The Perils Of The Experience Argument

John Kerry this morning:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You heard Senator Graham, though. He said that she has more experience than Senator Obama.

KERRY: That's just ridiculous on its face. I mean, John -- you know, Barack Obama has been in the United States Senate. . . . [Palin]'s been a governor for, what, the two years now, Barack Obama and the four years [in the Senate]? But, moreover, Barack Obama has traveled abroad.

(Emphasis supplied.) So Kerry's argument is Palin is unqualified because (1) She has been a Governor for 2 years, (2) was not a Washington politician (assuming the House of Representatives would have been acceptable) and (3) did not take a trip abroad like Obama did this summer. Whereas Obama IS qualified because (1) He has been a Senator in Washington, DC for 4 years (as opposed to 2) and (2) he traveled abroad this summer. This is NOT the argument Obama wants.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< Republican Convention Open Thread | Are You Experienced? >
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    John Kerry is such a ... (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:01:39 PM EST
    gifted surrogate.


    As someone who opposes Obama (none / 0) (#84)
    by myiq2xu on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:02:32 PM EST
    let me say that if Obama wants to win he needs to tell some of his supporters to STFU

    They are not helping.


    As someone who supports the Democratic Pary, (none / 0) (#89)
    by ChiTownDenny on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:08:56 PM EST
    I had to turn John Kerry off.  Is this the best we can do?

    I'm done expecting Kerry to help (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by angie on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:02:45 PM EST
    Every time he speaks it just reminds me how the Dems. lost in 2004.

    My firends, let us pray (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:09:28 PM EST
    that no one on CNN asks Donna Brazile this question.

    I can see it now:  Blood on the streets of Fairbanks!

    I never understand (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by jar137 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:11:56 PM EST
    why people accept the underlying premises of th questions posed.  In this instance, why didn't Kerry just ask, on what basis does she have more experience?  this would compel Graham or Steph. to state that mayor of a 7,000 person village is equivalent to state- and nation-wide experience.  If you start by accepting the premise, you are likely to lose or come off as a jerk, as one could argue Kerry did here.  Why would the Obama campaign send Kerry out in the first place, given his consideration of McCain as a running mate?  This history compromises any support Kerry could offer, because the easy retort is, but you considered him for your running mate.

    Sir (none / 0) (#31)
    by tek on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:19:54 PM EST
    we need you in the media, however, you're probably too smart.

    Better approach (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:35:03 PM EST
    taken by Sen Clinton... it's about the issues.... health care, our place in the world, energy dependence... and so on.

    But Kerry is just can not very quick thinking like Sen Clinton.  

    They are really are making this harder than is should be.....ignore experience.. go directly to issues.

    Obama and all ... (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:36:54 PM EST
    his surrogates have to focus on talking about how Obama is going to fix the economy.  Everywhere.  All the time.

    THAT is the winning issue right now.

    A year ago, he might have won on the war.  But the problems in Iraq have been superseded by the ones at home.

    And they have to avoid a mere recitation of the problem.  People know the problem.  Instead they must focus on his plan to fix it.

    I know some in the Obama camp don't wanna put this front and center. Because it's how Clinton won in '92.

    But they have to get over that.  It's the winning issue right now.

    I have (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:00:02 PM EST
    absolute faith that Obama could win this and I would vote for him if he would proudly claim the Clinton economic legacy. If he could talk about the nineties and how great they were economically and how he was going to restore our country to that prosperity he would win soundly.

    Right now their strategy seems to be exactly what the GOP wants: whine about petty crap like Palin's daycare situation, talk about how McCain is old, and scream Roe v. Wade at women.


    He is going there (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:16:22 PM EST
    I heard Obama on CNN this morning talking aboute Bill Clinton's Economics.

    Well (none / 0) (#99)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:17:54 PM EST
    then he needs to get better on getting his message out. His economic ads stink.

    OK I was correct the 1st time (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:31:44 PM EST
    The big sound you heard this morning was my jaw hitting the floor. THUG!!

    I was so amazed that Sen Obama went there. I hope he does that more and more.

    Because it is the Enconomy... not who has more experience.. that people want to hear about.


    The ads stink ... (none / 0) (#109)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:27:40 PM EST
    and the section on the economy on his website is the same crap that's been up there all year.

    This is fixable.

    The question is ... will they?


    I doubt it. (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:34:00 PM EST
    We're at the first of sept with how many days to go? Sixty something and problems that have been simmering for literally months have had nothing done about them. What evidence do we have that they even think it's a problem?

    The evidence would be ... (none / 0) (#118)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:55:09 PM EST
    the more programmatic speech he gave at the convention.

    Not much.  But that's all I've got.


    Ignore this (none / 0) (#102)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:19:02 PM EST
    it was for another message.

    I was in a discussion with my son... not pay attention.


