Posted by Wordsmith on 1 September, 2008 at 6:06 pm. 14 comments already!

I think she’s far more ready to be President if something happens to McCain than Barack Obama would be if something doesn’t happen to McCain.”-Mike Huckabee on Hannity & Colmes, August 29, 2008 (video here)

By way of Pondering Penguin:

in an article on YAHOO! News, four ‘Presidential scholars’ are asked about the choice of Governor Sarah Palin. Examples: “So unconventional was McCain’s choice that it left students of the presidency literally “stunned,” in the words of Joel Goldstein, a St. Louis University law professor and scholar of the vice presidency. “Being governor of a small state for less than two years is not consistent with the normal criteria for determining who’s of presidential caliber,” said Joel Goldstein. “I think she is the most inexperienced person on a major-party ticket in modern history,” said presidential historian Matthew Dallek.” “If she had been around for two terms as governor – or been a senator- it would have been an incredible choice,” said historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. “The first thing that hits me,” said Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution, “is that it suggest that John McCain is a gambler. This is a high-roller decision.”

Curt writes:

Thanks to reader Kevin Gregory form McClatchy Watch we find that Matthew Dallek is not an impartial voice:

“Presidential historian” Matthew Dallek belongs to an organization trying to elect Barack Obama.
The organization is called “Historians for Obama.”
I blogged about Matthew Dallek here.

Pondering Penguin adds:

The McCain campaign issued the following statement, “The authors quote four scholars attacking Gov. Palin’s fitness for the office of vice president. Among them, David Kennedy is a maxed-out Obama donor, Joel Goldstein is also an Obama donor, and Doris Kearns Goodwin has donated exclusively to Democrats this cycle. Finally, Matthew Dallek is a former speech writer for Dick Gephardt. This is not a story about scholars questioning Gov. Palin’s credentials so much as partisan Democrats who would find a reason to disqualify or discount any nominee put forward by Sen. McCain.”

The issue of “experience” (and more specifically, “the lack thereof”) has always stood on shaky ground as a political attack point; and now with Sarah Palin on the McCain ticket, it might be a talking point now off the tables. As Michael Medved lays it out,

Yes, this undermines McCain’s future use of the experience issue, but that’s almost certainly a good thing, too. The experience issue has never worked well in presidential elections: Gerald Ford tried it against a one-term Governor of Georgia (the worthless Jimmy Carter) and lost; Carter tried it against Reagan (no foreign policy experience as Governor of California!) and got wiped out; George H.W. Bush tried to make it stick against Bill Clinton and the result was the lowest percentage of the vote for a Republican candidate since Wiliam Howard Taft. The line McCain’s been using “He’s Not Ready to Lead” is still viable – and should emphasize a discussion of Obama’s policies, not his job history—his radicalism, not his resume. Meanwhile, we should invite comparisons of Governor Palin’s experience with Obama’s: won’t the PTA connect more with middle class voters than “community organizer,” and property tax-cutting small town mayor count more than slippery State Senator who voted “present” a disquieting proportion of the time. In any event, both tickets now balance experience with youthful energy – but McCain is balancing it the right way, with the experience at the top.

If Obama supporters now see an opening for attack in regard to Sarah Palin‘s “lack” of experience, they will only succeed in bringing back to scrutiny Obama’s own leadership (in)experience. Let’s see that “Tale of the Tape” chart that Curt linked to by Jeff Emanuel, once again:

