Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain VP more experienced than Obama

I woke up today and learned that Sarah Palin is McCains VP pick. The first thing I heard about her was that she is younger than Obama and less experienced. But she is not less experienced.

I'll get to that in a moment.

I was rather stunned considering I expected McCain to be more conservative with his pick and go with Romney or Pawlenty.

Khaki Elephant first brought my attention to her a few days ago as he wrote why he thought she would be the best pick for VP. I'm very impressed, Khaki. You called it first.

She does not bring in a swing state. However, I believe it was former Clinton Adviser Dick Morris who said in a recent column that a VP should not be picked with the intent of winning a state, because this usually does not happen.

A VP should be chosen because of the expertise he (or she) brings to the ticket. Gosh, I wish I could find that article, because I'd love to read it again.

A good example, though, is Dick Cheney, who did not bring in any states, and Bush won with him on the ticket twice. But Bush was also able to tap into Cheney's military expertise. As, in this case, McCain will be able to tap into Palin's economic expertise, or Obama to tap into Biden's defense experience, which is a lot less than McCains.

Palin is a gift to conservatives, who will be ecstatic that McCain picked a socially conservative to be on his ticket. And, not only that, but one who is adamantly pro-life and pro-2nd amendment and guns.

Likewise, Palin is from a small town, is not a part of the Washington establishment (Alaska is as far away as you can get from Washington), is the only non-member of the senate on either ticket, and, well, she has little Washington experience.

Still, she has more experience than Obama. She has little Washington experience, but she has a plethora of executive experience. She has little military experience, but neither does Obama. Thus, she has more experience and is more qualified to be president than Obama.

Obama's spokesperson Adrianne Marshis is already on the trail bashing this pick: "Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency."

Obama has zero foreign policy experience and he heads the ticket. Not only that, but Obama says he's the voice of small town people, but Sarah Palin is a small town person. She is one of us. She is a normal person on the ticket.

She said, "Governor Palin shares McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil, and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies. That's not the change we need. It's just more of the same."

That's the attack republicans want, because there are a lot of people who think it's a crime to kill an unborn baby, and they will all vote for McCain. And McCain has gained a lot of ground in the polls in recent months because of his willingness to do what it takes (drilling for oil now) to make us independent from foreign oil.

Sarah Palin's speech today was not about promises, it was about her achievments and qualifications.

In that speech, she said:
"I was then appointed ethics commissioner and chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. And when I found corruption there, I fought it hard and I held the offenders to account.Along with fellow reformers in the great state of Alaska, as governor, I stood up to the old politics as usual -- to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the big oil companies, and the good old boy network. When oil and gas prices went up so dramatically and the state revenues followed with that increase, I sent a large share of that revenue directly back to the people of Alaska -- and we are now embarking on a $40 billion natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence."
She did this stuff already. She has the experience that Obama lacks. He cannot attack her for this. Well, he can, but he will be called on it if he does. He will be made the fool. Palin, in my opinion, is the Maverick pick.

As for her executive experience, she said, "In serving as the team mom and coaching some basketball on the side, I got involved in the PTA and then was elected to the city council and then elected mayor of my hometown where my agenda was to stop wasteful spending and cut property taxes and put the people first."

She is an outsider in her own party -- like McCain. She is a Maverick. She is a "suburban mom who took on her own party,"according to

Not only that, she is a conservative. She is a people person. She is clean. She is young, vibrant, and great looking. She is smart.

Palin has no past associations that Obama will be able to hang over her head. She has no associations with known terrorists like William Ayers. There are no people in her past that she doesn't want you to hear from the way Obama has Reverend Wright and Ayers among others hanging over his head.

She may not be perfect. She was involved in a controversy. According to, "A state investigation is probing allegations that Ms Palin fired Alaska’s public safety commissioner because he did not fire her former brother-in-law, a state trooper engaged in a child custody fight with Ms Palin’s sister."