    An argument that might work (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by lepidus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:50:22 PM EST
    When the Republicans argue that she has more executive experience than Obama, which seems to be their new favorite game, instead of jumping on how Obama has more experience, simply point out that yes, Palin has a lot more experience supporting the failed policies of the Bush administration.

    unless, of course, (none / 0) (#76)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:55:27 PM EST
    the policies she supported as Gov of her State were opposite or different than what Bush and the Party in Washington were pushing.

    I don't know what they were, but they'd need to make sure that's a true statement to make or they'd open themselves up to an ad showing Gov Palin proving the Democrats as liars by working against what the Bush Administration wanted her to do.


    How I miss Governor Ann Richards (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Brookhaven on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:04:25 PM EST
    How I wish she was around these last 18 months and could have lived a century or more.  The Dems lost a great woman and fighting Dem in her.

    I remember what Gov. Richards said of Daddy Bush (who also had the Kerry habit of speaking jerkishly on occasion) during the 88 Dem convention.  

    "Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."

    Of course, Governor Richards, could make light of his foot in mouth disease because it was meant to make him look the Republican fool.

    I don't think she would have used those exact words in public to shut up Kerry's big, honking, jerkish mouth.  But, being the elder wise Stateswoman she was, I am sure she would have had something to say to other Dems if not to Kerry himself about his own big honking planinum foot in mouth disease.  And, that he should ST*U.

    I barely voted for Kerry/Edwards in 2004 but my disdain and disgust for the Bushies was too deep not to cast that vote.

    I cringe whenever I see Kerry on my TV and it's times like that when my remote is my best friend.

    Why do Dems let this man speak at all any more?  Stoopid.  When will we learn?  After the reaction of many left blogs, newspapers, TV commentators and Dems like Kerry, never it seems.

    What's that definition of insanity?  

    Ohhh... the Concern ... it burns... (1.25 / 4) (#22)
    by seand on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:12:57 PM EST
    Is that you, Mickey Kaus? I thought I recognized that ever-present tone of Deep Concern. How's Lou?

    Seriously, is this- putatively supporting one candidate, while accepting and repeating, apparently, all of the arguments of his opponent- going to go be the theme here until November? If so, please let me know: there's only room for one Deeply Concerned Democrat on my blogroll.

    Heh (5.00 / 5) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:23:53 PM EST
    You talking to me or John Kerry?

    I love when the idiots from the daily kos community come here to remind me how little I am missing.


    You, BTD (none / 0) (#124)
    by seand on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:00:00 PM EST
    Though, in retrospect, it was, admittedly a bit of a trollish comment. The temptation to go meta- and in this case personal and ad hominem- can be overwhelming. But surely you can see how your posts here could arouse such sentiments; you were, after all, perhaps the only prominent putative Obama supporter in the primaries who nonetheless seemed constantly on the Clinton message-of-the-day.

    That stuff aside, though, let me just say that sometimes, reading the comments and some of the posts here at TL and similar formerly pro-clinton, now pro-obama, sites, I suspect that what's driving a lot of it is what social psychologist's call 'confirmation bias'- the tendency to fixate on evidence that favors our pre-existing views, and ignore or minimize evidence challenges them. Hence, for those who once were convinced that Obama is unelectable, every new development tends to get interpreted as bad political news for Obama and good political news for McCain. Maybe that really is the correct interpretation, but it's worth thinking about whether you believe it because that's what the evidence points to or whether, instead, you believe it because it's hard to give up commitments that one once spent so much time defending.


    Damned both ways (none / 0) (#2)
    by Polkan on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:02:33 PM EST
    Palin is a landmine waiting to blow up on Obama. He should stop competing on experience. But if he doesn, McCain/Palin will.

    I should re-phrase this (none / 0) (#7)
    by Polkan on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:06:17 PM EST
    Obama is in a bad place regarding the experience argument. He needs a strategy to address it. Right now, he gets undermined by EITHER ignoring it or by pushing it.

    Ignoring it is working great (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:07:14 PM EST
    It really is.

    I hope so (none / 0) (#19)
    by Polkan on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:12:09 PM EST
    But a quick scan of Republican blogs makes me believe they are not defending her experience. They will use her experience to contrast and attack Obama. I think they want to turn this election on its head.

    When a tool like Lindsey Graham says that (none / 0) (#28)
    by steviez314 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:18:11 PM EST
    though, you need a response.

    It should be "The American people have be able to judge Senator Obama's policy positions on the issues that affect them.  We look forward to them carefully examining Gov. Palin's. "


    No (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:26:20 PM EST
    You don't. That is my point.

    So you're saying when Graham and Kerry are (none / 0) (#62)
    by steviez314 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:43:42 PM EST
    on MTP and Graham says that, Kerry should just sit silently?  Frankly, I'm tired of Repubs saying black is white and letting it go.

