A Dangerous Game

Georgia10 plays, citing this article:

"I think [Sarah Palin] is the most inexperienced person on a major party ticket in modern history," said presidential historian Matthew Dallek.

That may well be. But isn't it true that a presidential historian could ALSO say, if asked:

I think Barack Obama is the most inexperienced person on the top of a major party ticket in modern history.

There is a reason Abraham Lincoln is invoked by Obama supporters, as Al Gore did, because you have to go back to Lincoln to find a Presidential candidate with less experience than Obama. I have consistently stated my view that experience is incredibly overrated. For a long time, I thought Obama supporters agreed with me. Seems not.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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  • Yes, a dangerous game (5.00 / 9) (#1)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 04:50:20 PM EST
    For democrats.  Every time they mention Palin's lack of experience it brings to mind Obama's lack of experience.  If given a choice, I think most Americans would choose inexperience in the number two spot, rather than the number one spot.  jmo

    It is a dangerous (5.00 / 11) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 04:55:11 PM EST
    game simply because they didn't think that Obama is unqualified. It looks like they think she's unqualified because she's a woman. IMO, both she and Obama are unqualified but Obama is the one at the top of the ticket. All this comes back on Obama in the end.

    Obama way more experienced (1.33 / 3) (#152)
    by magster on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:01:29 PM EST
    Palin is the governor of a state that has 670,000 people. Chicago, not including the suburbs, has almost 3 million people.  Palin has no conception of issues that affect Chicago or other cities-- urban public education, industry, transportation, crime, race relations, labor, poverty etc. Urban populations make up 80% of the United States total population. In other words, Palin has no conception of the issues affecting 80% of the country's population.  Obama's community organizing alone makes him more experienced than Palin on the issues.

    He was a state senator in Illinois, giving him even more experience with the urban issues while serving in government and experience governing on the agricultural and rural concerns of southern Illinois. Alaska has very little agricultural industry, so Palin knows squat about the issues that affect most rural areas in the country. Obama's been in the US Senate for four years learning how Washington works (or doesn't work), and he's been in a presidential campaign for almost two years being constantly briefed by people generally smarter on all issues so he can form his opinions and speak knowledgably about national and international areas.  Plus he's running a huge nationwide organization (his campaign) and doing a pretty good job if we're looking at who's most likely to become the next president.

    So Obama is less experienced than McCain or Biden if years in US government is the benchmark, but to compare his experience to Palin's is complete and utter BS.  

    Maybe BTD's point was to say it's dangerous to compare experience because the PUMAs and low information voters are too stupid or hateful to actually compare the two resumes, but he knows how the PUMAs here will read his post and does nothing to dispel that perception.


    I'd strike transportation off your list (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by pukemoana on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:04:54 PM EST
    (or clarify it as urban transportation)--it's a huge issue in Alaska.  

    Obama governed 30K people? (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by kredwyn on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:07:40 PM EST

    oops...make that 3M people (5.00 / 4) (#173)
    by kredwyn on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:08:49 PM EST
    And apparently (5.00 / 3) (#210)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:20:00 PM EST
    Dealt with things like managing budgets.

    Oh goody (5.00 / 10) (#168)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:07:45 PM EST
    We're now going to have a replay of the primary class wars, replete with liberals calling voters 'low information', 'stupid', and 'hateful'. This should be fun and productive all over again.

    Alaska (5.00 / 6) (#175)
    by lilburro on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:09:16 PM EST
    has plenty of problems.  Is Anchorage not a city now?

    I don't think attacking Alaska is the trick here.  No doubt Palin could if she were inclined argue that her being governor of a unique state allows her to bring a unique perspective to unique problems, or some such BS.  It's not like Alaska doesn't require a working government like every other state in the nation.

    Dems are not well served by acting like a bunch of tourists when it comes to Alaska and Alaska's government, economy, and people.  And I am sure the RNC will do its best to show us "the real Alaska" in their convention and make fools out of us for doing so.


    Seriously (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:15:27 PM EST
    Remember when we were all so annoyed when Cokie Roberts said that Hawaii wasn't a real state?  It's just as annoying when Dems say that about Alaska.

    funny (5.00 / 5) (#189)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:13:18 PM EST

    Obama's community organizing alone makes him more experienced than Palin on the issues.

    is the kind of argument that makes people believe Obama is inexperienced.  It may work in a democratic primary.  But I think that many many Republicans and Independents are not so impressed.  In fact, they probably don't think that is a real job.

    It's also silly hyperbole.


    Sen Obama (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:15:12 PM EST
    really didn't do much in Illinois until he was highlighted by the Dems in 2004. Before that it was... Omama who?

    Then the Dem Party started grooming him for the future.

    I don't have a link to the information... I just lived through it.

    It is wise to stay away from experience game.


    Do you think (none / 0) (#162)
    by Pianobuff on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:05:10 PM EST
    that McCain is going after big city voters now?

    From Democrats to Disdainocrats (5.00 / 15) (#4)
    by esmense on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:01:00 PM EST
    These are strange arguments coming from people who supported a male candidate's bid for the presidency based on a speech given when he was a State Senator with much less political experience, and certainly no more foreign policy experience, than Gov. Palin.  

    Women are not monolithic in their political opinions, ideology or commitment. But they are pretty much monolithic in their objection, and the offense they take, to attitudes and arguments that belittle their gender.

    The sexism that has been too often and too thoughtlessly displayed by left leaning commentators in this election season does not serve the Democratic party's long term interest. They are mindlessly and heedlessly destroying the long held perception that Democrats are the party more welcoming and supportive of women's equal participation and respresentation in the political life of the country -- and the advantage that has often conferred.

    Obama has more foreign policy experience (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:03:46 PM EST
    HE has been in the Senate for 3 and half years.

    Not at the time he gave the speech (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by esmense on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:07:50 PM EST
    that has been cited as the major rationale for trusting his "judgement" on foreign policy.

    I do not follow your point (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:09:11 PM EST
    He showed judgment in 2002 and gained experience from 2005 to the present.

    The two thing are not mutually exclusive.


    My point is Palin's critics give did not find (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by esmense on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:19:48 PM EST
    Obama's lack of foreign policy credentials at the time of the speech as anything that diminished his authority in making the speech.

    Yet, they claim that Palin's lack of foreign policy credentials automatically disqualify her from authoritatively participating in the foreign policy discussion.

    It is a double standard.


    Why even bring up experience? (5.00 / 0) (#164)
    by thinkingfella on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:07:17 PM EST
    The real comparison to be made is in the judgement of the two candidates at the top of the ticket. Obama chose a leader who is widely acknowledged as having foreign policy chops, is respected around the world by other leaders, who has made several runs as a presidential candidate and who Obama has known for a while and has had numerous interactions with.

    McCain chose someone with no background in foreign policy, no  indication that she has even had an interest in foreign policy, and most distrressingly whom McCain has only met ONCE prior to offering her the vice presidential ticket.

    From my perspective Obama is making rational sober decisions and McCain is making reckless and risky ones.

    Experience and gender are not relevant here, but judgement absolutely is.

    I think it's telling that Obama prefers poker and McCain prefers craps.
    Poker is all about sober calculation of risk and psychology. Craps is all about throwing the dice and hoping for the best.

    McCain is reckless, has been his whole life, and his choice of VP only reinforces what we already know.  


    sorry (5.00 / 0) (#204)
    by thinkingfella on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:17:41 PM EST
    just read lefty lawyers post below which says esentially the same thing. Didn't mean to reinvent the wheel.
    I completely agree:
    It's McCain's  judgement, not Palin's experience, that surrogates should be focusing on.

    Not quite (none / 0) (#144)
    by coolit on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:58:49 PM EST
    It's very different to make a speech before you join  the senate and then vote on funding while in the senate.  Sure, he gained experience, (for 1 year before he started campaigning for pres) but he didn't back up as a senator the speech he made before he was a US senator.

    Except (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:24:31 PM EST
    I remember people touting Obama for president immediately following his 2004 DNC speech.  They did not seem to be worried about his lack of experience at the time.  

    It continues to offend me (5.00 / 8) (#130)
    by blcc on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:53:07 PM EST
    when the people I see/hear denigrating HER as "too inexperienced" never used those terms for the potential selection of Kaine.

    As a woman I'm feeling VERY hostile to this attempted frame of her candidacy.  I have HAD ENOUGH of the double-standards.  It's making me inclined to point out that at least HER experience involves proposing budgets (and working within them) and multi-party trade and resource negotiations as well as whistle-blowing against corruption.  

    Where does Obama's resume include THOSE accomplishments?  

    I'm not interested in watching everyone demand that yet another woman has to dance backwards in high heels just to be mentioned as a afterthought to Barrack Astaire.


    You do understand that if Kaine had been chosen.. (none / 0) (#206)
    by NvlAv8r on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:18:23 PM EST
    The Republicans would have brought up the word "inexperienced" quite a few times?  

    It may surprise people, but in politics the opposition usually attacks and looks for vulnerable positions or a lack of qualifications.  If I supported Obama and he chose Kaine I wouldn't attack him for it, I would support him as I want Obama to get elected.  Not sure what is hard to understand about that.


    I think experience is very important (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:06:16 PM EST
    It's the chief reason I didn't support Obama during the primaries. There were other Democrats with the requisite experience.

    As compared to McCain, I'd prefer inexperience with the right take on issues to experience with the wrong take.

    Inexperience with a bad position on issues, like Palin has, is the worst possible outcome.

    Obama may be inexperienced but he's better than McCain and Palin is a disaster if anything happens to McCain.

    Apparently (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:08:05 PM EST
    not so important. If experience is VERY important, then shouldn't McCain be the preferred candidate?

    not if he's bad on issues (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:27:54 PM EST
    In that case, I'd rather buy the pig in a poke than the devil I know.

    My point is Palin is a double whammy, no experience and bad on issues. She would be president should something happen to McCain --


    So in the end (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:32:22 PM EST
    Experience isn't important at all.

    Issues are what matters.

    We really agree if you think about it.


    It's what Bill said X and Y can't remember (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by WelshWoman on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:16:22 PM EST
    the exact quote.

    I think for bloggers the issues are what matter but for the floating (Swing) voters, it will be more subjective.

    Who do they trust to lead?
    Who makes them feel safe?
    Who is going to make their life easier?


