if you manage to disprove it.
    When you get there, let us know.

  35. bains says:

    Many argue that in the US system the single best test of an individuals ability to be president is their ability to survive and win in our extremely demanding presidential primary system.

    First, who are the many? Second, after Iowa, Obama has the unparalleled benefit of a doe-eyed national media. Obama did not survive, he was thrust.

  36. bains says:

    It is now being reported as fact that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant.

    Great example of her strong Christian upbringing.

    Ought to make her right at home with her “tobacco row” constituents.

    Please, please beat that drum spencer.

  37. just me says:

    And Beldar I think it is that type of work that drew McCain to her.

    She will understand and know energy policy better than any of the candidates at a time when energy is important to our economy.

    I don’t think McCain’s choice was one of “thickest resume” but he looked for somebody with knowledge to bring to the ticket that would enhance his ticket-like I said earlier-McCain’s resume is thick enough. Sure there isn’t any executive there, but neither is there any executive in the Obama ticket.

  38. just me says:

    First, who are the many? Second, after Iowa, Obama has the unparalleled benefit of a doe-eyed national media. Obama did not survive, he was thrust.

    Not to mention he actually closed pretty poorly.

  39. PD Shaw says:

    A pdf link to the strategic planning document is at the bottom. I doubt it will change many minds, but I would be interested if Obama has participated in implimenting any similar strategic plans and whether such plans resemble those of other states (aside from perhaps Hawaii).

    Also interesting, the section on Alaska’s strategic partnership with Mongolia does not simply promote the usual economic ties. It seeks to promote stability and democracy in Mongolia.

    Strategic Plan 2008-2012: Securing the State, Defending the Nation

  40. JohnG says:

    The first person that can name a bill Obama’s office wrote (and not merely co-sponsoring bipartisan bills that passed by acclimation) that person will be the first.

    And if Dems want to put Obama’s record of being able to raise money, kowtow to political machines, and get elected against Palin’s record of fighting corruption in her own party (someone in this thread actually tried to frame this as a NEGATIVE?), cutting state spending and expanding energy production and distribution, then the Dems are setting themselves up for a Dukakis like defeat. Somehow I think Palin’s record of getting things done will be viewed more favorably than Obama’s record of getting people to vote for him, in the eyes of most people.

  41. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    DeMent, this is as on topic as your post. Obama, in his biography states he hates his white half. That is his own words. Backed up, of course, by his attendance at Trinity Church. This blog is becoming infested with fools. James, Bush may have lost the popular vote in 2000 when one views the election other than what it was. Presidents ARE NOT elected by popular vote. The inclusion of the fact shows a less than even handed approach to facts. Here is a fact for you, Doc Joyner, Bush won in the states where it was important to win. Obama has much more experience than Palin. His experience with Ayers is something he hides. His experience with Rezko is something he wishes would go away, his experience with Rev. Wright is under the bus. His experience as a reformer is in the future, as he currently has none as with his accomplishments. Obama has been described as an empty suit. When he gives a speech, his head swivels back and forth to read teleprompters. When he speaks off the cuff, his diction is fill with ahs and a’s. Obama’ foreign policy experience is going to school in Indonisia, as a muslim. Palin, on the otherhand has none nothing but serve the public well.

  42. sam says:

    @JohnG

    The first person that can name a bill Obama’s office wrote (and not merely co-sponsoring bipartisan bills that passed by acclimation) that person will be the first.

    “Global Poverty Act” (S.2433) — do a little research first, ok? You’re not going to like the bill, but he (his office) did write it.

  43. Beldar says:

    Sam: Obama’s “Global Poverty Act” has not been passed by the Senate, much less signed into law. I think JohnG probably intended to ask about bills that had actually passed. Every legislator writes tons of bills that are introduced but never even get to the committee hearing stage.