    I think my response is fine--it goes to policy not experience.

    At the very least, an arched eyebrow and a "you should be embarrassed to be arguing that" is called for.


    No (none / 0) (#78)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:57:54 PM EST
    He should talk about how McCain is Bush's Third Term.

    Frankly, no matter what the question is that should be his answer.


    no longer (none / 0) (#103)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:19:27 PM EST
    media darling. They are all talking about Palin. He can't depend on the media. And he's been far to dependent on them for me.

    Nah, (none / 0) (#116)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:36:57 PM EST
    I think they are bored with that storyline. He's no longer "historic" which was the main reason for some of the stuff they were doing. Of course, he's also fallen out of the Media Darling thing before to regain it. We shall see.

    The most interesting thing that's probably going to happen right now is the GOP 527's are going to start cranking out stuff soon.


    I agree (none / 0) (#119)
    by elmey on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:56:25 PM EST

    A few days after the convention the VP candidates will campaign in relative obscurity the way they always do.  It's Obama vs. McCain and that's where the focus should be.


    The Democrats started this after Palin was chosen (none / 0) (#122)
    by BigB on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:34:41 PM EST
    They immediately attacked her on her lack of experience. BTD pointed out that this is a mistake because it starts an arguement on who is more experienced Obama (at the top of the ticket) or Palin (the VP choice). This is a no-win arguement for Democrats.

    Now on Sunday shows what do you see? Journalists asking Republicans: Democrats say Palis is inexperienced, what say you? The Republicans retort: she has more experience than Obama. Voila! Now you are in an arguement with the Republicans over who is more expereinced.

    Politically, Republicans are happy about this arguement because they are not arguing about Bush-Cheney economic record, the Iraq war, etc.

    Really, really, dumb on the part of Democrats to bring up Palin's experience. McCain sets the trap and Democrats take the trap! Idiots!


    When something is 'ridiculous on its face' (none / 0) (#4)
    by steviez314 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:03:00 PM EST
    you can stop talking.

    That said, I think Kerry is just very mad at the Repubs this year.  Maybe a little guilt at not winning and saving the country 4 years of misery.
    Maybe all those Obama smears just reminding him of 2004.  Maybe just that little whiny twerp Graham.

    Kerry has been terrible (none / 0) (#5)
    by bjorn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:05:47 PM EST
    as an advocate for Obama.  I just got off the phone with a friend who lives in AK.  I don't think we need to go after Palin on experience, she may implode on her own, which is always better.  

    What did your friend say? (none / 0) (#8)
    by derridog on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:06:38 PM EST
    First, she was not being honest (none / 0) (#15)
    by bjorn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:09:36 PM EST
    about being against the "Bridge to nowhere."  She was for it before she was against it, and the papers up there reported on it.  When congress cut the amount that was to be allocated, that is when she was against it because she did not want the state to have to pay the difference.  That might have been admirable, but she clearly implied on Friday that she never wanted the bridge and basically, as Kathy Griffin would say, told congress to suck it.  That was just one issue that came up.

    Are we (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by tek on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:21:16 PM EST
    gonna argue with the Republicans about who's being honest concerning their scandals?  

    She also kept the money and (none / 0) (#29)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:18:34 PM EST
    spent it on something else.

    That whole story line - repeated again this morning by McCain on Fox News Sunday - is a ruse - a deception that they are playing to make it seem like she is against earmarks - she may be - but she is obviously is not against taking unrestricted funds from the Federal government - a slush fund is fine with her and her constituents - not fine with me and shouldn't be fine for the rest of Americans who contribute to the pool of money that is allocated to the states.  I am okay with Congress making some collective determinations about how money is spent.


    You should be so lucky. Try the Anchorage Daily (none / 0) (#121)
    by Christy1947 on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:26:06 PM EST
    News (www. adn.com) for July 25, 2008, in which her town has paid a million and a quarter at least on a fouled up attempt to take land while on her watch, so she could build a sports center on it. The town  wanted to buy it, didn't close, it was sold to somebody else, but the town sued to do so, and lost, and then tried to take it by eminent domain, and got into more and more trouble when they simply could have bought it for cash for $125 K  in 1998 and gotten it clean. All on her watch.

    Specifics? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:08:43 PM EST
    She believes troopergate (none / 0) (#20)
    by bjorn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:12:36 PM EST
    will be more signficant because they have emails and voice mails of Palin's that are extremely unflattering.  She apparently has a very mean streak or "anger" issues, not unlike McCain himself.  Thus far, the "temperment" thing has not hurt McCain, maybe it won't hurt her either, but perhaps she is not as emotionally intelligent as her first impressions lead some to believe.