    Why do we keep framing this (5.00 / 1) (#220)
    by BernieO on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:30:03 PM EST
    as if there is just one quality that matters? I think that experience is one that is almost always a necessary condition but it is not sufficient to ensure success. Other qualities like policies and leadership also factor in. People point to Kennedy as someone who succeeded even though he was pretty green, but his inexperience brought us to the brink of nuclear war, not exactly comforting at least to me.
    Kennedy listened to the wrong advisors and got us into the Bay of Pigs. In addition he blew a summit meeting with Kruschev. Kruschev saw how Kennedy had bungled these things and told people that he thought he could bully Kennedy. That is why he took the risk of putting missiles in Cuba and brought us to the brink of thermonuclear war.
     Kennedy deserves credit for learning from his mistakes. This time he did not listen to his war mongering advisors and settled the crisis peacefully. (Krushchev also deserves credit for this, IMO.)That doesn't erase the fact that had he not been so naive in the first place we would almost certainly not have come so close to an unthinkable war.

    BTW Kennedy had been in Congress more years than Obama but he was too busy being a playboy to really learn the ropes.


    Actually: So it sometimes is used (none / 0) (#182)
    by Cream City on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:10:49 PM EST
    as an excuse.  And why give the GOP an excuse to go after Obama -- when he could win on the issues.

    Jeralyn, I think we all agree this may be true, (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Teresa on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:12:48 PM EST
    Obama may be inexperienced but he's better than McCain and Palin is a disaster if anything happens to McCain.

    but we could win that battle and lose the war. Every single Republican on TV last night, when confronted with this, turned it right back on Obama. It only keeps the experience issue in front of people and McCain will win that battle if we are talking only about years of service.


    I think "experience" tends to be (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by tree on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:21:44 PM EST
    used as a placeholder for competence. Experience in and of itself is only important if it connotes competence. Many times it does. Having experience in a similar position might lead one to believe that it implies a level of competence. But not always. Bush II is now "experienced" but no one except a cult follower would say that he is now competent.  

     So then the important question about a candidate with a lack of experience becomes, is there any other way to judge whether this person has the skills and competence to do the job? If so, then a lack of experience should not be a problem.


    Can we assume that you supported Bush (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:26:23 PM EST
    Over Clinton?  Bush 41 certainly had more experience than the Governor from Arkansas.  

    For me it is experience AND accomplishments (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by K Lynne on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:10:04 PM EST
    IMO, there is a big difference between having little experience and no major accomplishments that one can point to (like Obama) and having little experience and a couple of concrete accomplishments.

    Now, of course there is the argument of who most closely matches your views.  But if I were put in the position of hiring an employee, I'd hire the one with the thin resume and a couple of concrete accomplishments over the one with the thin resume and a mere list of things s/he'd like to accomplish.  What are Obama's accomplishments, anyway?  At least Sarah Palin listed a couple of hers yesterday (gas pipeline, making headway towards eliminating corruption in Alaskan (Republican) politics, reducing wasteful government spending.  

    If experience is the ONLY thing you're looking at, I'd have to give the edge to Palin...  


    Furthermore (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Manuel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:13:48 PM EST
    The experience argument sets a low bar for her performance which she may clear.

    Rules (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by lefty lawyer on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:13:50 PM EST
    are for thou, not for me.

    There are a host of reasons why the choice of Palin is a disaster for McCain, and the Obama folks are focusing on the ONE that reflects badly on their own candidate.  Whatever the @#%@#% happened to competence, boys and girls?

    What would be a better line of attack?  I'm shocked that no one has put this together (parts of it, but not in the right way).  Let me explain.

    For a month, we've listened to McCain do nothing but attack Obama, and the media obsess about said attacks.  Too many left-wing blogs obligingly started hand-wringing about "What Obama Must Do" and the like.  When the media wasn't obsessing about the attacks, and What Obama Should Do, they were obsessing about (1) the impact of McCain's attacks, (2) the Clintons and the unity factor, and (3) how McCain was now "surging."  The Democratic convention was seen as a crucial test of the unity factor and whether Obama would respond.

    Speaking as a former Clinton supporter, did he ever respond.  He kicked McCain's butt, and both Hillary and Bill Clinton gave wonderful speeches as well.  Whatever concerns there were about the convention were answered in full, period end of story.

    Which left only the alleged McCain surge in the polls.  The media's talked about it for so long, we've all assumed it was true.

    McCain obviously didn't think so.  You don't make an off-the-wall decision like picking Sarah Palin unless you know, deep in the core of your blackened and shriveled soul, that you are LOSING, and nothing you do is going to make a damn bit of difference.

    The media has missed this point, and more importantly, so has Obama and the left-leaning blogs.  You don't make a "game-changing" decision unless you're LOSING THE !@#%$@!#%#@ GAME IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    Another line of attack, following from the above, that I haven't seen is the following:  McCain was in a panic.  The DNC went well, Obama kicked ass, and the unity factor dissolved.  It was a crisis for McCain, the kind he claims to be ever so ready to face as Commander in Chief.  And, faced with a major crisis, he panicked and chose Sarah "Who?" Palin.  Is this what we can expect from John McCain when the legendary 3AM phone call comes?  A flurry of misdirection, followed by the firing of nuclear missiles in all directions, because St. John McCain was flummoxed, disoriented and afraid?

    This was crisis decision making of the highest order, and instead of calm and careful reflection, John McCain, having gotten the 3AM call, wet the bed and panicked.  I feel so much more reassured now that he has the judgment and the experience and the temperament that the office requires.  Don't you?

    That's the kind of argument we should be hearing from Obama surrogates, not the one point (experience) on which Obama is vulnerable.  Haven't we learned anything from eight years of Karl Rove?  When you get a chance to go after the other guy on what is perceived as his greatest strength (experience and judgment), grab it with both hands and run that sucker into the ground.

    I do not know why (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:16:36 PM EST
    It is inexplicable to me.

    I have been scratching my head over this for two days now.


    I'm guessing the following: (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by WelshWoman on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:51:26 PM EST
    1. Catholic voters especially in pa
    2. Women voters (not all but some will vote based on gender)
    3. Conversative base of the party
    4. Experience handling budget issues, Alaska is the 5th largest.
    5. Energy issues including detailed knowledge on the enviromental impact
    6. Common sense approach to issues, puts voters view before her own. (She will connect with the Regan/Clinton democrats.)

    Needs to work on her delivery of a speech though.

    It's a great election and each of the individuals has a compelling personal narative.


    but doesn't attacking McCain's VP pick (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Josey on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:25:50 PM EST
    go to dissing Palin? Obama's camp has already showed their hand in their initial reaction to Palin - dissing her and small towns.
    Isn't the Obama caravan campaigning now in small towns?

    So Dems aren't allowed to go after... (5.00 / 0) (#102)
    by NvlAv8r on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:42:47 PM EST
    The opposition's VP choice because she is a woman?  I'm getting that vibe because anytime she is attacked we get the word "misogyny" repeated.

    I think Bobby Jindal on the right and Tim Kaine on the left both would have been attacked for the same thing.


    Attck...er..r.. (5.00 / 4) (#140)
    by MichaelGale on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:56:28 PM EST
    question her policies, Lord knows there is a lot there.

    What happens, as we see, is attacking her having a child, her hair, her looks, her husband, her daughter.  On some blogs she is referred to sexually and words used to describe her body parts.

    Policies - attack away.


    Agree...personalized attacks are sexist and stupid (none / 0) (#212)
    by NvlAv8r on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:23:18 PM EST
    But attacking her experience is not sexist.  No more than the Republicans attacking Obama's experience should be construed as racist.

    If the attack is issues based it's fine but (none / 0) (#147)
    by WelshWoman on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:59:48 PM EST
    if the attack is personalise in a way that makes the voter feel dismissed/ignored/unimportant, votes will be loss.

    One aspect from primary campaign was they not only dissed Hillary (Fair game she is pol and its a contact sport) but the ordinary voters must be respected.

    Experience is the wrong argument tie her views into Bush/Cheney and claim more of same.  


    Assumptions (5.00 / 3) (#116)
    by Pianobuff on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:48:07 PM EST
    All of this, of course, assumes McCain's pick was a last minute decision.  While it may have not been finalized for a while, I believe it's been in the works for some time.  It's definitely a high-risk pick, but I think the motivations were thought out strategically about how exactly to run the last two months of the election.  Obama's pick of Biden sealed it (and not because he's a guy).  Think about it.

    Sarah Palin herself (4.71 / 7) (#183)
    by americanincanada on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:11:04 PM EST
    has already said that the vetting process was going on for months and months. the vetting team was seen in Alaska back in May. She said that by the time they contacted her for even the first time they had files of information on her, her background, her administration and her family and friends.

    I doubt very seriously, despite what some so-called bloggers would like to believe, that the McCain camp has no vetted her to kingdom come. Troopergate and everything else I can assure you has been gone over. they are ready.

    The republicans may not be able to govern well, as Bill Clinton said, but they know how to win elections.


    Palin was on the McCain campaign's radar (5.00 / 4) (#131)
    by JimWash08 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:53:14 PM EST
    since February of this year, when he met her at the Governor's Association Conference in Washington, DC.

    This according to the Anchorage Daily News. As it became increasingly obvious that he'd sewed up the nomination, he increased his communication with her and met her twice in person and spoke numerous times on the phone since February.

    This was not an overnight decision. He and his aides confirmed the pick on Wednesday night, and Palin flew to visit McCain in Arizona on Thursday.

    She didn't even return home to Alaska. She flew straight to Dayton on Thursday night, according to ADN.


    The timing I read for his (5.00 / 2) (#157)
    by Cream City on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:03:27 PM EST
    final decision would have been right after the aborted roll call at the Democratic convention.



    My guess (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by Pianobuff on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:07:30 PM EST
    50% certain in June. 95% sure after Obama's VP pick (that's probably when the corks were popping).  100% sure last week.

    Just before I came to NY (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by kredwyn on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:12:45 PM EST
    there were reports that he'd made his decision. That was last Friday.

    Except (5.00 / 4) (#213)
    by Jane in CA on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:23:21 PM EST
    Your argument that

    McCain was in a panic.  The DNC went well, Obama kicked ass, and the unity factor dissolved.  It was a crisis for McCain, the kind he claims to be ever so ready to face as Commander in Chief.  And, faced with a major crisis, he panicked and chose Sarah "Who?" Palin.

    is completely untrue. McCain chose Palin as his running mate before the Democratic convention even began. He offered Palin the position on Sunday, August 24, but waited until the day after the convention to announce it.

    Lord help the democratic party if these are the kinds of arguments that are going to be used to challenge McCain's judgement.


    Well, I think McCain's biggest asset ... (none / 0) (#61)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:28:34 PM EST
    is his "war hero" status.  

    And Dems won't touch that.


    One difference (5.00 / 0) (#142)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:58:22 PM EST
    between Democrats and Republicans, who have no problem attacking war heroes.