Office being sought Vice President President of the United States and Leader of the Free World
Full name Sarah Louise Heath Palin Barack Hussein Obama II
Nickname Sarah Barracuda Barry Obama; “The One”
Public opinion Smoking hot in a “naughty librarian” sort of way May be The Messiah
Age 44 48
Children 5: two sons, three daughters 2: two daughters
Religion/Church attendance Evangelical Christian;attends Juneau Christian Center when in Juneau and grew up attending Wasilla Assembly of God Attended Trinity United Church of Christ for 20 years, a “black liberation theology” church formerly led by Rev. Jeremiah Wright and governed according to the Black Value System
Current Job Governor of Alaska Junior Senator from Illinois
Previous Public Jobs Mayor of Wasilla, AK (1996-2002); President of Alaska Conference of Mayors;City Council member (1992-1996) State Senator (1997-2004);Community Organizer
Executive Experience Governor for 2 years;Mayor for 10 years None
Foreign Relations experience Governor of state that borders two foreign countries (Canada and Russia) Chaired Senate subcommittee on Europe but never called it into session;once gave a speech to 200,000 screaming Germans
Military Affairs experience Commander in Chief of Alaska National Guard;Son is enlisted Infantryman in U.S. Army None
Private Sector Experience Sports reporter;Salmon fisherman Associate at civil rights law firm
Speaking ability Beautifully executed initial stump speech in Dayton, OH hockey arena without a teleprompter An enter…wait–did you say without a teleprompter??
Most Courageous Moment in Public Service Resigned in protest from position of Ethics Commissioner of Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in order to expose legal violations and conflicts of interest of Alaska Republican leaders, including the former state Attorney General and the State GOP Chairman (who was also an Oil & Gas Commissioner), who was doing work for the party on public time and supplying a lobbyist with a sensitive e-mail. Gave an anti-Iraq war speech to a crowd of anti-Iraq war demonstrators in Hyde Park in 2002
In Current Office Because… Upset sitting Governor in GOP primary due to public support for her efforts to clean up corrupt government establishment Republican opponent, who was leading in the polls, was forced to leave race after unsealing of divorce records exposed a sex scandal
Theme: Change and Clean Government Hope and Change;”Bringing Change from Outside Washington”
What they’ve done to live that theme: Replaced entire Board of Agriculture and Conservation because of conflict of interest;Resigned from position of Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in order to expose corruption among members of own party Selected 36-year incumbent Senator as running mate
Family Affairs May have removed State Public Safety Commissioner as part of effort to protect sister in messy divorce and child custody battle Often says, “I am my brother’s keeper”;Brother lives in a hut in Nairobi on $12 per year
Union affiliation Union member, married to Union member Endorsed by a union
Iraq and Troop Support Formerly (pre-surge) critical of apparent lack of long-term strategy for Iraq;Visited wounded U.S. soldiers in Germany;

visited AK National Guard soldiers deployed to Kuwait;

Son deploying to Iraq on 9/11/08 as Army infantryman

Gave an anti-Iraq war speech to a crowd of anti-Iraq war demonstrators;almost visited wounded troops in Germany, but decided to go shopping in Berlin instead
Bipartisan/”maverick” credentials Married to a non-Republican;Exposed corruption within own party;

Campaigned for Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell against corrupt GOP congressman Don Young;

Called out Sen Ted Stevens (R-AK) to “come clean” about financial dealings that are under fed investigation

Talks about bipartisanship
Legislative Record Passed a landmark ethics reform bill;Used veto to cut budgetary spending;

Prevented “bridge to nowhere” that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars.

Voted “present” over 100 times as IL state senator
How they dealt with corrupt individuals in home city/state Exposed legal violations and conflicts of interest of Alaska Republican leaders;Campaigned against corrupt GOP Representative;

Ran against and defeated corrupt incumbent governor in GOP primary

Launched political career in home of unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers (and still refers to him as a part of “mainstream Democratic Chicago”;Purchased home with help of convicted felon Tony Rezko
Guns Lifetime member of NRA and avid hunter;video can be found on YouTube of Palin firing an M4 at a military firing range Worked to pass legislation in Illinois that would prevent all law-abiding citizens from owning firearms
Earmarks Opposed “Bridge to Nowhere” project;Said Alaska should avoid relying on federal money for projects;

Campaigned against porker Don Young (R-AK) in 2008 primary

Secured federal earmarks for wife’s employer and for campaign bundlers
Abortion Pro life;gave birth to 5th child knowing that he would have Down’s syndrome Pro-choice;only IL state sen. to speak against the Born Alive Infant’s Protection Act, which required medical care to be given to live infants who survived abortions

Senator Obama’s spokesman noted upon hearing about Senator John McCain’s selection of Governor Palin: “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.”

Do Democrats really want to go there? Which previous experience serves a president better: Legislative or executive?

No matter, Jay Tea writes why it’s the “mileage and not the years” that is important:

But what matters to me is not quantity of time, but quality. What Palin has achieved in her political career dwarfs Obama’s accomplishments, as well as those of a lot of other politicians with a lot more time in office.

Just click on the links provided in this post if you are unfamiliar with Sarah Palin’s list of accomplishments during time served in public office. Then go visit Wolf Howling (hat tip: Bookworm) for an Obama-Palin comparison that’ll leave you howling in stitches.

Further Reads of Interest:
“The Senator party” vs. “the Governor Party” by Michael Medved
Are Senators Doomed to Lose? by Michael Medved
Obama-Biden: First Time in 68 Years a Ticket with No Military Experience by Michael Medved
Foreign Policy “Experience” by Thomas Sowell

Cheney Vice Presidency Provides Model for McCain-Palin by American Power

Also blogging:
Bottomline Upfront

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