    Ah, thanks (none / 0) (#24)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:13:39 PM EST
    troopergate (none / 0) (#27)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:17:23 PM EST
    is a non-winner as apparently the trooper in question had been abusive to his wife (her sister), had tasered his step-son, had threatened to kill her Dad and seemed to be the main source for those Abuse of Power complaints.

    As I said n an earlier thread, if we Dems start playing that game, we'll push Troopergate and the  Republicans will respond with Obama's own closet full of skeletons.

    And McCain will be above it all as we attack the VP candidate.

    Best to not give them the opportunity to "defend" themselves with a "response" ad, you know?


    I agree, my only thought (none / 0) (#36)
    by bjorn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:21:55 PM EST
    was we don't have to do anything but watch and see how she holds up under pressure.  And the AK papers will probably run some stories that will be picked up nationally.  In regards to her interfering with the trooper stuff, if there was abuse, I have said I have no problem with what she did, if she did anything.  My point is more to her real "temperment" than anything else.

    she's such an unknown (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:28:01 PM EST
    to us still.  

    But, based on her history, she seemed to take on her own Party well enough to beat the Incumbent by 30 points in the Primary and then go on to win the Election, she's fiercely competitive and is a "champion debater" (although I'd love to learn whether or not that is someone's opinion or if she was actually active in debate and really did become a Champion).

    I suspect she's not going to slip up temper-wise when the going gets tough.  Joe Biden is known for gaffes and the like.  Sarah Palin isn't, as far as I know, and I trust the killer instinct will be in play enough for her to go for the jugular, but in a sweet way.

    And, unless they try and sell her as America's Sweetheart (which I don't see them doing), any flashes of temper or aggression could be spun as the reaction of a competent, business-like woman intent on moving beyond talk and getting something done.


    good points (none / 0) (#51)
    by bjorn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:31:28 PM EST
    Bush Quayle won after all...but I think so far Obama himself is handling this just fine.  And I like BTD's views on how to handle Palin thus far, mostly to ignore her.

    I can predict that if she does (none / 0) (#104)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:19:40 PM EST
    keep her cool, she will be called "frigid" by the kewl kids at some blogz.

    Kerry proves to me more each year why (none / 0) (#9)
    by athyrio on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:07:07 PM EST
    he lost that election...What an idiot!!

    I read Palin went to Germany at least (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:07:56 PM EST
    once to check in with the Alaska National Guard and its injured members.  

    P.S.  BTD, I just finished reading Jason Linkins' live blog of the Sunday morning talk shows.  Pretty amusing.  Perhaps you should do a competitive piece.  

    Do you have a link? I gound he's at HuffPo (?), (none / 0) (#77)
    by jawbone on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:56:27 PM EST
    but couldn't find any dates for his posts there--just tweeter date of July 19. Thnx.

    Sure. I think it is a regular (none / 0) (#97)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:16:38 PM EST
    Sunday feature.



    Facing Obama off against Palin only (none / 0) (#13)
    by pluege on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:09:23 PM EST
    further degrades Obama. maybe Kerry didn't notice, but Palin is not at the top of the republican ticket. And as poppy bush demonstrated all too well, people are willing to put up with an idiot for VP pick. (Of course the current White House occupant demonstrates that people are also willing to put up with a republican ignoramus for POTUS as long as its packaged right.)

    and even Poppy's pick (none / 0) (#21)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:12:46 PM EST
    had two full terms in Congress, had finished one term in the Senate, been re-elected and was two years in before becoming VP.

    This is experience issue is not an area Obama and his team want to play with.  They'll lose.

    As it is, they're already using valuable time and energy attacking the VP candidate when their real race is against McCain.


    Kerry also said (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:09:40 PM EST
    His first response to the Palin question was:

    KERRY: I will tell you -- absolutely, because what has happened is John McCain -- you know, we've been warning against the third term of George Bush. With the choice of Governor Palin, it's now the third term of Bush-Cheney, because what he's done is he's chosen somebody who actually doesn't believe that climate change is manmade. He's chosen somebody who has zero -- zero -- experience in foreign policy.

    The first threshold test of a president of a nominee in choosing a vice president is to prove to the American people that the person that you've chosen can fill in tomorrow, that they come with the requisite experience to lead the nation in foreign policy and in national security.

    You know, she may be -- I mean, I'm sure she's a terrific person. I'm not attacking her. I think John McCain 's judgment is once again put at issue, because he's chosen somebody who clearly does not meet the national security threshold, who is not ready to be president tomorrow.

    Sure (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:25:40 PM EST
    But the part he said that I quote, which is about MY argument on the perils of the experience argument, is the relevant excerpt here.

    But ignore it the perils as you wish Jeralyn.

    I won't. I am hoping to get people to see sense on this.


    I agree and I think (none / 0) (#101)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:18:10 PM EST
    Jeralyn's second quoted paragraph clearly demonstrates that.