    You know (5.00 / 6) (#25)
    by janarchy on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:14:30 PM EST
    that when the experience card is played against Palin and Kelly Ann Conway smiles like a Cheshire cat that's just eaten a pound of canaries, you're in trouble. This whole thing smells of Rove's touch and the Democrats are just falling into the trap like it's a big ol' bear pit. It's not a good sign.

    kelly ann conway (5.00 / 0) (#89)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:36:14 PM EST
    is, in my constitutionally protected opinion, one of the least credible pundits around. She's performing on tv, not providing information or expertise, of which I've never seen her display an ounce.

    She was laughable in the 90's against Bill Clinton and she's nobody to quote now.


    One of the Bush Blonds (none / 0) (#151)
    by MichaelGale on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:01:06 PM EST
    Kelly Ann, Barbara Olson, Ann Coulter and Laura Ingram.

    I guess they are coming back, except for Barbara


    Kelly Ann Conway? (none / 0) (#88)
    by JimWash08 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:36:10 PM EST
    Who is she?
    The name strikes a bell, but I can't quite place it.

    Now that we are in the second day since Palin was announced, I cannot help but think how smart, but incredibly risky this pick is. Not because she's a woman; or an unknown; or with little foreign policy experience. This pick of Palin has really placed this election on its head. After Obama's speech on Thursday, I'd have bet a hundred bucks that he'd win. Now, I'm not so sure.

    Experience, and having as much of it, can never be overrated, in anything. Sure, it isn't the surest projection of what will be achieved, but it is the greatest measure of what can be achieved.

    The Presidency is not a job that allows on-the-job training, like an entry-level job for fresh college graduates. The learning curve is extremely steep, and the onus is on the person at the top of the ticket. I don't care if he/she is surrounded by the best advisers and experts. They can, and will make bad mistakes and judgments too.

    That is why if I couldn't see Hillary in the top position, she would have been a comfort knowing she was going to help Obama if he chose her VP. But, that's not how it's turned out.

    So, experience will be an important factor, and if Obama and his vocal supporters want to focus on that, they'd better be ready to face the consequences of having to provide some answers too.


    Rove's touch? (none / 0) (#115)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:48:06 PM EST
    Is that the same Rove that predicted a permanent GOP majority?

    Well (5.00 / 8) (#28)
    by nell on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:15:17 PM EST
    I will tell you what bothers me about this experience stuff - the fact that experience did not matter to the Obama supporters and talking heads when it came to him, but now that Palin is in the number two spot, they are losing their heads and screaming about her inexperience. The media boys thought it was no problem for Obama, that it made him an outsider who could bring change to Washington. But now with Palin it is the biggest disaster ever? That's crap. It seems to me that it only matters for Palin because she is a woman.

    I am watching the McCain rally on right now in PA and the crowd has NEVER been this fired up before. Never. They are chanting "Sarah"!

    That's a broad brush (5.00 / 0) (#156)
    by namekarB on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:03:19 PM EST
    you are using to paint Obama supporters. I was for Clinton and voted for her in the primary but grew to support Obama as the primary dragged on.

    I have never thought either Hillary or Barack had much experience. For me, experience is just another word for Washington Establishment. Thus I don't think experience should be a cudgel to beat Palin over the head with.

    We need to keep focused on McCain = Bush


    Really? (none / 0) (#178)
    by JimWash08 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:09:57 PM EST
    I have never thought either Hillary or Barack had much experience. For me, experience is just another word for Washington Establishment.

    So, on what basis did you decide to support Hillary first, and then Barack? You say you don't think they had much experience, so how did you arrive at the decision that Hillary was capable enough to lead the country and that she was worthy of your vote?


    exactly! (none / 0) (#56)
    by Josey on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:27:38 PM EST
    where's that on? (none / 0) (#63)
    by nycstray on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:28:41 PM EST
    Principles are a mirage with many (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Pol C on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:16:53 PM EST
    I have consistently stated my view that experience is incredibly overrated. For a long time, I thought Obama supporters agreed with me. Seems not.

    It's a variation of the end justifies the means. They just want to tear Palin down. It's like Bush with his tax cuts. First, they're a good idea because the economy is good, and then they're a good idea because the economy is bad. There's no guiding principle beyond, "Whatever works, baby." It's why I find most hardcore Obama supporters embarrassing. I thought Democrats were supposed to better than this.


    There are no absolute hard fast rules here (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:25:03 PM EST
    But experience should count for something if only because we hope to reward people for things like service time and dedication.

    The primary is over and I've already said that I wouldn't be criticizing Palin (running for VP) on experience if I was running for President and had about as much experience, maybe more in terms of foriegn policy, but certainly less in terms of being in an executive management role.

    Obama supporters are clearly inconsistent (to the point of rank hypocrisy?) in the arguments they make about everything and bully for them.

    Never cared about it (none / 0) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:29:49 PM EST
    And do not now.

    the year of the relatively inexperienced (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by indie in CA on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:26:39 PM EST
    With Barack Obama at the top of the Dem ticket, it opened the door for the GOP to risk Sarah Palin as VP on their ticket. Both Obama and Palin are relatively inexperienced candidates for our top offices. However, placing an inexperienced candidate at the top of the ticket seems worse. Obama would have made an ideal VP for the Dems. This time we have the inverted ticket.

    For a long time I assumed that Obama (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:31:44 PM EST
    was running for VP.  It just made so much sense for him to be VP for Hillary and then move into the Presidency.  I still think that no one is more surprised than Obama that he is in this spot.  

    you underestimate him (3.00 / 0) (#100)
    by lmv on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:41:33 PM EST
    He had a high-powered meeting with his financial backers and his preliminary campaign people in (I believe) January 2007.  He said at the time that his goal was to win.

    You really can't expect to go anywhere in politics if you don't believe you can win.  Otherwise, how can you expect other people to support you?  


    Obama was organized and ran an effective campaign (none / 0) (#108)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:44:59 PM EST
    I guess he's surprised he won but then so is McCain.

    lack of interest - not lack of experience (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by ogo on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:27:43 PM EST
    What I've learned about Palin in the past day is that she didn't have an opinion about the glorious surge because she hadn't thought about it and that she didn't know what the VP does.

    Disregarding "experience" Palin's sparse record shows a lack of interest in the issues and functioning of the federal government - why did she say yes?  What was she told about the job of vice president?

    Ah, but experience provides us with a record (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by esmense on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:31:24 PM EST
    on which we can judge the candidate. Looking at the problems he or she was confronted with in the past, and how he or she dealt with them, gives us an idea of how they may deal with things that come up in the future.

    Plus, I have in my time worked with young companies in which just about everybody was a newbie. Seeing them time and again starting from scratch, re-inventing the wheel, when faced with common, often repeated problems that an old hand in their field would quickly dismiss or take care of, has convinced me that experience offers some very important advantages.  

    I have time for only one comment today and it (5.00 / 8) (#81)
    by Angel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:33:56 PM EST
    is about Sarah Palin.  I spoke with my sister earlier today.  She's a republican-lite who lives in North Carolina.  She was a true supporter of Hillary and thinks she got screwed royally by the Democrats.  She doesn't think Sarah Palin is "too out there" and will vote for the McCain/Palin ticket.  She wasn't happy with McCain before Palin was put on the ticket.  That's the target audience that the ticket will capture.  

    So true! (5.00 / 4) (#94)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:37:45 PM EST
    I have been shocked by my friends' reactions to Sarah Palin.  So many are now on the McCain bandwagon.  On friend who voted for Kerry and Jim Webb, is now going to actively campaign for McCain and Palin.  Two of my friends even gave money to the campaign!  I guess that helps explain how they collected $4 million yesterday.  Ugh.  We're in trouble.

    Sounds right (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by DemForever on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:44:35 PM EST
    In my view, on the positive side, Palin may help to:

    Convince Hillary voters who were on the fence about whether they could vote for Obama to not vote for him , and instead sit the presidential election out, since even if McCain wins, they at least get woman vice president as an precedent for the future;

    Convince Hillary voters who already knew they could not vote for Obama to vote for McCain rather than sit it out, which they may have done absent Palin;

    Inspire and motivate GOP women to go all out this election, significantly enhancing what may have been a less than great ground game on election day and the weeks preceding it.

    This all assumes that she proves to be a reasonably competent candidate, which is a real wildcard.  Whatever you say about Obama, he had a number of years to get to the readiness state he is at, and Palin needs to compress that 50 fold.


    On the other hand..... (none / 0) (#122)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:49:58 PM EST
    She may really alienate McCain-supporting good old boys. Tricky.

    Exactly. Men are the GOP bloc (none / 0) (#169)
    by Cream City on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:07:57 PM EST
    and women are already for Obama.

    When, oh when, will we stop hearing about women as the problem for the Dems?  If they don't focus on the problem bloc being men, they will lose.  

    The personal is political for too many men in the media and in the Dems who must have personal issues about women.  That's all I can figure out about this continued focus on women as the problem, despite all of the evidence otherwise.


    I know (5.00 / 2) (#198)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:16:05 PM EST
    Dontcha just love all this lecturing to women about voting based on gender, when men do it all the time?

    Not me (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by DemForever on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:20:05 PM EST
    my former boss and current law partner is a woman who I voted for; both of my US Senators are women, who I voted for.  So is my Secretary of State, City Council member, one of my state legislators.  Have never thought about it, but in recent years, I have probably voted for more women than men.  

    Here's a thought (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by aquarian on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:49:43 PM EST
    How about dems act a little smarter.  Perhaps wait and see the contours of the trap that has been laid at their feet.  Do a little research, like, I don't know, Jeralyn and BTD?  Dig up her statements, figure out her positions, understand what McCain thinks she adds to the ticket.  Palin is a political landmine for dems and hauling off on her "inexperience" when we haven't really heard her in prime time is too risky.  You can bet the republicans have thought about this very carefully.  Do not underestimate what Palin represents to republican voters.  Jeebus.  No harm in taking a couple of days to figure out the next move.

    They really are not trying to defeat Obama (5.00 / 3) (#145)
    by esmense on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:58:50 PM EST
    with an experience argument. They are, like they always do, building a character argument.

    And it is the same argument they always use; hypocrite, flip flopper, dishonest panderer, disdainful and dismissive of the very people they claim to champion.

    If the Obama camp's reaction to Palin's nomination supports that storyline, then they've achieved their goal.

    It's a dangerous game (5.00 / 4) (#150)
    by kempis on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:00:53 PM EST
    and it's maddening that you can't get folks to listen. Attack Palin's extreme right views. Attack McCain's obvious hail Mary in selecting a VP he'd barely personally interviewed. Attack ANYTHING but Palin's experience because doing that opens the door to attacks on Obama's experience. It's that simple.