    The major legislative acts actually passed into law for which Obama takes credit were mostly others’ work. The nonproliferation bill, for example, was sponsored by Republican Richard Lugar as a follow-up to nonproliferation legislation he’d drafted and passed long before Obama ever was elected. He wanted a Democratic co-sponsor and asked Obama to take that role. Obama got to follow Lugar around, including on a trip abroad. And indeed the bill passed with bipartisan support on a voice vote; it was considered so noncontroversial and, for that matter, so nonsubstantive that on the day after its passage it wasn’t even mentioned by the WaPo or the NYT. The bill on internet access to records on government spending is the same story, except this time the GOP senator doing Obama a favor was Tom Coburn. The ethics bill likewise had dozens of sponsors from both parties (at least after it was gutted sufficiently as to have no real teeth).

    He’s been the classic show-horse, not a work-horse, in the Senate. When he’s bothered to show up, that is.

  44. Beldar says:

    Further but telling disclosure: Obama’s global poverty bill did get to the committee stage, way back in April 2008 in fact, and was voted out of committee, but the Senate leadership — Democrats including Reid et al. — have not seen fit to bring it to the floor for discussion, much less a vote, and according to the govesite.gov website, it “would appear … to be abandoned.”

  45. Beldar says:

    Heh, sorry to string-post, but this is actually pretty interesting. Here’s the official summary of Obama’s global poverty bill (emphasis mine):

    Global Poverty Act of 2007 – Directs the President, through the Secretary of State, to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the U.S. foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

    Requires the strategy to contain specific and measurable goals and to consist of specified components, including: (1) continued investment or involvement in existing U.S. initiatives related to international poverty reduction and trade preference programs for developing countries; (2) improving the effectiveness of development assistance and making available additional overall United States assistance levels as appropriate; (3) enhancing and expanding debt relief as appropriate; (4) mobilizing and leveraging the participation of businesses and public-private partnerships; (5) coordinating the goal of poverty reduction with other internationally recognized Millennium Development Goals; and (6) integrating principles of sustainable development and entrepreneurship into policies and programs.

    Sets forth specified reporting requirements. Directs the Secretary of State to designate a coordinator who will have primary responsibility for overseeing and drafting the reports, as well as responsibility for helping to implement recommendations contained in the reports.
    Defines specified terms.

    In short, it’s a bill that does nothing to eliminate or reduce poverty itself, but mandates that the president and his staff talk about eliminating poverty.

    That is just too precious for words. You can’t make this stuff up. Thanks for the suggestion about doing more work, Sam.

  46. anjin-san says:

    Interesting that the right, the champions of less government, less regulation, are actually whining because Obama has not created enough new rules and regulations…

  47. James Joyner says:

    In terms of calendar tenure, then, her service on the Alaska Conservation Commission is not terribly significant. But in terms of subject matters she was exposed to, it was significant, the beginning of an intense education in energy matters. And in terms of accomplishments, it’s a résumé credential that ought not be slighted. It’s proof positive of her integrity, her guts, and her zeal to stand up to corruption.

    I hope you’ll agree with me that this would be worth at least a mention in any discussion of Sarah Palin’s credentials and experience.

    The problem, as I noted in yesterday’s post, is that we typically discount such minor level posts in assessing presidents. It just doesn’t stack up to being a United States Senator, which is the lowest level post we typically “count” in such matters. Indeed, as Dave Schuler notes, we typically don’t even “count” Senate experience, preferring instead senior executive experience (governor, VP, president).

    What McCain said, as you quote and then IGNORE, is: in all candor, she has far, far more experience than Senator Obama does.

    That’s just “nuts,” as Marshall put it. It stops being nuts when you reword it to quit sounding nuts.

    See above. Obama has no executive experience whatsoever unless you count, as Hilzoy and others do, his time running for president. I, for one, think counting that is highly absurd.

    Again, I don’t think either Obama or Palin are qualified in the traditional sense, for the reasons Nolan Finley outlines. But one could easily argue Palin is closer than Obama to meeting the traditional resume test.

  48. just me says:

    But one could easily argue Palin is closer than Obama to meeting the traditional resume test.

    And the reality is that Palin is the bottom of the ticket.

    McCain passes the resume test at least in thickness and even in accomplishments in the senate (even if some of what he thinks of as accomplishments aren’t things I see as good ones).