    The first threshold test of a president of a nominee in choosing a vice president is to prove to the American people that the person that you've chosen can fill in tomorrow, that they come with the requisite experience to lead the nation in foreign policy and in national security.

    (Bolding mine)

    That's why Biden was selected as VP.  He has that knowledge, Obama doesn't.  

    This is just a can of worms trying to argue this on the experience level.  

    It would be more sensible if the two experienced people (Biden and McCain) were running for the same position (either President or VP) and the two inexperienced people were running for the same position.  

    Since they aren't running for "Co-President," trying to compare someone running for President to someone running for VP just doesn't work logically.  The VP won't be President on Day One, so the issue is kind of moot.  


    Leave it to Kerry to (none / 0) (#17)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:10:04 PM EST
    completely blow it on a complex issue like this one.

    However, word is that the Republican surrogates have been making the rounds asserting that Palin has foreign policy experience because of Alaska's close proximity to Russia.

    So I ask you this BTD - what do we do about their fabulist fabrications on this front?  

    How do we respond to those kinds of assertions?

    Do we ignore them?

    I tend to agree that attacking her on the experience front is not productive, but they are going to tell tales and shape an image for her that will be built on lies - as they do - and it seems perilous to me to allow them to get away with that - on the other hand - it could be seen as a strategy to bait us into this discussion - but if we don't respond - Americans will come away thinking that Alaska is managing US-Russia relations or some such silliness...

    So what do we do?

    The only thing that I can think of is to start drawing the parallels that I see between her and George W. Bush in 2000 - but I'm not sure that is all that strong - although it would fit into the more of the same narrative.

    Experience based on proximity (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:12:59 PM EST
    of Alaska is on a par with experience based on living in Indonesia as a kid.  Leave it alone.

    although, (none / 0) (#33)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:21:09 PM EST
    to my understanding, whoever is Gov of Alaska does have to work on a quite consistent basis with both Canada and Russia on matters relating to oil/gas/energy, so there may be more there than we're currently aware of.

    At least we'll all learn something new, right?


    Well, people left it alone with (none / 0) (#44)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:26:42 PM EST
    Bush I and he won.

    I have a problem with the fact that the Republicans are are on the macro level - beyond the scope of this campaign - dumbing down America.

    I'd say that this systematic effort to make people believe utter nonsense has been perhaps even more than 50% of our problem in combatting them.  It certainly is a big reason we are in Iraq today.

    Forget about Palin - and just consider my question in the more general sense - because it happens all the time.  The knee-jerk POW defense being played by the McCain camp is another example of this non-sequitor and misleading approach to political debate.

    What do we do?  Just hope?


    I don't see how the Dems. can (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:30:56 PM EST
    single-handedly infuse common sense into the likely voter.  Improve public education.  Turn off the talking heads.  Read a good newspaper or two.  Don't believe much of what you read on the blogs.  Critical thinking.  

    Well, then I guess I do have to (none / 0) (#58)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:39:28 PM EST
    figure out where to move.

    Very depressing.

    They're going to put her out there and by the time people go to the polls she will be a combination Wonder Woman, Margaret Thatcher (that email is already circulating) and Mother Theresa and we will have said nothing.  We'll lose.  Again.


    Instead of John Kerry, (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:48:25 PM EST
    Obama should have encouraged Hillary Clinton to do the talk show circuit this a.m.  She knows how to answer a question succintly and stick with her answer.  

    Oh believe me - one reason that (none / 0) (#81)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:58:52 PM EST
    I was never able to support Obama in the primaries was because Kerry was clearly a key member of his inner circle.  Kerry seems to have learned all the wrong lessons from his Swift Boating.  He has proven time and time again that he really never had the intuitive understanding of those attacks and how they would work that would have been required for him to effectively combat them. That is one of the big problems with Senators - they rarely have to run in tough campaigns after they get into office, they speak on the Senate floor to an audience of none, and they only ever have to talk to their constituents every six years - if then.  Biden's one advantage over many of the other Senators is that he does live in his home town, rides the train and that he goes on talk shows and gets challenged from time to time.  But he is still pretty siloed in that Senate way as well.

    I think Kerry is still fighting his (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:10:36 PM EST
    own battles from his campaign through his attempts to be a talking head for Obama.

    Nah, don't worry (none / 0) (#75)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:53:27 PM EST
    Obama is going to win.

    But his cause won't be helped by more sexism directed at Sarah Palin.


    My Mom - a Clinton supporter - is (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:05:15 PM EST
    very worried.  I was less worried yesterday - but then I saw the sunday morning shows and well I got more worried.

    It is like the off shore drilling thing which the Republicans started pushing in early June - no Dems responded - now voila - Americans now overwhelmingly support off shore drilling.  They're good.

    I will also say that I always took McCain the most seriously out of the GOP pack of possibles.  He has been around a long time and is I think expert in playing both ends against the middle.