    But, you can't get most Obama-supporters to listen to this any more than you could get them to listen to warnings back in January that accusing the Clintons of racism would split the party--as would cheering on Chris Matthews whenever he lobbed gender-based snark about Hillary.

    Unfortunately their response to "hey, don't criticize Palin's lack of experience; criticize her views or something" is often something like "why do you want McCain to win?!"


    I give up.

    Listening to Palin's speech today... (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by Oje on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:01:49 PM EST
    I am certain that the Republican's and Governor Palin will suitably meet the challenge of her experience. Esmense in a post above got the double standard exactly right. Obama can challenge nothing about her experience since he ran his campaign on the basis of his judgment in a speech in 2002.

    From just the response of the faux progressive blogs, media, and Obama campaign in the first two days, I predict by the end of the Republican convention that McCain-Palin will be ahead in the polls and Obama-Biden will never regain a substantial (error range) lead (provided this race remains about the candidates and their message, not some as yet to be exposed revelation about Palin).

    McCain=Bush, Palin=Rick Santorum (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by steviez314 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:09:42 PM EST
    Rinse, repeat.

    Indeed. (5.00 / 0) (#200)
    by lilburro on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:16:37 PM EST
    Imagine how friggin scary she would be if we looked at her that way - which is the way we SHOULD look at her.  Attacking Alaska as not a real state and trying to undercut her experience in that way just opens up the door to viewing Obama as a "big city guy" out of touch with American values.  

    Obama himself said it best, now is not the time for small plans and small ideas.  As Bill Clinton said, now is not the time for more neocon ideology.  Palin offers nothing new.  Nothing.  


    Get The Numbers/Facts Straight (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by JimWash08 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:14:16 PM EST
    I've seen 90% and 95% bandied about like a ragdoll.

    So how often has McCain voted in-step with George W. Bush?

    Obama and his ads say 90%. Biden says 95%.
    The difference may be insignificant, the discrepancy in message isn't.

    And where and when exactly does a President vote at the same time as a Senator?

    Well I can see how it's going to play (5.00 / 2) (#196)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:15:22 PM EST
    but gosh, and no one ever said things were going to be logical, but we're not comparing Obama to Palin here, we're comparing Obama to McCain and deciding whether or not experience matters.

    If experience matters, then McCain > Obama.

    If experience matters, then Biden > Palin.

    It's not "experience only matters when we're talking about republicans with no experience, and it never matters when we're talking about Dems with no experience," is it??  That sounds like the Dem message here.  Is that it???

    I say pick a position on whether or not experience matters (some say it does, some say it does not) and then have the logical integrity and moral fiber to stick with it.

    That's pretty much that.

    This is exactly the elitism (5.00 / 5) (#224)
    by dclawyer on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:38:02 PM EST
    that will lose an election that is Obama's to lose:  

    "Getting a BA at Idaho State is not equivalent to graduating top of your class at Harvard Law School.  PTA is not equivalent to community organizing.  City Council of Moosehump, Alaska is not equivalent to the Illinois State Senate.  Fresh governor of a tiny state is not equivalent to being a mover and shaker in the U.S. Senate."

    Does anyone else see how offensive this is?  So far the Obama campaign's, Obama supporters', and media's response to Palin has denigrated small towns, rural areas, ordinary state universities, and moms who dare to do more than be on the PTA.  Are they trying to lose this election?  Because as an Ohio native from a small town in a Hillary area, that's how it looks to me.  

    By the way, how big was Obama's district?  I think Hyde Park is about 44,000 . . . if that's right, I'm not sure his state experience as a rep is really all that better than hers as a mayor and state-wide committee board member. And he'd only been in the Senate for 2 years or so when he decided he was ready to be President. So let's quit the double-standard and stick to the issues.

    Experience? (5.00 / 1) (#226)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 07:01:51 PM EST
    The issue for me is not experience.

    Three important issues for me are:

     - a woman's inalienable right to choose what happens in her own body.

    • the erosion of our civil liberties under the Bush regime.
    • the immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq.

    Obama addressed these issues obliquely in the case of women's rights and of Iraq. He addressed civil liberties not at all.

    If he had addressed these issues, I wouldn't have care if his only previous experience was driving a cab.

    BTD (5.00 / 1) (#228)
    by zvs888 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 07:45:10 PM EST
    There's plenty of this to go around.

    One of Fox's anchors claimed she had foreign policy experience because Alaska was close to Russia.

    The whole thing is a joke.  At least the Obama campaign (after the one-line misfire) righted the ship and is just going after McCain.

    The right idea is to focus on how none of the policies of the McCain-Palin ticket changes due to Palin being added.  That's what is important and yet most Obama supporters seem to be missing that point.

    Conservatives ignored Biden because they know that attacking Biden just gives Obama credibility since he has the most foreign policy experience of anyone in Congress.  Time for the lefties to take the hint and do the same.

    the lone fact (5.00 / 1) (#229)
    by borisbor on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 08:03:05 PM EST
    ---that she is inexperienced is not the major problem; it is that the person who picked her spent his whole campaign saying that Obama was inexperienced and a president needs to be ready, has to have traveled to Iraq a million times, has to have national security experience, etc.

    Now he comes out with the totally opposite candidate. I'm not sure why the pick should not be ripped apart, given the context.

    Disconnect (5.00 / 1) (#232)
    by Lowtideppm on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 08:27:28 PM EST
      Please Please Please do NOT tell me how Obama is strengthened by having a VP with Joe Biden's extensive and respected foreign policy experience.
      With all Joe Biden's extensive and respected foreign policy experience - he voted FOR the frick'n Iraq WAR.
      But cognitive dissonance is only obviously stupid and cynical when practiced by Republicans.
      Gag me.

    Yawn! (5.00 / 1) (#233)
    by bayville on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 08:37:31 PM EST
    Still going the wrong way on a one-way street, eh?JFK wasn't exactly an overexperienced overachiever in 1960.
    Reagan 30-years a Hollywood actor, 8 years a Governor - not exactly a career-politician.
    And Eisenhower was a career military man before becoming President.
    Crissakes, Hillary has been a Senator for less than eight years.

    Please, Obama's experience as a pol and in government is atleast on par with these individuals - some of whom have actually been successful leaders despite their experience "shortcomings".

    Obama is the least experienced ... (3.00 / 0) (#5)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:02:20 PM EST
    candidate in a long time.

    But Nixon was probably the most experienced in the last hundred years, and we all know how that turned out.

    Experience is overrated.  It's just part of the puzzle.  But all things being equal, I do wish Obama had a bit more experience.  

    Experience is not a negative (3.00 / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:03:12 PM EST
    But I do not think it is much of a positive either.

    See Also Herbert Hoover (none / 0) (#185)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:12:27 PM EST
    He had a great resume. His had experience dealing with disasters and keeping Europe from starving after WWI. Served at cabinet level in 2 administrations. In the end, ineffective president for his time.

    Experience is sometimes overrated and frequently over used.

    Have you ever noticed the GOP runs the same script every election with a new Democratic contenders.

    President Clinton alluded to it -  It is the young and inexperienced template.

    FDR was known as Feather Duster Roosevelt in 1932.  A political lightweight who got where he was by charm and money.

    JFK was called a lightweight by Nixon in 1960. Others thought he got where he was by charm and "Kennedy money". Kennedy made an ironic joke (later stolen by Reagan) "I will not make my opponents youth and inexperience an issue."

    Jimmy Carter was "just a peanut farmer" one term governor.

    Bill Clinton- Governor of a small state whose foreign policy experience is limited to going to the IHOP.

    This template did not work. It came the closest to working in 1960. I would argue that election is the one that is most different than this one.

    The Democrats tried a variation on this template in 1980. Reagan the out of touch actor. It didn't work then either. That election is closer to this one as well.

    Finally with regard to the argument of this post, people who are going to base their vote an experience, were not going to vote for Obama anyway. BTD and others have argued (correctly in my view) that McCain just threw away his best argument with this pick. He is 72 years old. Standing with the young and vibrant Sarah Palin he looks all of his 72 years. The question of whether or not he will be able to serve out 2 terms is a real one and just standing next to him she makes that argument. If you are voting on experience, where do you go now? Do you vote for Obama on the theory that he has a slight edge in experience to Palin, and is surrounded by others more experienced? Do you go with McCain and pray he lives out his term?

    I don't think most people are going to make their choice on experience. I think the choice will be made on mostly on ideological grounds. It may be rationalized on experience, but it will be ideology. It may also be made on a visceral dislike of one candidate or the other and rationalized on experience. If experience comes into play at all, it will be the experience of incompetent GOP governance.

    JM may be the best example. She preferred Hillary because of experience. But who is she voting for in the general election and why? Because ideas also matter to her and in the end trump experience. She doesn't like McCain's ideas.

    One last point. As long as we are citing posts in the Great Orange Satan, this one might be worth a look:

    Whatever their views on their qualifications, voters say neither Palin nor Biden will have much impact on their vote. Two of three registered voters, 67%, say putting Palin on the ticket won't affect their vote; 72% say that of Biden.

    A difference between twenty-years true experience (3.00 / 0) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:18:36 PM EST
    and one-year's experience repeated twenty times, as the saying goes. Moreover, I would add, twenty-years or 18 months of right-wing experience may hone the ideology, but I would prefer experience of any duration (both life and public service) toward the development of progressive positions. I support Senator Obama for the latter, and reject the Republican ticket for the former.  Senator Obama's public service is, for sure, limited, but he demonstrates abilities and capabilities for leadership as evidenced by securing the Democratic party's nomination for president--no small feat against a field of  well-qualified and experienced contenders, including Senator Clinton who is among the most famous women of the world, a former first lady, and twice-elected U.S. senator from  one of our largest states.  Mr. Obama earned the right to pick a running mate and he selected a seasoned statesman, giving thought to former VP Rockefeller's assessment of the job as "stand-by equipment". McCain has that one-year of experience X20 and has picked an unknown, apparently to him, certainly to the country, and, it seems, even to many Alaskans.

    A fancy way of saying (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:20:58 PM EST
    Experience is vastly overrated.

    I agree with you.


    On VP's (3.00 / 0) (#37)
    by elmey on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:20:21 PM EST
    This is really not helpful is it?  I don't remember a lot of discussions of VP candidates over the years that worried whether they were the best choice to lead the country.  I agree that it's best  to stop gnawing on this bone.  People will vote the top of the ticket if you don't keep harping on the VP.  McCain is Bush's third term.

    Regarding VP picks, here's a flabbergasting piece from George McGovern (in the Times a few days ago).