    He didn’t need to find a running mate that would prop up his resume. Obama did-hence Biden.

    McCain was looking for something different-he was looking for somebody outside of Washington and somebody who was willing to buck up to her party leaders to do the right thing. That is the part that is compelling to me and why I like her. She doesn’t back down, and she doesn’t appear to play the game of politics. She could have easily sat down and shut up when she brought forward the ethics charges while on the board and probably still had a killer good political career in the state of Alaska. Instead she resigned and blew the whistle.

    McCain wasn’t looking for a fat resume-he already had one.

  49. Anderson says:

    JJ, McCain didn’t say “far, far more executive experience.” He said “far, far more experience.” Period.

    The quote has been scrubbed from the WaPo story that you & TPM link, but here’s the AP story:

    “I think Senator Obama, if they want to go down that route, in all candor, she has far, far more experience than Senator Obama does,” McCain said.

    Let’s look btw at the next graf:

    He cited Palin’s stint as governor of a “state that produces 20 percent of America’s energy” as well as her previous membership in the PTA and her time spent on the city council and in the mayor’s office in Wasilla, a town of fewer than 7,000.

    Woo-hoo-hoo!

    Re: campaign mgmt, that only gets one so far; but as the Atlantic’s article on the failed Hillary campaign tended to show, managing your campaign *badly* can sure make us grateful you weren’t elected president. So, why can’t managing you campaign *well* reflect positively?

    Or are we still going to relate that under PTA work?

  50. sam says:

    I think JohnG probably intended to ask about bills that had actually passed.

    I think he meant what he wrote. He asked for a bill Obama wrote, and I cited one. (BTW, why the right-wing freakout over this bill? But that’s is for another thread.)

  51. anjin-san says:

    McCain wasn’t looking for a fat resume-he already had one.

    Almost 3 decades as a mediocre Senator and junkets to the Bahamas with Charles Keating. Not exactly overwhelming…

  52. anjin-san says:

    Obama has no executive experience whatsoever

    If we are putting so much stock in “executive experience” the CEO of the company i work for is more qualified to be President than McCain, Obama, Biden & Palin put together.

  53. Beldar says:

    Okay, Sam. Now let’s talk about genuine experience. Please cite for us a significant bill (a) for which Obama was the principal or co-principal sponsor, (b) that didn’t share a Republican co-sponsor who initiated the idea, (c) that passed the Senate, (d) that passed the House, and (e) that was either signed into law by the President or enacted by a veto override.

    I’ll leave the exact definition of “significant” up for you, because I expect to see your answer contain either something about the Congo or else something renaming a post office somewhere in rural Illinois, and I look forward to arguing with you over whether they’re significant.

    Dr. Joyner: We mostly agree, and you’ve been very gracious and open-minded when I’ve quibbled. Inside the Beltway, you’re correct that pundits “typically discount such minor level posts [as chair and ethics officer of the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission] in assessing presidents.” But take a look at the title of your blog! Outside the Beltway, people aren’t so impressed with Washington experience. Some of us are reasonably impressed by a position presiding over a state agency that’s responsible for the industry which generates billions of dollars a year in royalties and taxes (comprising almost the entire revenue of the state government).

    Combine that with a compelling personal story in that position which demonstrates independence, courage, and self-sacrifice, and you’ve got a story that (if she weren’t such a lib) Julia Roberts ought to be eager to play — it beats the hell out of Erin Brockovich!

  54. Beldar says:

    If you do think it counts as “experience” for purposes of deciding fitness for holding office, Obama and Palin have almost identical amounts of campaign experience. Palin has actually run in more total campaigns, including one more state-wide election, than Obama. And by election day, Obama will have had about eleven months of serious national campaign experience, as compared to her two.

  55. sam says:

    Okay, Sam. Now let’s talk about genuine experience. Please cite for us a significant bill (a) for which Obama was the principal or co-principal sponsor, (b) that didn’t share a Republican co-sponsor who initiated the idea, (c) that passed the Senate, (d) that passed the House, and (e) that was either signed into law by the President or enacted by a veto override.