But otherwise she is clean, smart and impressive. She also has no past associations with known terrorists.

Biden might be a great debater. He might, you say, eat her alive. Then again, he also has to be careful as not to offend her and the women who will now be taking her very seriously. And the men who will be taking her very seriously (I'm sure they will. She is a pretty sight there next to the old Maverick McCain).

Obama cannot say she is the same old Republican.

Palin said in speech, "I signed major ethics reforms and I appointed both Democrats and independents to serve in my administration, and I championed reform, toned the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress, "'thanks, but no thanks,' on that Bridge to Nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, I said we'd build it ourselves."

Joe Lieberman would have maybe drawn in some independents and democrats, but Palin not only strengthens the base and gets them fired up in a way Lieberman never would. Romney had four houses, Palin has one (as far as I know).

This pick pulls down the sails of the Obama ship that was set out last night.

By the way, did you guys see the way some people were actually crying during his speech? I mean, some people like to call Obama the Messiah, and the way people were crying, and with Obama being hailed in front of so many people, it almost gave the impression that he IS being worshipped as the Messiah.

Well, no Messiah in Palin. She is one of us. She is a small town person like this small town humble RT. Only, she has the experience I do not.

She has five children, one on her way to Iraq and another with down syndrome. That should compare here with Obama, who has three children of his own. Actually, it gives her more experience there too.

Yes, she has the experience that Obama does not. She not only will make a good VP, she will make a good president if that door ever opens.

I'm happy with this pick. Thanks Khaki for recommending Palin to McCain. I give you credit.

(For an excellent analysis of this pick you should check out 7-10: Palmer on Politics. He provides some excellent reasons why she was a "high risk high reward" pick by McCain.)


S.W. Anderson said...

You say over and over what terrific economic experience Palin has, but I see scant information to back that claim up.

You say Palin has more experience than Obama. In government? In politics? Give me a break.

You say Obama says he's the voice of small-town people. I've never heard him make any such statement. Can you cite when and where he said that, or anything close to that?

You write of Palin, "She is one of us. She is a normal person on the ticket."

Are you insinuating Barack Obama and Joe Biden are abnormal?

S.W. Anderson said...

Regarding McCain and Palin seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade, I look for that to happen right after Microsoft becomes a nonprofit enterprise and McDonald's quits selling hamburgers in favor of cucumber and watercress sandwiches. IOW, it's not going to happen.

It won't happen because Republicans would lose their means of harvesting money, campaign work and votes from the religious right every time an election is coming up. It's the bait and switch that never fails to pay off for the GOP — unless Republicans kill the goose that keeps laying golden eggs.

Consider, from 2001 to January 2007, except for about six months of Democrats having a one-vote Senate majority, Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency. If they had wanted to cripple or end Roe v. Wade they could have. They didn't do any such thing, for the reasons I just explained.

Anthony Palmer said...


One difference between Obama and Palin is that Obama was elected to be the nominee. Millions of voters around the nation went to the polls and voted for him, despite his experience or lack thereof. In Palin's case, she was appointed by McCain even though they had only met once or twice. There were several other candidates with strong pro-life/anti-tax voting records and heftier resumes, including Washington outsiders, but he didn't choose them. Why? She is Mike Huckabee in a pantsuit! For all of Palin's appeal, it really strikes me as pandering or an example of why affirmative action is no good. And to see a Republican practice it is laughable. (By the way, I'm against AA.)

I hardly think Palin would have emerged as the GOP nominee if she had to compete in all the primaries because, well, she's inexperienced. Yes, she has some executive experience as a mayor and a governor, but she's also green. Democratic voters had the chance to stop an arguably underqualified Obama, but they didn't. McCain himself had the chance to choose someone better qualified, and he didn't. It's quite disconcerting to think that he chose the 2nd most powerful person in America on the basis of one or two meetings.