    I think the experience issue damages Obama (3.00 / 2) (#235)
    by chezmadame on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 09:24:04 PM EST
    in ways that it doesn't hurt Palin because she has seized her opportunities and initiated reform-driven change while Obama has simply promised to do wonderful things if and when he is promoted to the next highest position.

    Obama's resume is thin, not because he is a relative newcomer, but because he has never channeled his ambition towards making a substantial positive contribution to either the institutions he has served or the constituencies he has represented.

    He never wrote at the Harvard Law Review. He never published anything as the "legal scholar" that his supporters believe him to be. He never really legislated. He never held committee meetings. Hell, he didn't even keep good records or take a principled stand by owning difficult votes.

    Sarah Palin has spent her political career fighting what she believes to be the good fight. She has taken on the big boys and won. She has stood by her word and worked hard to fulfill the promises she made to her constituency. And I'm sure that, she too, can avail herself of advisors on foreign policy. Let's hope she doesn't need 200.

    In the end, experience is not simply a measure of time, it is a measure of how hard you worked, how well you served, what goals you accomplished, and what lessons you learned. None of this is good for Obama.

    Obama has a law degree. (1.50 / 2) (#79)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:33:05 PM EST
    I think that counts for something.

    Does George Bush's MBA and stint as governor actually trump Obama's time in service to government and communities?

    It is a serious question - I am not putting this out there as a rhetorical question to assert that Obama is better - but I do wonder if there is a certain level of defensiveness on our part that we as Democrats should not fall prey to.

    I do think that Palin's situation is different from Obama's in that her ascendency to the Oval Office would happen if John McCain was not able to serve - she would suddenly have a lot of power without any grown up supervision - which is a bit different than sending in Obama with an old hand like Biden at his side.

    There is already evidence that she governs similarly to George Bush surrounding herself with unqualified friends rather than professionals.  Obama thankfully did not choose his VP on that basis and thus has proved on at least one important point that he is thinking about good governance rather than political considerations alone.

    Um... (5.00 / 5) (#105)
    by indie in CA on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:43:38 PM EST
    Your sexism is showing.

    If McCain & Palin are elected and sometime down the line McCain is unable to be President, Vice President Palin would be surrounded by an entire staff and administration that would be there to assist her in assuming her new duties. It's offensive that you would discuss Palin as if she were a child requiring "adult supervision."

    In your construct, Barack Obama goes into the role of leader of the free world being closely mentored by a wise older male. Oh, I get it, just like a Star Wars movie.


    My sexism? (2.00 / 1) (#136)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:55:28 PM EST
    No my pedigree as a child - daughter just so you know - of politics is showing.  I would be better prepared to assume the role as President than Palin would and that's saying something.  I can think of any number of incredibly talented Republican women including McCain's spokesperson Nicole Wallace who would be more qualified than the two of us combined.

    McCain plucked an obscure and inexperienced person out of the Alaskan wilderness who won the race for governor because she was NOT Murkowski only because she is a woman and a social conservative.  As a woman, I am insulted because this is classic Old Boys Network gamesmanship.


    both of these candidates (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by indie in CA on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:07:32 PM EST
    have ascended quickly due to favorable quirks of fate. Obama cakewalked into a Senate seat due to a scandal. During that campaign, he caught the eye of Dem leaders and was invited to give the DNC keynote. He did well & a star was born.

    Palin became the youngest and first woman governor of a macho state. This has launched her into the RNC limelight.

    Both were afforded opportunities which they seized. It's really pretty fascinating.


    I have a lot - many - too many to (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:16:57 PM EST
    count issues with Barack Obama - but I don't actually question his competence or interest in being competent - the latter being something that I see as sorely lacking in Palin.

    As one Alaska reporter said she offers simple truths and has a view that questions of governance should be "easy".  Nothing is easy in a Democracy.  At least Obama seems to acknowledge that there are many views and that they deserve a hearing.  She seems to believe in gross over simplifications of complex issues.  It is so George W. Bush it is frightening.

    And I actually agree with BTD on the experience question - I'd be going with a meme that she is GWB without the backing of an experienced father and his buddies which is the only reason he got the nod within his own party in 2000.


    I am just remembering the TV show (none / 0) (#110)
    by DemForever on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:46:33 PM EST
    with that premise, with Gina Davis.

    It counts to lawyers... (5.00 / 3) (#137)
    by Oje on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:55:38 PM EST
    Listening to Palin today and yesterday, she speaks about public trust and the corruption of power. She has been in office just long enough not have been deeply corrupted by politics. She holds the ideals of a common citizen about the need for honest governance, and followed those Mr. Smithian ideals at least to the approval of her Alaskan constituents. Relisten to the part of her speech in Pittsburgh (?) today where she is clearly speaking her own stump speech about corruption and reform.

    And, think about that. Gov. Palin came into office with a charge for reform... She managed to bring reform (at least by all accounts) and retain 70%-90%  approval rating. Bill Clinton in 1992 and Ah-nold in California never had such success.

    This politician is formidable.


    She lied yesterday. (none / 0) (#159)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:04:07 PM EST
    She said she sent the money back for the Bridge to Nowhere which is not true.

    Formidable is not the word I would use for her.

    Dangerous and venal yes, but not formidable.


    You know... (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by Oje on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:14:11 PM EST
    I think the Republican party is dangerous and venal.  But if you think or act as if every Republican is dangerous and venal, then you will never be prepared to meet the challenges of an election. I think it is Talkleft policy to be civil toward even our opponents. You should provide some support of your assertions about Governor Palin.

    Lastly, the story about the bridge is probably accurate enough. The story is about opposing the earmark, not the federal funding. She rejected the idea of Washington telling Alaskans to build a bridge, that Alaskans would decide for themselves how to spend the federal money. I rejection of the federal dollars? I did not see that in her speech.


    You do not think that this statement is (5.00 / 1) (#217)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:26:14 PM EST
    the least bit misleading?

    And I championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress -- 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.

    She doesn't want "earmarked money", but she's clearly fine taking it no strings attached.  That is WORSE than taking the money for a project agreed upon by the entire Congress.


    Do we have a link for exactly what (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by tree on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:15:02 PM EST
    she said.

    And are you now arguing that "lying" makes a candidate "venal"? Obama has misrepresented his legislative accomplishments several times during this campaign. Is he now "venal" too?



    Most voters don't see a law degree (none / 0) (#85)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:34:50 PM EST
    As a big plus.  Sorry to the lawyers here, but many people are not fond of the profession.  

    That's not experience (none / 0) (#86)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:35:08 PM EST
    That's a credential.

    In light of her inability to be (none / 0) (#103)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:43:01 PM EST
    in office longer than 19 months before she went down the abuse of power road shows her lack of credentials - and I would say that her failure to grasp what a Vice President actually does belies an ignorance about our government that is pretty frightening.  

    I know several Republicans who feel really, really burned by Bush and who were never all that comfortable with McCain either - I think that the fact that she is a complete unknown more than anything is going to make them nervous.


    I think you could make the same (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by tree on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:54:55 PM EST
    argument about Obama and Rezko. Buying a house from a man under investigation for fraud while running for the first time for the US Senate doesn't show a lot of smarts or credentials, nor a basic understanding of how our government works.

    As for what a VP does, presently that seems to be determined by what a President chooses to have the VP do. The duties as enumerated under the Constitution are rather sparse.


    No in fact you could not make that (none / 0) (#146)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:59:10 PM EST
    argument and here's why - Obama's realestate purchase was not an abuse of power.  It was not a deliberate use of his Senatorial office to settle a personal score.

    Well, (none / 0) (#160)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:04:45 PM EST
    You can't make that argument either about Palin - she hasn't been proven of doing anything wrong.

    Yeah well neither has George W. Bush (1.50 / 2) (#172)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:08:48 PM EST
    so I guess everybody's clean and honorable right?

    Exactly. (none / 0) (#184)
    by tree on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:11:36 PM EST
    Honestly? (none / 0) (#219)
    by kredwyn on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:28:04 PM EST
    I don't think we should go down that path for two reasons...

    1. There's an actual investigation going on that she's encouraged. And she's innocent til proven guilty. (yes, I hear he claims to have emails, but I wonder why he hasn't already turned them over to investigators.)

    2. The sub-narrative that underscores why she might've gone down that path is one that many folks can relate to vis a vis the abusive and threatening BIL and state trooper.

    Lots of people have abusers like this cop in their lives...and would dearly love to be able to get them out of their sibling's life.

    They'll see her as trying to protect her family...


    What does the VP do (none / 0) (#117)
    by Munibond on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:49:26 PM EST
    for sure besides preside over the senate?  I believe her inquiry was about the day to day responsibilities of the VP, and it sounded to me like a rhetorical question, the point of which was that she would not be happy in a largely ceremonial position.

    The last 2 Vice Presidents had (none / 0) (#123)
    by steviez314 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:50:57 PM EST
    very important roles, one for good and one for evil.

    I saw the tape with the full context of her (none / 0) (#208)
    by esmense on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:19:36 PM EST
    question and it was as Moribund points out rhetorical.

    She was making the point that she wouldn't want the office unless it offered some real ways to serve the people of our country and her state.


    Eye to eye on this (none / 0) (#143)
    by Pianobuff on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:58:42 PM EST
    I think you understand the McCain strategy better than most here and are thinking several moves ahead.

    Just to be sure, how helpful do you think advanced education and two law degrees will be at this stage?


    Experience is not linear (1.50 / 4) (#190)
    by Johannes on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:13:46 PM EST
    It's not that we Obama supporters have flip-flopped on experience.  It's just ridiculous to comapre her to Obama.  

    Experience involves acquisition of expertise - regardless of number of years.  If Palin possessed knowledge and ability on a par with Obama - that would be a different matter.  She does not.  Not even close.

    Getting a BA at Idaho State is not equivalent to graduating top of your class at Harvard Law School.  PTA is not equivalent to community organizing.  City Council of Moosehump, Alaska is not equivalent to the Illinois State Senate.  Fresh governor of a tiny state is not equivalent to being a mover and shaker in the U.S. Senate.

    When we say Palin does not have enough experience - it's not a simplistic, linear measure of time.