    Hmmm. I don’t know that I can given your (b) qualification, for, as I’m sure you know, Sens. Obama and Coburn have worked together on a number of significant pieces of legislation. E.g., The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (S. 2590), signed into law by President George W. Bush on September 26, 2006. And I don’t know which of the two was principal author of the legislation, or even if there one was the principal author (they could have co-authored it). But so what? How does Obama’s acting in a nonpartisan way to get significant legislation passed not count as “genuine” experience?

  56. Beldar says:

    Sam asked: “ow does Obama’s acting in a nonpartisan way to get significant legislation passed not count as “genuine” experience?”

    When he’s asked to lend his name by a senior GOP senator who’s done the work and just needs some Democratic senator’s go-along to label the bill “bi-partisan,” that’s not very impressive, Sam. And that’s what both the Coburn and Lugar situations were.

    He’s never won a victory over the Republicans. He’s never gone against the entrenched interests of his own party.

    He’s all sizzle, no steak.

  57. sam says:

    When he’s asked to lend his name by a senior GOP senator who’s done the work and just needs some Democratic senator’s go-along to label the bill “bi-partisan,” that’s not very impressive, Sam. And that’s what both the Coburn and Lugar situations were.

    Well, I’m educable. Do you have a link that proves that Coburn and Lugar did all the work and Obama went along for the ride?

  58. Beldar says:

    Here’s the Coburn bill, by the way. See also here.

    Sen. Obama is officially listed among 47 co-sponsors, although when Sen. Coburn introduced it, he mentioned Sens. Obama, Carper, and McCain as introducing it with him. It passed by unanimous consent in the Senate and voice vote in the House.

    Not exactly a profile in courage for Obama.

  59. Billy says:

    This experience debate is laughably disingenuous. I can’t believe someone could claim with a straight face that Palin’s campaign experience is equal to Obama’s because she has run in more total campaigns (and I didn’t look, but was the PTA listed there along with running for 8th grade president?), or that she has foreign policy experience because she does something near Russia.

    Can anyone imagine a Democrat getting a similar pass? I don’t know how you people aren’t constantly laughing at the BS you spew. At least James is intellectual honest in his analysis; the rest of you are farcical.

  60. anjin-san says:

    This just in from Political Wire:

    Palin Hired Lawyer for State Probe
    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin “hired a lawyer three weeks ago to act on her behalf as state legislators investigate whether she may have abused her power in firing the state police chief for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper,” CNN has confirmed.

    Meanwhile, NBC News reports that “there are Republican lawyers right now up in Alaska doing a deeper vet on Sarah Palin despite their claim that everything about her background was fully known.”

    Oops…

  61. sam says:

    Here’s the Coburn bill, by the way. See also here.

    I’ve seen those links. I believe the convention on those sites is to simply list the first co-sponsor. Have you got something specific that says Coburn and Lugar did all the work and Obama tagged along?

  62. Beldar says:

    The nonproliferation bill was a follow-up to an earlier bill Lugar had written and passed in the 1990s; Lugar already had the expertise. Obama and Lugar purportedly co-wrote a WaPo op-ed, published on a slow-news Saturday so each senator would have another clipping for their PR files. Washington Monthly had a pretty good article about how Lugar got Obama involved and let him share credit.

    Both of these bills are from 2006, before the Dems took control of the Senate. Especially on noncontroversial bills like these, senatorial courtesy is inconsistent with writing down anything which would refute any co-sponsoring senator’s claim to have been part of the bill’s development and passage; victory has a million fathers, while defeat is an orphan. It is tradition, though, that the senator who has carried the laboring oar speaks to introduce the bill. Coburn and Lugar spoke.

  63. Beldar says:

    Billy, if you don’t follow the links, you make a fool of yourself when you try to guess what they show.

  64. anjin-san says:

    Beldar do you have anything yet to back up your charges against Wooten’s police union?

  65. just me says:

    Can anyone imagine a Democrat getting a similar pass?

