Read Paul's bio and previous columns


September 1, 2008

Sarah Palin Overwhelms Barack Obama with Experience


John McCain has made an excellent decision in selecting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. And predictably, the Obama fans are furious – and they have no idea how to attack such an ethical, popular and accomplished governor.


The Obama camp’s initial reaction to Palin’s selection was to make the following statement: “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.”


The most blatant question about this statement is: Why would Barack Obama focus on Palin’s role as a mayor when she is currently the governor of a state? It is like saying the Democrats nominated a former community organizer for president, or a former college student for vice president. It doesn’t make sense – everyone has been a “former” something that could be portrayed as less than extremely impressive.


If the Obama camp really thinks Palin is unqualified today, it should just come out and say that John McCain selected the governor of Alaska to be vice president, and that is not a good enough qualification. Indeed, completely omitting her experience as governor and pointing to her previous role to highlight a supposed lack of presidential ability implies that being governor of Alaska would destroy this fragile argument.


But finding nothing else to criticize her about, the Obama camp has found that its best line of attack is to question Palin’s experience, as if this issue does not affect Obama himself.


Well, if the Democrats want to battle over whether the Republican vice presidential candidate is as experienced as their presidential candidate, the GOP can only say: Bring it on!


Mike Huckabee said it best last week:


“I was a governor 10-and-a-half years. You get more experience to be president in a month of being governor than you do in several years as a senator, and let me explain why: When you’re a governor, you don’t sit around making speeches and listen to people talk in committee hearings. You make a decision every few minutes, you make them right now, you live with the consequences – if they’re wrong, everybody blames you, if they’re right, you have a hundred legislators all taking credit for it. But when you’re a senator, you know you have the luxury of picking two or three issues, you don’t have to look at the whole field of play . . . Sarah Palin had more executive experience as the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Barack Obama has had in his entire life.”


Palin has served 13 years in elected office, even more in government leadership positions, and has accumulated executive experience both at the municipal and state levels. She has served as president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. She is the commander of Alaska’s National Guard, has used her veto pen and knows what it feels like to fire a high ranking official in her administration. Would Obama know when it is time to fire one of his mentors?


Palin has heroically fought the unethical elements within the Alaska Republican Party, which have yielded too much power therein, whereas Obama heavily leaned on the same elements of his own party, such as convicted felon Tony Rezko, using them to rise in the ranks. Palin is possibly the American governor with the most experience on energy issues, while Obama’s energy policy revolves around inflating your tires.


Palin has sold a state-owned private jet (which was wastefully purchased by a previous administration) for a profit on eBay, while Obama had his name embroidered on the leather seat of his campaign jet. Palin rejected the federal government’s offer to build the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska, while Obama requested a $1 million earmark for the Chicago hospital where his wife is a vice president and had recently received a significant raise. Palin is a public servant with tangible accomplishments. Obama is an egotistical television star who became the Democratic nominee thanks to questionable connections and good speeches.


Barack Obama cannot dare to claim as much experience as Sarah Palin. There is no comparison. And if he truly believes she lacks the qualifications to be president, he should seriously rethink his own candidacy.

© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


Click here to talk to our writers and editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.


To e-mail feedback about this column, click here. If you enjoy this writer's work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry it.

This is Column # PI127. Request permission to publish here.
Op-Ed Writers
Eric Baerren
Lucia de Vernai
Herman Cain
Dan Calabrese
Alan Hurwitz
Paul Ibrahim
David Karki
Llewellyn King
Gregory D. Lee
Nathaniel Shockey
Stephen Silver
Candace Talmadge
Jessica Vozel
Jamie Weinstein
Feature Writers
Mike Ball
Bob Batz
The Laughing Chef
David J. Pollay
Business Writers
Cindy Droog
D.F. Krause