    Your argument is silly (5.00 / 5) (#215)
    by nell on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:24:35 PM EST
    First of all, how elitist can you get??? Graduating from the University of Idaho is not the same as graduating from Harvard. As an ivy league graduate, let me tell you, we aren't all that we are cracked up to be. In fact, I am even MORE impressed that she has gotten as far as she has without any of the elite connections that are bestowed upon us ivy leaguers. Second of all, do you even know what a community organizer does? I have been a community organizer and I watched my mother on the PTA. I would say they are about the same level of experience. Fundamentally, they are about organizing people to improve a community. Obama gets no additional bonus points for that one. And you want to compare his experience as a state legislator to her being a mayor? It certainly seems that she got a lot more done for her little town than Obama did as a state senator. Every legislative accomplishment he has was handed to him by Emil Jones after the sweat was put in by  other legislators (this has been well-documented). Not to mention the fact that Obama's experience as a state senator is PART-TIME, I think about 53 days a year. Again, I would have her come ahead on that one or at best call it a wash. And was elected to the US Senate (running against a non-candidate, Alan Keyes, by the way) and 2 years later began running for President. She has been a governor for 2 years and now she has started running for vice president. Again, why is Obama coming out ahead?

    They are BOTH inexperienced and I certainly will not vote for McCain/Palin, but stop with the BS already. The experience argument is not one that the Obama campaign can win so they should drop it.


    Please (5.00 / 1) (#222)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:31:41 PM EST
    Stop saying she's the governor of a "tiny state" - it's the largest state by far.  Yes, it has the smallest population but there still is that  whole land mass that she is in charge of.  That doesn't just get left alone with no one caring about it.  So, while she may not have as many challenges with people / sevices than say, the governor of NY, she still oversees the management of the LARGEST STATE IN THE UNION.

    She also has unique challenges in dealing with both Canada and Russia, something I know Obama didn't have to deal with in his part-time gig in the Illinois Senate (geez - he didn't even know Kentucky bordered IL)

    Go after her on the issues, but stop these insane and factually untrue arguments.


    Hard to measure (1.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:10:24 PM EST
    but both Clinton and Bush had similar or even less experience than Obama has.

    Clinton, Bill? (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:14:59 PM EST
    Certainly not. Unless being a Governor for 12 years is the same as being a Senator for 3.

    Bush was a Governor for 6 years.


    I loved (and love) (1.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:21:08 PM EST
    Bill Clinton but 12 years as Governor of a state like Arkansas means pretty little in terms of the national and foreign policy issues you have to deal with as President. Of course, in Clinton's case his intelligence and sheer intellectual curiosity meant he was more up to date than could be expected on those topics, something that can't be said of Bush.

    Obama has been on the national scene for several years now, which is a large amount of experience.

    I agree with you though that experience is trumped by judgment.


    Just out of curiousity (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by blcc on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:03:47 PM EST
    which states are important enough to be Governor of that we may then consider the officeholder to be a serious and credible candidate for the Presidency/Vice-Presidency?

    I realize my question sounds a little snarky, but I do want to know where exactly the line is drawn.

    In your view "a state like Arkansas" (and presumably "a state like Alaska") aren't important enough.  Is "a state like Texas" or "a state like Virginia"?  Does this judgment of the state's importance or its Governor's experience extend to the voters of that state?  Are the voters who elected those Governors also similarly less qualified to select a President?

    I really am interested in knowing how far you're okay with venturing down this road.


    So experience is overrated? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:25:59 PM EST
    Sort of my point.

    But EXPERIENCE it is, whether it is overrated or not.

    You concede my point I think.


    yes, yes (2.00 / 0) (#72)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:31:42 PM EST
    I agree with your point. I'm just saying that there isn't that big a difference between Obama's experience and that of other previous presidents.  

    Because it does not matter (none / 0) (#96)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:39:09 PM EST
    Not because it does not exist.

    That's where we disagree (1.00 / 2) (#104)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:43:04 PM EST
    Bush and Clinton had executive experience, which is important. But Obama has national experience on doemstic and foreign policy, which is also important. A Senator deals with issue no Governor does and the opposite is true as well.

    Yes, (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:49:42 PM EST
    That's why Senators have been elected President so many times and Governors have not.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#126)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:51:52 PM EST
    Senators have to deal with real national issues all the time and have the votes to prove that, which can impact them negatively. Governors don't deal with that for the most part so they don't have that trail.

    You missed the snark (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:56:10 PM EST
    Only 2 sitting Senators have ever been elected - Kennedy and Harding.  The rest were governors or held other higher positions.

    It's GOVERNORS that people seem to trust more and vote for.


    I didn't miss the snark (none / 0) (#149)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:00:37 PM EST
    You missed the point. At no point did i claim that being a Senator made you equally likely to win. You brought up the electability issue, which I was not addressing. I was talking about the experience, not the electability.

    No I didn't (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:08:24 PM EST
    My point was that traditionally, GOVERNORS have more electability, precisely because they are viewed as having more EXPERIENCE.   We have an unusual year this year where 2 Senators are at the top of the ticket.

    Voters aren't as impressed with Senators who are long-winded bloviators as they are with Governors who actually have to roll their sleeves up and get things done and actually deal with crises.


    Moot point (none / 0) (#174)
    by namekarB on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:09:13 PM EST
    No governors are in this race

    How closely are you following this race? (5.00 / 2) (#201)
    by Iphie on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:16:55 PM EST
    Maybe you missed the big announcement yesterday? There is now a governor in this race.

    Only two Sitting (none / 0) (#225)
    by MichaelGale on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:44:10 PM EST
    Senators have gone directly  from the Senate to the White House: JFK, Garfield. Harding went from House

    13 have been elected to the White House but after years of being out of office. Senators are notoriously bad at governing because they have had little experience doing it, really, except for legislation which they rarely read anyway.

    In addition, their legislation is frequently used as political attacks i.e. c Kerry.

    Clinton, Obama, McCain all sitting senators.  


    I agree (none / 0) (#127)
    by Saul on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:52:00 PM EST
    I disagree with BTD that Obama has more foreign experience.  He started running for president after his first year as U.S Senator. He spent most of that time running for president than being in the senate.  How much foreign experience  did he actually acquire after that.   Surely nothing Palin could not catch up with in six months.   How much time do Senators actually spend on the job daily.  I do not think they work 40 hours a week.  Most of the time they are going home.

    Plus I agree with him that experience means very little.  No one is experienced to run for president.
    Using Lincoln is a prime example.  You never know how a person might do if they were told to take over the reins of the country at a moments notice.

    Bush had six years as governor yet look at the lousy job he did.


    Govs are executives (5.00 / 9) (#91)
    by lmv on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:36:34 PM EST
    So is Palin.

    So are mayors.  Argue she only had a buget of $6 mil as mayor and I'll argue neither Dem has even had that much experience.  

    As a woman who has had to fight the good ole boys most of my career (and former lifelong Dem and someone who's managed real budgets and real people), I'm appalled at the hypocrisy coming from the left.

    If you don't like her positions, fine.  Say so.

    The more I hear people attack Palin, the more I think of the primaries and the more convinced I am that Democrats don't like women unless they're happy to turn their careers over to their ambitious spouses.  


    VP don't matter much in any case (4.00 / 0) (#95)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:39:05 PM EST
    unless they screw up and make things worse. That's the only real danger Palin poses to McCain. Otherwise who cares? The vote will be between Obama and McCain.

    Clinton was the longest-serving gov (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by Cream City on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:12:49 PM EST
    in the country then.  But no matter.

    Seems like McCain (1.00 / 1) (#42)
    by DemForever on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:22:39 PM EST
    has taken experience issue off the table.  Say thank you and leave it there.

    Having said that, I do think that her lack of political experience may well lead to some problematic gaffes during the campaign, and my guess is that the vetting may prove to have been not all it could be.  

    That's good, (5.00 / 0) (#66)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:29:49 PM EST
    Since we know that Biden will have many gaffes.  Perhaps they will balance each other out.  

    Precisely (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:24:05 PM EST
    Say thank you very much and move on.

    Do not try to gin it up for McCain.


    Given that the two candidates most prone (none / 0) (#125)
    by Iphie on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:51:43 PM EST
    to political gaffes are Biden and McCain, it would seem that experience is an even worse indicator for gaffes than it is for governing ability. I don't think we have any reason to assume that Sarah Palin is any more likely to say something regrettable than Biden is -- in fact I imagine that their debate will prove to be more of a minefield for him than for her.

    The difference is the expectations game (none / 0) (#133)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:53:56 PM EST
    Just like with Quayle, any gaffe by Palin will magnify the preconception that she's not prepared while McCain can talk of the nonexistent Iraq-Pakistan border but it barely registers because he's supposed to be a foreign policy expert.

    The flip side of that coin is (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by Iphie on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:10:03 PM EST
    that if expectations are very low, it doesn't take much to exceed them. We have no reason to believe that Palin won't be able to present her positions forcefully and well. I've now listened to two online interviews with her, and watched her speech with McCain yesterday and thus far, I haven't heard any evidence that would suggest problems for her.

    But I don't think the FL Dem party's characteriza- (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by allimom99 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:13:01 PM EST
    tion of her as "Quayle in a dress" helps them gain the desperately needed votes they must have to win that state. As BTD pointed out yesterday, they demean her at their peril.

    The thing is (none / 0) (#193)
    by DemForever on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:14:21 PM EST
    we dont know, since she has never been on the national stage.  She may be fine.  She may freeze up the first time is on MTP, or in a debate, or exhibit a real lack of knowledge on a key issue.  It is just that she is a real wildcard as a candidate, and if I were a GOP type, that would keep me awake at night.

    BTD (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 04:57:00 PM EST
    do you think that experience doesn't matter? While I agree with the fact that experience doesn't guarantee a good president it seems that inexperience guarantees a bad one--Carter and Bush Jr. are prime examples.

    Vastly overrated (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:02:35 PM EST
    Have always said so.

    Remember I preferred Obama to Clinton because there was not a dime's worth of difference between them on the issues I cared about and I thought his being a Media Darling was a critical advantage for winning in November, especially compared to the hate Hillary would face.

    Jeralyn preferred Hillary, in part, because she was more experienced.


    But why? (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:04:46 PM EST
    I mean, any other job you apply for (except entry level or flipping burgers) requires experience.  The job of POTUS is too important for someone who has as little experience as Obama.  Why isn't important in your estimation?

    I disagree (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:07:05 PM EST
    I do not believe experience means a hill of beans for what type of President someone will be.

    Well (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:08:35 PM EST
    I wish I was in Puerto Rico and you were hiring since it doesn't seem to be as big a deal to you!  :)

    We're talking about (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:09:39 PM EST
    political office, not real jobs.

    cmugirl (none / 0) (#218)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:27:42 PM EST
    try making your point regarding entry level and flipping burgers to people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jerry Yang and Sergei Brin. The thousands of people who are employed at Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and Google and people who use these companies products are extremely grateful that they did not wait to get more "experience" before founding their companies.

    Agree, people don't vote for experience (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:25:12 PM EST
    People vote for who they like the most.  They just don't care about experience as much as they care about likeability.  That's why Clinton beat Bush.  Clinton had less experience, but people liked him more.  That's also why Reagan beat Carter and why I fear McCain/Palin will beat Obama/Biden.  McCain and Palin are more likeable, more straight forward, more down to earth.  