    Obama pretty much is. His resume is damn thin.

    I also am not among those who think runninga campaign means you are qualified for office-it just means you campaign well.

    Not to mention Obama actually closed poorly-he won because he got out of the gate more quickly.

    But campaign experience doesn’t impress me much as far as deciding who I want to vote for.

    I think the experience debate is one we can have, but the reality is that neither Obama or Palin have tons of experience-but both bring something to the ticket that appeals to their parties-therefore Obama wins the nomination and the GOP faithful are ecstatic in the choice of Palin as can be seen in how much money McCain received over the weekend.

    McCain can lay claim to a thick resume (even if anjin san discounts it, but the reality is McCain has advocated for and passed a lot of legislation over the years and bucked his own party when he thought he was right), Biden can claim a thick resume, but Obama’s and Palins are both thin.

    Good thing for us the thin resume isn’t the top of the ticket.

  66. anjin-san says:

    Good thing for us the thin resume isn’t the top of the ticket.

    Why so much faith in a resume? GHW Bush had the finest resume of any President in history, yet I think even Republicans would agree he was a so-so President. If we are using the resume standard, he should be on Mt. Rushmore. Harry Truman had a pretty thin resume, but even most members of the GOP seem to now agree he did a pretty good job.

  67. sam says:

    Beldar, I don’t think the Washington Monthly piece is dispostive of the the claim that Obama simply tagged along. I grant that the later Lugar-Obama legislation carried over from the earlier Lugar-Nunn legislation (Sam Nunn had no imput in the earlier bill, either, I guess). But I don’t see anything that indicates that Obama didn’t have some significant imput in the latter bill. (And to the experience question, surely the article buttresses the assertion that Obama is schooled in foreign affairs, no?)

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this issue.

  68. Billy says:

    Beldar, the issue your links purport to demonstrate are immaterial. Even if we construe the facts in the light most favorable to your positions, your arguments are facially and substantively ridiculous.

    If I’m a fool, it’s only for attempting to engage one in debate.

  69. just me says:

    Why so much faith in a resume?

    Not my faith you guys are the one saying she doesn’t have one.

    My argument is that it doesn’t matter-McCain doesn’t need Ms. thick resume for his ticket.

    You guys are the ones crying “not experienced enough” when the person at the top of your ticket has a pretty thin resume himself.

    If resume doesn’t matter for the top of your ticket, why should it matter for the bottom of ours?

  70. anjin-san says:

    Not my faith you guys are the one saying she doesn’t have one

    “you guys” covers a lot of ground. What guys? I am not all that concerned about the resume issue. Someone either has the right stuff or they don’t.

    McCain has shown that he does not care about the experience issue, which makes his many attacks on Obama over just that issue hypocritical.

    Or is it that he does think the experience issue is valid, but he saw what he believed was a political opportunity and put his own ambition above the good of the country?

    McCain – Hypocrite or opportunist? You make the call.

  71. Bithead says:

    Beldar do you have anything yet to back up your charges against Wooten’s police union?

    Who else would have both the power and position to defend the man, for example, getting his suspensions reduced? Come ON, man…

    Sorta like trying to get a government school teacher canned.

  72. anjin-san says:

    Who else would have both the power and position to defend the man, for example, getting his suspensions reduced? Come ON, man…

    Bit, need I remind you that just a few thread back you were calling me “pathetic” for making an unsupported allegation?

    This is an unsupported allegation, and a very serious one at that. Beldar is saying cops are conspiring to protect a child abuser.

    Yet when he makes an unsupported attack on a police union, which after all, consists of men who serve in uniform, you leap to his defense…

    Pathetic Bit, Pathetic

  73. JohnG says:

    Well you got me. Obama’s one bill was to force President Bush to talk about poverty, but never got on the Senate floor. Clearly, Obama’s Senatorial career, brief though it has been, is shining with (one) accomplishment.

    I think my point that Obama didn’t accomplish a single thing of substance in his time in the Senate still stands.