    I think it's going to be OK (none / 0) (#90)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:09:51 PM EST
    McCain has now shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is playing to the extreme right-wing social conservative base. I don't think that will fly now - the country has had enough of it. And he is still ahead in the polls.

    Pelosi and Obama are o.k. with (none / 0) (#93)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:11:38 PM EST
    increasing off-shore drilling.

    Yes now that they stupidly failed (none / 0) (#108)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:27:05 PM EST
    to get in front of that "surge".  They failed to respond to average American people who were looking for an answer to the high gas problems other than "elect Obama".

    Pelosi who is the perfect example of a politician who has no clue how to govern - is now trying to do an end run with what she thinks might be a poison pill by sending a bill to the floor that strips the Oil and Gas concerns of their tax breaks, reinstates the royalties and allocates funds to alternatives - betting that O&G will reject the deal - her problem is that the GOP has already convinced America that off shore drilling is THE answer - so her little parliamentary game is probably doomed to fail on all of the key metrics - politics - leadership and governance.

    If they had only adopted the modern day version of "a chicken in every pot" and said "a solar panel on every roof" they might have at least seemed responsive to the American public on this issue.  As it stands now they were lead footed, tone deaf and have already lost that battle.


    I agree (none / 0) (#80)
    by daria g on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:58:28 PM EST
    I said this on an earlier thread but it seems this observation about the validity of an argument is somehow outside the pale, because it's been disappeared.

    I have no idea what the rules are on this blog.


    And AK also borders Canada (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:28:00 PM EST
    as does my state, and my gov has been very occupied moving forward a compact with Canada that is a plus on his resume.  And working with Canada even can mean working with the UK types over the pond, too.

    I wouldn't diss this aspect of her record.  I would leave it alone.  Or perhaps we will have to discuss which foreign countries border Delaware.


    Great Lakes Compact, at last (none / 0) (#126)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:36:27 PM EST
    among eight states and Canada to preserve our mutual resource, an ecosystem so crucial to this country and our neighbors to the north.  It's in trouble already, and many -- such as Bill Richardson -- want to take our water.  Now they have to get eight states and Canada to agree.

    ps... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by kredwyn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:31:24 PM EST
    per our earlier discussion...

    Excellent research. Thanks. (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:41:46 PM EST
    Good. n/t (none / 0) (#64)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:44:05 PM EST
    Ignore them (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:24:19 PM EST
    Alaska gov... (none / 0) (#46)
    by kredwyn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:27:23 PM EST
    actually has some real power. TX? Most of the power (budget and so on) is with the Lt. Gov.

    To negotiate with Russia? (none / 0) (#61)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:42:41 PM EST
    I doubt it.

    But whatever - they'll tell you she's so well versed in Russian relations that she will be assigned to focusing on the Georgia conflict immediately upon taking office and we'll all just nod in agreement that that is a) true and b) meaningful.


    Negotiating fishing rights (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by kredwyn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:03:06 PM EST
    with other countries is similar to dealing with water rights debates in CO and other western states. When I was in CO, I noticed that there's a lot of diplomatic back and forth between states re: water.

    Not saying there's a whole lot of FP experience negotiating fishing stuff...but there's a bit more than might be assumed.

    With TX, there were negotiations with Mexico. But when it comes to running the state budget and so on, Gov. George didn't have a whole lot of control.

    The amount of power she had in her state differs from the level of power George actually had in TX.


    Alaska (none / 0) (#82)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:59:03 PM EST
    It's not entirely b.s. On another thread, someone posted about Alaska bordering two countries, how, militarily, it actually dealt with issues of international security and defense that other states don't have -- and are under the purview of the gov.

    Can't recall who posted it, but it was an interesting and informed post. I'm not doing it justice.


    If it's the same post I remember (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:24:48 PM EST
    it also mentioned that one of the largest Homeland Security outposts was in Alaska.  They also have over 10 military bases.  

    I understand that, but it is still (none / 0) (#98)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:17:39 PM EST
    only in the context of Alaska and their relationship to their neighbors - not really the same as the context of the greater United States and the rest of the world.  I think it is an exaggeration on their part to say that that constitutes foreign policy experience.  All border states have a greater awareness that there are other nations and people in the world, but that does not equate to foriegn policy experience as one would think of it - Bush II was sold as being strong on foreign policy because he governed the border state of Texas.  We all know how that turned out.  The world is just far more complex than what border states deal with.  But nevermind.

    I'm getting the feeling that most people are intent on supporting Palin and McCain on this site for whatever reason.  Personally, I am pretty frightened by the prospect of continuing the Republican legacy of destruction.


    I don't believe people are (none / 0) (#115)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:35:20 PM EST
    supporting McCain/Palin as much as wanting to have a reasonable discussions about them -- you know, that old "compare and contrast" thing.  