    Americans don't give a flying fig that Obama went to Harvard or that Michelle went to Princeton AND Harvard.  Nor are Americans impressed with Obama's lofty speech and big words.  All that elitist stuff is a turn off for Americans.

    Who would Americans rather have talking in their kitchen/family room every night?  Who would they prefer to have beer with?  Or over for dinner?  Or go bowling with?  I just don't think it's Obama and Biden.  But it was Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.    


    McCain likeable? (1.00 / 0) (#59)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:28:12 PM EST
    "You kids get off my lawn" McCain likeable?

    I never saw Reagan as likeable, (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by tree on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:32:51 PM EST
    but that didn't mean that many other Americans didn't think so. Just because something doesn't personally appeal to you doesn't mean it doesn't appeal to lots of other people. Expand your horizons.  And quit with the ageist remarks.

    I don't know anyone (1.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:37:09 PM EST
    even in the GOP, who thinks McCain is likeable. Not a single GOP blogger. He has many other qualities but warm and fuzzy is not one of them.

    McCain is old an it shows and that will be a factor in how many people vote. Deal with it.


    I never knew anyone who thought (none / 0) (#113)
    by tree on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:46:43 PM EST
    Reagan was likeable until I met my ex-husband years ago. So what? If you don't know someone they must not exist? I'm not voting for McCain so I don't have to deal with anything. But if you think that denigrating someone because of their age is a smart move then you've got a few items to deal with yourself. Hint to you: You are aging as we speak. Go ahead and poison the well for your future self. Brilliant move.

    I'm not running for president (1.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:49:45 PM EST
    And I'm not PC. So I say things as they are, not as people want them to be.

    McCain is old, it shows, and it will be an issue for voters. Just like Obama's skin color will be an issue, no matter what people pretend.


    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#27)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:15:08 PM EST
    She wrote about how because Clinton had more of a record so she knew more about where Clinton stood on the issues.

    But that may be the same thing really.

    Sorry to nitpick.


    well (none / 0) (#30)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:16:36 PM EST
    nevermind.  There's jeralyn's post below.

    my axe (none / 0) (#101)
    by AlSmith on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:41:53 PM EST

    My axe to grind is that its not only the experience that matters.

    Is the President going to be scurrying from department to department actually doing things? Of course not.

    Being president means that you pick up an issue for 5 minutes, make a quick decision or task someone get more information or come back with a proposal along a certain lines. Then you move on to the next issue. You do this 50 times a day.

    The actual people who put together the proposals and who work through the issues and the 2nd and 3rd layers of staff are the ones who actually run a government and determine its success or failure.

    Its better to have a boring policy implemented well than a good policy implemented poorly.

    Obama knows none of the right people to appoint to these staff positions. And now he owes a lot of favors to party hacks who backed him and the old Chicago machine. Biden probably does know the right people but will probably influence no more than 10-20% of the selections. Academics dont count- I believe that group has the worst track record in general.

    Ready to run a government: Biden and McCain
    Not ready: Obama and Palin

    I would feel much better about a McCain administration if Romney was involved somewhere. The only reason not to choose HRC is a running mate is because you want her no where near your administration if you actually win. So I'd expect her to be frozen out.  


    Not at all. Obama has 300 (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by Cream City on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:19:03 PM EST
    staffers, advisers, etc., so I saw recently.  Campaign staffers are the most likely to go with a winner to the White House.

    And frankly, it is some of his staffers who worry me very much.  Like the ones who showed their idiocy yesterday, yet again.  Even more so, some of his advisers really concern me.  Especially if they clone themselves in seeking out more staff for the White House, as is how it goes.

    So it was good to see him clamp down on his staff yesterday.  He ought not have had to do it, after earlier warnings, so he may need to exert more control.  Looks like he may be doing it now.  Not a moment too soon.  No more primary-style nonsense.


    Inexperience guarantees a bad one? (none / 0) (#141)
    by Faust on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:57:28 PM EST
    I hate to bring up the obvious, you know, cause it's not like the Obama camp doesn't pound on it repeatedly, but uhhhh Licoln? oh yeah he was TERRIBLE.

    How about George Bush? He's got TONS of "experience" now. Wow, look at how excellent it has made him!

    The experience argument is foolishness. Presidents are not subject matter experts. They are decision makers and bully pulpit managers. What is required is judgement, intelligence, and in the modern age in particular, charisma.

    These are the things that made Bill Clinton a good president, his charismatic ability to connect to people, his incredible intelligence, his expert use of the bully pulpit. Beyond those things he was a good president because he kept democratic values at least in mind when making decisions.

    People say Obama is like JFK. The irony is that he is like Bill Clinton.


    If you want to play the experience game.. (none / 0) (#18)
    by steviez314 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:10:40 PM EST
    I think the only way to do it would be "Obviously, when McCain said all summer that experience was the most important thing, he was being insincere.  If McCain can mislead you on this, what else might he mislead you about?"

    Otherwise keep it to McCain's judgment and Palin's policy positions (if she has any).

    If they don't (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:13:58 PM EST
    The response from McCain next time someone says she was "the mayor of a town of only 9000" (instead of the Governor) should be that Obama was "a community organizer".

    Yep - that's good enough to be the leader of the free world.

    I agree with BTD, this is a dangerous path to go down.


    I do not want to play it (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:13:47 PM EST
    But if you do, that is the ONLY way.

    Who is their audience BTD? (none / 0) (#20)
    by bjorn on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:13:24 PM EST
    Are they trying to convince independents not to vote McCain Palin with this line of attack?  

    Well, it's not a good argument to me. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Teresa on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:15:22 PM EST
    "Hey, if I die you can have a really experienced president."

    The choir (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:19:19 PM EST
    as far as I can tell.

    McCain/Palin on CNN now (none / 0) (#33)
    by JimWash08 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:17:40 PM EST

    Oh Boy (none / 0) (#53)
    by rdandrea on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:26:34 PM EST
    She's a pol (none / 0) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:28:36 PM EST
    Pretty effective.

    Obama/Biden coming up on CNN (none / 0) (#97)
    by JimWash08 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:41:07 PM EST
    Unfortunately, Palin didn't really say anything new. It seemed like a continuation of yesterday's introduction -- except to a new crowd in a new state.

    It seems McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden are playing Midwest Tag through Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. These states will be seeing both tickets this weekend.


    You're right, of course, but I'm willing (none / 0) (#43)
    by Pegasus on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:23:25 PM EST
    to suggest this: in the combative arena of modern presidential politics, it's less important to be consistent than it is to be effective.  So while I agree that Dems should let the experience issue re: Palin lie -- because it's more likely to turn back and bite us than not -- if people are actually able to get traction with an "Obama's ready, Palin isn't" meme, well, more power to them.

    I don't think it's very likely that anybody can be successful with that meme, but crazier things have happened already this cycle.

    It is ineffective and harmful (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:24:35 PM EST
    Probably, yes. (none / 0) (#60)
    by Pegasus on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:28:27 PM EST
    Fortunately, nobody takes any of the blogs that seriously.

    We'll see (none / 0) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:28:55 PM EST
    One good way I think it COULD be done (2.00 / 0) (#55)
    by Pegasus on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:27:03 PM EST
    is to not make it about "experience" in terms of length in office, but in terms of the CiC test -- are voters familiar enough with a pol to trust him or her in security/international affairs?  Obama's at least holding his own on that test, and I think there's potential to just kill Palin on it.

    Uh, no (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:30:04 PM EST
    Poll after poll shows McCain winning the CiC argument hands down.  Palin won't enter into the equation.

    Relative position vs. McCain isn't the question. (3.00 / 0) (#90)
    by Pegasus on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:36:22 PM EST
    The CiC threshold is about whether voters see you as capable of doing the job, and thus comfortable with you in the chair, not necessarily whether they think you'd be better than your competition.

    If somebody thinks McCain would be a better CiC than Obama, but that Obama could also do the job fine, they may well vote O for economic reasons, if that's their main concern.  But if they thought Obama would be an unacceptable CiC in the first place, that's the end of that.

    If Palin isn't found to meet that threshold, she's vulnerable there.  While that's not about experience per se, IMO it's at least experience-y.


    This has nothing to do with it (5.00 / 4) (#114)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:46:56 PM EST
    People will look at MCCAIN or OBAMA as the CiC. They do not look at Biden or Palin, and even though there are those here who are tacky enough to have started the "McCain death watch", it's not going to cross people's minds. You cannot compare Obama as CiC to Palin - it's a fallacious argument.

    Palin was picked to throw the Obama camp into a loop, which it has done.  It may pick up moderate / centrist women who are ticked over the way Hillary was treated by the media and the Obama camp, but she also greatly appeals to the conservative base.  Palin has the added bonus of being a "normal" middle class person, even though she's the governor of the largest state in the country, and the governor with the highest approval rating in the country.  This too, plays against Obama's argument of being an "outsider" to Washington (no he's really not) and can help play up his "rock star" reputation and "elitist" persona, which is a turn-off to many people.

    In short, what she plays against, is Obama's bio, which has been his strength throughout this campaign.  She neutralizes it because hers is just as compelling.


    The CiC question matters for VPs, too. (1.50 / 2) (#171)
    by Pegasus on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:08:34 PM EST
    The heartbeat-away thing resonates with people.  You're kidding yourself if you think nobody considers the veep candidates as possible successors.

    And look, I'm not saying we absolutely should take this tack.  I'm just saying we maybe could.


    If Obama had been "holding his own" (5.00 / 4) (#87)
    by tree on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:35:43 PM EST
    he wouldn't have picked Biden as VP. You really don't want to go there, unless you want blowback.

    Chatting with my mom today (none / 0) (#65)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:29:42 PM EST
    I will say that she was not impressed with Ms. Palin. She was a Hillary supporter, and then an Obama leaner.

    Her objections to Palin were issue-based (abortion rights).

    But she agreed strongly that McCain had taken the issue of experience off the table. I think that's the way to argue this.

    No need to argue it (none / 0) (#69)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:30:18 PM EST
    It just IS.

    Honestly, I think this pick is not working (none / 0) (#77)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:32:28 PM EST
    for McCain. The media thinks Palin is a joke.

    The only real danger is that, in the debate, Biden acts like an @ss.


    Actually (5.00 / 5) (#93)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:37:35 PM EST
    The Media's first reaction is going to be a problem.

    I tell you why. Palin is not going to fall flat on her face, is going to give a serviceable speech and they will either have to drop this game or start dealing with Obama's inexperience.