  74. Hal says:

    Actually, I think this argument over experience is missing the real experience issue. It’s an experience argument that I’m sure even the right wingers will grasp.

    James Fallows, writing in the Atlantic, makes a prediction about Sarah Palin

    Let’s assume that Sarah Palin is exactly as smart and disciplined as Barack Obama. But instead of the year and a half of nonstop campaigning he has behind him, and Joe Biden’s even longer toughening-up process, she comes into the most intense period of the highest stakes campaign with absolutely zero warmup or preparation. If she has ever addressed an international issue, there’s no evidence of it in internet-land.

    The smartest person in the world could not prepare quickly enough to know the pitfalls, and to sound confident while doing so, on all the issues she will be forced to address. This is long before she gets to a debate with Biden; it’s what the press is going to start out looking for.

    So the prediction is: unavoidable gaffes. The challenge for the McCain-Palin campaign is to find some way to defuse them ahead of time, since Socrates, Machiavelli, and Clausewitz reincarnated would themselves make errors in her situation. And the challenge for Democrats is to lead people to think, What if she were in charge?, without being bullies about it.

    Regardless of whether or not she objectively has more “experience” in whatever “experience” metric the right wingers believe she has “experience” in, the undeniable fact is that she has ZERO experience in a national campaign – and a presidential campaign at that.

    Whether or not Palin is God’s own executive and the CEO that Cheney would choose to run Haliburton, the point is that she’s completely and utterly unprepared for this campaign. And as with many things in life, if you completely guff up the interview, you don’t get the job no matter how much you deserve it.

    This seems to me to be a huge strategic blunder – being a democrat I suppose that’s what I’d think. But given all the crap that’s coming out about her, and the fact that McCain didn’t even vet her before hand, if I was on the republican side I’d be sh*tting my pants – regardless of how “qualified” I thought she was and however that reflected on Obama.

    Can’t say I feel sorry for ya.

  75. Bithead says:

    Bit, need I remind you that just a few thread back you were calling me “pathetic” for making an unsupported allegation?

    Still goes. So?
    Hardly unsupported, and you knew that, I guess, before you started making these choking noises.
    Meanwhile, answer my question: Who else leapt to Wootens defense, in spite of it all, hmmm? Who else would have had the power to? Process of elimination is a reasonable investigation technique, in case you forgot.

    Or would you prefer we ignore that?
    Pathetic.

  76. Bithead says:

    Regardless of whether or not she objectively has more “experience” in whatever “experience” metric the right wingers believe she has “experience” in, the undeniable fact is that she has ZERO experience in a national campaign – and a presidential campaign at that.

    Which would place her on par with both Biden and Obama. Not exactly a position of strength you’re arguing from there, Hal. IN your own words, Can’t say I feel sorry for ya.

  77. Serket says:

    I just found this article through a search, so I’m not familiar with the political leanings of this website. The author sounds like a supporter of Obama who is trying to be fair. I was watching 60 Minutes last night and the host stated outright that Obama has more experience than Palin. I was surprised by the comment. I think Palin has more experience than Obama, but I guess it is debatable. They are both basically new politicians. I think the author makes a good point that this is supposed to be mostly about McCain and Obama, but leadership experience is important to consider for Palin if she expects to be President someday.

  78. Hal says:

    Which would place her on par with both Biden and Obama.

    Really, Bit? So, Obama’s primary campaign through all 50 states, battling it out with HRC was nothing at all. And the past couple of months ramping up a campaign in all 50 states, battling it out with McCain is just mere fluff.

    I got to say you don’t spin very well, Dr. B. I can’t imagine who you think believes your claptrap and I pray that I never meet anyone who does.

    You really are willing to pretty much say anything.

  79. anjin-san says:

    Hardly unsupported,

    Well, I guess you think saying “I think so” makes something a supported argument. As for a police union providing an attorney to a member, well, that is something unions do, no? Are you now against the right to legal counsel? (probably not, seeing as how Palin herself has lawyered up).

    That Wooten was provided legal support by his union is perfectly approiate, even if he is the biggest slime in the history of police work. The question is, if he committed such serious crimes, why was he never arrested or charged? Can you prove this conspiracy to obstruct justice you accuse the union of? Of course not.