    If people simply wanted to support candidates, there are plenty of places to do that.  It's much harder to find places to actually discuss issues without all the screaming and blatent lies and misrepresentation.



    How many states border 2 countries? (none / 0) (#127)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:38:46 PM EST
    Seriously, this got me thinking.  It's interesting.  I can't come up with another one.

    Agree that Palin's relative experience (none / 0) (#25)
    by indy in sc on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:14:45 PM EST
    should just be ignored by Obama's camp.  That said, here is where I think Obama's trip this summer starts to pay dividends.  The temporary bump after the visit was good, but fleeting.  Now, when others (and the key is that it really should be others--not Obama) try to argue that Palin is just as experienced as, or more experienced than, Obama, it will not ring true with most people because somewhere in the back of their minds they have the pictures of Obama in the helicopter with Petraeus (on the same day McCain was photographed with George H W Bush in a golf cart), Obama with Sarkozy, Obama with al-Maliki, etc.

    assuming Biden has these kinds of pictures (none / 0) (#26)
    by bjorn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:16:42 PM EST
    too?  I would think so, but don't know.

    they will also (none / 0) (#30)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:19:23 PM EST
    have in their minds Palin in t-shirt and sunglasses shaking the hands of the soldiers in Germany.

    The Obama camp is going to have to rely on more than just pictures taken this Summer to sell Barack as someone with foreign policy expertise.


    Rather surprising Sen. Kerry is touting (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:19:58 PM EST
    experience in DC, given the funny meme about Sen. Biden not living in D.C.  

    I have always disagreed with (none / 0) (#72)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:51:38 PM EST
    running against Washington.  The reality is that there is a skill set and knowledge-base required for governance.  Experience helps - but believe me there are plenty of pols in this town who have been around for a long time and couldn't govern their way out of a paper bag - the skill and knowledge is the real requirement - one that Clinton had - Obama may have an aptitude for - McCain has never had the temperment for - and Palin who seems to have little interest in based on what the local Alaska papers are saying about her.

    An Obamabot on Salon pointed out (none / 0) (#35)
    by WillBFair on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:21:52 PM EST
    that Obama was in the State Legislature for 8 years? If that's so, the argument is over. He has much more experience than she.

    they both have roughly 12-13 in public (none / 0) (#37)
    by bjorn on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:23:22 PM EST

    You think? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:31:42 PM EST
    Go with that if you want.

    Part-time job (none / 0) (#130)
    by nell on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 09:42:34 PM EST
    State senate is a part-time job...about 53 days a year.

    Mayor of a small town is 365 days a year.

    I would say it is a wash...

    Another thought on attacking her small-town start in politics is that it may be starting to offend people. My dad, who grew up in a small town, said that he didn't understand why people were acting like she wasn't entitled to a chance just because she started out by being a mayor of the small town in which she grew up, after all, we cannot all be from Chicago or New York City. He said this in response to the Obama campaign's first response about her being a mayor of a town of 9,000. His point was that a) she is a governor now, b) nobody should hold it against her that she came up through the small town she grew up in.

    Kristin Powers, the Fox Democratic strategist is from Alaska and made it clear in an op-ed and tonight on Fox that she was really offended by the way Palin's work as a mayor and a Governor was being totally brushed off because she is from Alaska. She also said that she has been taken aback by the sexism being thrown at Palin...

    Tread carefully...


    big cities run themselves, not small ones (none / 0) (#133)
    by lmv on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:58:00 AM EST
    I live in a small town that is really a suburb of a big city.  Running cities this small presents challenges that are radically different from governing Chicago or NY.  

    1.  You can only spend the tax money you take in.  Small towns don't have lines of credit, revolving loans, or A-list bonds at their disposal.  When they get a muni approved, they agree to pay it off, not roll it into something else again and again and again ...

    2.  They have to make decisions that will upset their constituents who are their family, friends, and neighbors.  It's very stressful and not for the weak.

    3.  There are so many opportunities to cross ethical lines or find you have a conflict of interest - because your pool of applicants is limited.  How many banks are there?  How many concrete companies?  Catering companies?  Imagine what happens when a well-financed corporation wants to cut a deal.  (Apparently, Palin took office and cleaned house, getting rid of entrenched cronines.)

    4.  Notoriously short-staffed, small cities have interesting org charts.  The mayor would have done all of her own work plus whatever else needed to be done.  They don't have chiefs of staff.

    Obama et al needs to drop the line about the small town mayor.  A lot of Americans live in small towns.  These voters will be insulted and decide Obama/Biden are out of touch with their lives.  

    The Illinois state legislature is a (none / 0) (#131)
    by abfabdem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 09:51:40 PM EST
    part-time job.