    I smell backlash and the Media acting different after her Convention speech.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#106)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:44:30 PM EST
    $7m (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:17:50 PM EST
    McCain has fundraised $7 million since he picked her -- from evangelicals.

    I agree. I thought that the media (none / 0) (#111)
    by steviez314 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:46:35 PM EST
    was so over the top with the Obama-Clinton convention drama that they would lean the other way (to unity) no matter what Hillary and Bill said.

    Of course, the speeches were perfect anyway, but I think that the MSM would have praised them pretty much no matter what, just to keep their game going.


    yeah, well, many of us voters thinks the media is (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:41:20 PM EST
    a joke.

    The media thinks Palin is a joke.

    I don't think it has (none / 0) (#70)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:31:18 PM EST
    Rove's hand is in this.  He sees the moves 12 moves down the board.  There is a way they will play this, so Obama should not go there.

    But he will.


    Rove is spelled V O l d E m O R t! (none / 0) (#82)
    by jerry on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:34:11 PM EST
    Enough with the ritual fear of Rove and his psychic, dark magic abilities to see 12 moves down the chain.

    Do remember that Karl Rove is an anagram for Tom Marvelo with a few letters tossed out, but aside from that, he is still human.


    I didn't say he wasn't evil (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:41:19 PM EST
    But the man knows his stuff.  And not just him - Republicans keep winning, remember?  Especially this year when they know they are going to have huge losses in the Congress - they are not going to gamble with the WH.

    Rove sees 12 moves ahead? (none / 0) (#83)
    by Gabriel on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:34:13 PM EST
    Sort of like when he saw a permanent GOP majority since he had The math?

    Rove's only genius was based on pure luck of a misdesigned ballot in FL.


    It Won't Stop (none / 0) (#109)
    by JimWash08 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:46:09 PM EST
    the GOP and McCain campaign from playing the "experience off the table" meme because there's a fundamental difference: Top Of The Ticket vs. VP

    As everyone, incl. talking-heads on the media, have, and love to say often -- people vote for who's at the top of the ticket, not at the bottom.

    I believe it was David Gergen or Roland Martin who said this again last night, two of the most vocal supporters of Obama on CNN.


    But, A, this argument is made because Palin (none / 0) (#74)
    by bronte17 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:31:55 PM EST
    resides in a remote and desolate area of our nation that is not the norm.

    Palin was elected by such an incredibly small number of citizens... each time she ran.  Someone at dkos posted the precise numbers, but I don't have it at my fingertips.  

    Lincoln hails from Illinois. As does Obama.  And that state has a large population.

    Um Alaska is "exotic" and foreign now? (5.00 / 6) (#84)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:34:22 PM EST
    What, are we doing Cokie Roberts imitations now?

    Ah, you have put words into my mouth that were not (none / 0) (#129)
    by bronte17 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:52:34 PM EST
    spoken.  Or typed.

    I said "remote" and "desolate."  Both are accurate.

    Alaska has 500 miles of Canadian territory separating it from the continental US. Alaska has 16% of the total US land area... twice as large as Texas. Demonstrative Map

    663,661 people in the entire state, it is the least densely populated state in the union.

    Some territories in Alaska are larger than many states in the lower US with much fewer people populating the territory.


    Sorry (5.00 / 2) (#203)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:17:03 PM EST
    Montana is remote and desolate too. Small population.

    Schweitzer is unqualified to be VP?

    This is ridiculous.


    How many people (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by kredwyn on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:46:37 PM EST
    lived in IL in 1860?

    Illinois had one of the fastest growing population (none / 0) (#176)
    by bronte17 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:09:36 PM EST
    in the US at that time... the population doubled every 10 years from 1810 to 1860.

    Thus, by 1895, 50% of Illinoisans lived in urban areas, whereas the entire country reached that point only in 1920. By 1990, 83% of the population lived in metropolitan areas...

    In 1860, the population of Illinois was 1,711,951.  Ten years later, in 1870, it was 2,539,891.

    Alaska, on the other hand, did not become the 49th state until 1959.  Its population in 1950 was 128,643.

    So, it appears the 1842 population of Illinois is the equivalent of today's Alaskan population.


    Well, that's about as (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:52:01 PM EST
    compelling as any other commentary I see on dkos I guess.

    You've never seen the arguments on Cheney (none / 0) (#138)
    by bronte17 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:55:56 PM EST
    and Wyoming?  Or any other small state with its "disproportionately" large vote?

    Alaska is different in that it comprises such a large land mass, but the territory and terrain are harsh and its population is low.


    What difference does it make? (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:02:15 PM EST
    Cheney being from WY or Palin being from AK? It's policies I care about, not what states they're from. Doesn't seem meaningful at all.

    A brought in Lincoln and Obama in (none / 0) (#216)
    by bronte17 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:25:05 PM EST
    his argument about experience.

    I simply pointed out the underlying dynamics of the backgrounds of Lincoln and Obama hailing from the state of Illinois vs Palin and Alaska.


    But Obama is not running for VP (none / 0) (#209)
    by americanincanada on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:19:41 PM EST
    Alaska has only about 7000 fewer people than Delaware.

    Inexperience might be a plus (none / 0) (#75)
    by koshembos on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:31:59 PM EST
    Some of our best presidents have no experience:JFK, WJC, etc. I am totally with BTD on that. The reason I don't like Obama is because he is a hate-monger, has average intelligence (see his debates and his mediocre speech Thursday) and his hope and change garbage.

    Robert Dallek is a very famous historian. I have no idea whether Mathew Dallek is related to Robert and how.

    That can't be true, (none / 0) (#80)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:33:26 PM EST
    Obama's campaign keeps telling us how brilliant he is.  He went to Harvard, doncha know?  <snark>

    Bob Schieffer on CBS has it just right now: (none / 0) (#121)
    by steviez314 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:49:57 PM EST
    He doesn't focus on whether Palin is inexperienced.  It's "How can McCain say that it matters that Obama is inexperienced now?"

    Obama doesn't have to shoot any missles when the other guy just unilaterally disarmed.

    Because (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by cmugirl on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:53:20 PM EST
    "How can McCain say that it matters that Obama is inexperienced now?"

    She's not at the top of the ticket.

    I guess the argument could be turned around:

    How does Obama argue that he's not a Washington insider now?


    But Obama picked Biden (none / 0) (#155)
    by Saul on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:03:09 PM EST
    to shore up his inexperience.  

    So McCain will now not use the experience factor from here on ought he knows that.

    His only goal with Palin is to increase and stimulate his base.  Just make enough excitement in his base to motivate them to vote.  He will then make the election razor close IMO with Palin and it will not be shoo in for Obama


    But I think he miscalculated (none / 0) (#163)
    by steviez314 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:07:00 PM EST
    Besides Party ID being D +9 or so, it's very late to get the base organized, Obama has a great head start on that.

    I think his base wanted to win so badly they might even have stomached a Ridge as VP, and that would have gotten many more Independents.


    agreed (none / 0) (#148)
    by Turkana on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 05:59:56 PM EST
    the palin selection helps because it undermines mccain's inexperience argument against obama, but the inexperience argument is not the one to be emphasizing against palin. the theocrat/oil industry lackey factors should be enough.

    It depends on the style of governing (none / 0) (#223)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 06:34:18 PM EST
    A president who governs like Bush, with a small and ideologically narrow group of advisors, had better have both experience AND judgment.

    Someone who takes a 'team of rivals' approach the way Obama does, consciously modelling himself on Lincoln, just needs to have the judgment to draw on the best minds and most extensive experience he can find and let it guide him.

    And what do you do... (none / 0) (#227)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 07:40:21 PM EST
    ...when Mccain keeps hammering on it?

    Say nothing?  Then he will get stuck in the trap you don't even seem to acknowledge -- the trap of having no answer.

    Obviously it's not something he wants to harp on or try to attack anyone one.  But for heaven's sake, McCain is going to bring it up again and again until Obama can answer it in a manner that puts it to rest for those who need it put to rest.  And you know what he should say?  Something simple like this:  "I have held two elected positions in my life: State Senator and U.S. Senator.  John McCain has held two elected positions in his life: U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator."  And that is your answer.  Next.

    Yes. It is a dangerous game. (none / 0) (#230)
    by noalosfanaticos on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 08:16:57 PM EST
    Especially when the Obama camp is supposed to be surrounded by morons like these. Disgusting.


    A teensy bit disengenuous... (none / 0) (#231)
    by QueenTiye on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 08:26:47 PM EST
    The Obama camp is whining a little bit - which is different from believing that only experience matters.  They are whining because just a couple of days ago, the McCain argument was all about experience.

    I think Obama and co should have a private celebration - in their success they've re-written the rules about experience - and more or less forced McCain to look for an outsider to answer the call of the American people.

    That said - McCain's call sucks on several levels here - but I'm going to blog about that on my own blog.

    (BTW, long time no see. Hi!)


    incredibly misguided (none / 0) (#234)
    by s5 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 09:05:57 PM EST
    BTD, this new point that you've been hammering on about ("only her policies are fair game to attack") is such an incredibly misguided read of American politics, that I wonder if we've been watching the same country's politics for the last 20 years.

    American voters don't give one whit about "the issues", as long as they get a strong leader who they can trust out of it. Even if the strong leader wants to take them in a completely different direction than where they want to go, and as long as the president appears to have conviction and a plan, the voters will get behind it.

    Our presidential elections are 20% issues (AT MOST) and 80% character. Attacking Palin for being unqualified and attacking McCain's judgment for making such a reckless choice is exactly the right response. It calls everything about McCain's selling points into question. By contrast, by attacking Palin on the issues only, then we're stuck in the usual media sparring match of "Democrats say the earth is round while Republicans say the earth is flat". And no one cares about that stuff.

    "Maverick" McCain is a Misnomer (none / 0) (#236)
    by John in MN on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 10:01:59 PM EST
    McCain has just put a huge foot in his mouth. When he listed his criteria for vetting the VP, "readiness" was a key factor. By choosing Palin, he has decided that someone younger than Obama, with less experience than Obama is ready to commander-in-chief.

    McCain is not a "maverick". He simply doesn't think much about his actions so his oddball choices simply appear to be revolutionary; in fact, he is a bellicose reactionary.

    Is it too hard simply to make (none / 0) (#237)
    by frankly0 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 10:55:42 PM EST
    the distinction that experience is not a sufficient, but is a necessary condition for a competent President?

    Who would be an example in modern American history of a President with experience as shallow as Obama's -- or anything near it -- who was a successful President?

    Would a board choose a CEO of a Fortune 500 company with experience as shallow as Obama's? Is it really easier to guide a successful company than it is to run the most complex and most powerful government and country in history?