    Who else would have had the power to?

    Could be a number of folks. There are powerful people all over the country, including Alaska. Just because you don’t know any of them does not mean they do not exist. Are you really claiming to have such intimate knowledge of the power structure in Alaska and the inner workings of troopergate?

    What you are doing is engaging in conjecture. When you try that in court, the judge generally tells you to shut up.

    It is noteworthy that you too, are perfectly willing to trash police officers who serve in uniform without a shred of evidence when it is politically expedient.

    Bit you really need to lay off the verbs and try and produce a few facts. Unless of course, you simply can’t…

  80. Fence says:

    What about this Alaska Independence Party stuff? Isn’t advocating secession and seizure of federal lands a little worse on the patriotism than an occasional non-wearing of a flag pin?

    Palin did manage to win a primary against a sitting governor

    Murkowski didn’t even finish second. Lyndon LaRouche could have beaten him.

    Presidents do not make decisions without the input of very focused experts. Palin’s experience is more real world and more like the average American. Her lack of knowledge concerning the history of central Asia, for example, is more than offset by the PhD.’s that will advise her.

    The problem is that dumb Presidents are the ones who pick which “experts” they will listen to, and what to make of their advice. (I’m not saying she is dumb, I really don’t know anything about her.)

  81. Brian says:

    I don’t have a problem at all with Palin’s experience.

    But for benefit of those who do, I think the solution is simple: Send her to tour Europe and the Middle East for a week shooting lots of pictures and video. Must have the pictures or video. When presented with opportunities for visits to those who have made a great sacrifice for our nation that can’t be documented visually, she should pass.

    When she comes home … voilas! Foreign policy expert.

  82. just me says:

    Hal Obama has a long list of gaffs. The media gives him a pass because he is “tired.”

    I still maintain that the only thing winning a campaign says about a candidate is that they are good campaigners-it doesn’t necessarily equate into a good executive. After all Bush won two campaigns-are you arguing he is a good executive? Reagan won two campaigns in a landslide-was he a good executive?

    I think it is really sad when a guy’s resume is so thin your key point of fact in saying he is ready for the job is how well he campaigns.

  83. Bithead says:

    Really, Bit? So, Obama’s primary campaign through all 50 states, battling it out with HRC was nothing at all.

    Pretty much, if by ‘national campaign’ you’re talking about running against the person of the opposite party, where there are actual POLICY issues at stake. Real worldview kinda stuff, not just personality. If you’re suggesting Hillary Clinton is of the opposite party, I’m afraid I can’t help you much.

    Could be a number of folks. There are powerful people all over the country, including Alaska. Just because you don’t know any of them does not mean they do not exist.

    Nice try.
    Name one.

  84. Bithead says:

    When she comes home … voilas! Foreign policy expert.

    (Quiet chuckle)

  85. anjin-san says:

    Nice try.
    Name one.

    So he only source of power and influence in Alaska is Wooten’s police union? Ok… Text us when you return to our solar system.

  86. Hal says:

    Text us when you return to our solar system.

    The dude isn’t even in the same time and space. That he can actually comment in our time stream is due to a rift that the LHC will rip open two years hence, creating a back draft in time and space which the hideous Dr. B will be able to pierce our dimensionality.

    The image I get is from the last 10 minutes of Hellboy.

  87. Bithead says:

    Nice attempt at a dodge.

    I say again, name one.

  88. anjin-san says:

    Nice attempt at a dodge.

    I say again, name one.

    Bit if you want to play games, go find a playground. You made charges you can’t back up. When you get called on it you play bait and switch. Business as usual.

  89. Bithead says:

    Bit if you want to play games, go find a playground

    Heh… the reason you’re not answering is because you know full well that as a matter of deductive logic, there’s nobody else that fits that bill in all the particulars we know of.

    You got caught.
    Again.

  90. anjin-san says:

    Bit, it is no wonder you admire Bush so much. Like him, you buy into your own BS.