Now Republicans are excited about Palin even though they would not have given her a second look in the primaries. They are celebrating a politician they never would have voted for if they had the opportunity back in January!

I will say this, though. McCain deserves a lot of credit for reinvigorating his campaign and seizing the media spotlight heading into the long weekend. But McCain's selection has a big risk. The election is not as much about Obama as it used to be. Now there's a risk of it becoming a referendum on Palin and McCain, which means Bush will be lingering in the background.

One last point. Palin also has more executive experience than John McCain.

Freadom said...

s.w.: She has been a governor and mayor and has made actual executive decisions. Obama has not. She is from a small town. I don't need to hear McCain say that. It's true. She's a small town girl.

I have never been a fan of overturning Rowe-v-Wade. However, I think republicans will still seek the vote of those who do.

Anthony: I am as shocked as you that he chose Palin. I agree with you that she is high risk high reward. Still, I like her.

Freadom said...

Okay, you guys are nitpicky. I meant executive experience. See, now I'm a flawed and humble RT.

She has a plethora of executive experience, and is the only one on either ticket who you can say that about.

Khaki Elephant said...

Thanks for the props, Freadom, though I have to admit that, while she was my hope for veep, I thought McCain would take the safe Pawlenty (or Romney) route. Some time ago it struck me that, based on her personal story and rapidly growing resume, Palin might just become America's first female president. That's what sparked my thinking that why not start here as the veep, a perfect time to chose her when the Democrats have nominated a candidate primarily based on charisma and historical value. Palin provides both to the Republicans and negates the issue for much of the population.

I won't drone on about experience again, but Anthony does make a great point that Palin would have never gotten the vote had she attempted to run for President at this stage in her career, Republicans place too much stock in experience and accomplishments. Quite the opposite of the democrats where the experienced Joe Biden could barely scrap together a few percentage point while two jr, senators with little experience but lots of celebrity slugged it out for the top spot.

S.W. Anderson said...

Freadom, Barack Obama set up and has overseen a large, highly effective campaign organization that stretches across the country. It's been in operation for many months.

I think that qualifies as executive experience of a high order. One reason I say that is because, unlike most businesses and all governments, every presidential campaign is a new invention, one that must develop its own strategy and standard operating procedures.

Khaki Elephant said...

I would suggest that David Axelrod, David Plouffe and a host of other experienced Democratic operatives set up and oversee the campaign. That is not a knock on Obama, McCain has a similar set up (though without Obama's financial backing, much of McCain campaign team worked for free for a while). In Obama's case, the DNC provided a dream team for their golden choice.

DB said...

Khaki nailed this one for me:

"Republicans place too much stock in experience and accomplishments. Quite the opposite of the democrats where the experienced Joe Biden could barely scrap together a few percentage point while two jr, senators with little experience but lots of celebrity slugged it out for the top spot."

THIS is exactly why I am shocked with this Palin pick. I would expect this from the Democrats, but not the Republicans! I am now questioning why I was even seriously considering voting for McCain. This is not a McCain nor a Republican move. This is amatuer politics straight from the Democratic playbook.

Khaki Elephant said...

Yes, but there is another thing Republicans tend to do: they vote for experience, but the presidential candidates often pick V.P.s to further the party's future. That one of the reasons Reagan passed by all of the Gerald Ford pressure in '80 and went with Bush the 1st (setting the stage for the Bush dynasty). It's also what Bush tried to do with Quayle, who was a rising star in the party until the Democrats destroyed his reputation by constantly attacking his intellegence.

Republicans voted for experience and the candidate selected a rising star for his running mate. It's a fairly common tactic for the GOP.

Anonymous said...

She made it through journalism school without becoing a babbling liberal,that should tell you something.
She got elected as a governor of a state; in my world, that trumps being elected senator. She's one of 50, not one of 100. I'd trust a governor over a senator, for the most part. I'm pretty sure she wasn't elected gov of Alaska because commies backed her.
Political experience

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 Stables of her state's government