    BTD (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:23:32 PM EST
    on the front page of the AJC today was an article about how the Obama campaign was caught flat footed on this. Apparently they had ads already cut for two of McCain's picks, I'm guessing Pawlenty and Romney, but were ready with nothing about Palin. Apparently since it is really showing.

    I'll have to give Kerry props on one point though. He at least wasn't dumb enough to mention Obama's time in the Il legislature. I'm sorry but I always found that argument laughable.

    Palin has traveled abroad too to see troops. Now, that may not be equal to all the rallies Obama had but it's simply not true what Kerry said.

    So has this become Palin vs. Obama or what? The experience argument is so silly since Palin is VP and talking about McCain dying in office is does nothing short of making the Obama campaign sound morbid and depressing.

    I guess the Obama campaign simply can't move past the primaries. It seems everytime they get their back up against a wall, they revert to this kind of stuff. They simply do not know how to run against Republicans.

    if true (none / 0) (#55)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:35:42 PM EST
    that they were caught flat-footed, then the Dems are in worse shape than we thought.

    I was ready for a Palin pick.  BTD and others in the blog-o-sphere had her on their radar for the last few months, I believe.  If WE were at least aware of a Palin pick -- the chances of which literally soared after Hillary wasn't picked --, then why weren't THEY?!?!?

    McCain had an ad out on Biden BEFORE he and Obama made their first official appearance.  THAT'S the kind of organization the Dems are up against and they've gotta pull it together.  The Dems should have been ready with an ad of their own or at least reams of opposition research, but I strongly suspect they're still gathering that together.

    A day late and a dollar short ain't gonna cut it.  

    It'll be interesting to see how the weekly Polls change post-Convention and post-Palin pick.


    I think it's a good thing the Obama (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:43:45 PM EST
    campaign didn't have an ad ready, given Burton's initial press release.  

    LOL (none / 0) (#67)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:45:54 PM EST
    That is very true.

    I've known (none / 0) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:44:37 PM EST
    that the party was in bad shape for months. No matter how things are going for the Dems with the right track/wrong track numbers Brazille, Dean et.al. will surely find a way to lose. Obama started to turn it around with the speech Thursday night but now he might as well never have even done that speech. McCain just stepped all over him using his own tactics.

    it does concern (none / 0) (#68)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:48:07 PM EST
    me how quickly McCain was able to cause Obama, et al. to move their eye off the ball and focus their time and energy on the VP candidate.

    McCain did it right.  One ad (that I'm aware of, anyway) using Biden's own words against Obama and that's been it.  They went back to focusing on Obama and made Joe a non-issue.  (Plenty of time later for that, I think)

    But Obama and his supporters seem to be intent on taking down Palin IMMEDIATELY when it would be much more effective to chink the armor and THEN take her down much closer to the Election.

    That I know this and they don't appear to is worrisome.  

    Any bets on when we see an Obama Campaign Shake-up with Axelrod out and (Generic Smarter Dem Adviser) in?


    This might sound really dumb (none / 0) (#117)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:45:54 PM EST
    but I think the Dems need to worry about Palin looking more macho than Obama does.  It seems the Republicans had those wonderful shots of Palin with the military guys, shooting a rifle -- that stuff plays big in certain parts of the country.  Think Angelina Jolie and all her assassin/spy movies.  Girl with a gun, contemporary Annie Oakley.    

    Obama risks carrying the "windsurfer" mantle if his campaign doesn't amp up the advertising appropriately.  


    oh (none / 0) (#120)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 05:19:35 PM EST
    hadn't thought of that.

    It's possible that a relatively small subset of rural, blue collar voters may be prone to not vote for the Dem ticket if the Republicans were to run footage of Obama body-surfing and golfing with counter footage of Palin shooting and meeting the troops as well as footage of McCain's POW time.

    It could be effective, but probably not on a nationwide level.


    I think all they need to show (none / 0) (#128)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:53:13 PM EST
    is Obama bowling and then answering a question at Saddleback (where he tried to look "thoughtful"), then a little bit of Michelle talking about her first date and her husband driving.    

    A lot of the video clips of Palin that I've seen on TV have shown her looking rather fearless:  Handling live fish while fishing, shooting that rifle, hanging out with soldiers, etc.  

    While looking like a constitutional scholar may play well in some areas, the idea of the "masculine man" plays a lot better in many of the areas where Hillary won.  Think of it as "Mac versus PC."  Hillary hit her stride when she drank that boilermaker.  Is Obama a whiskey and beer guy?  Or is he drinking Mai-tais?    

    On a subconcious level, I'm sure this is already at play.  


    Don't forget (none / 0) (#129)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 07:03:10 PM EST
    voters choose Bush because they wanted to have a beer with him.  (Which has to be the dumbest reason in the world, but it shows the mindset of a lot of the voters.)

    I love the fear... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Dadler on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:23:45 PM EST
    ...we all have of Palin.  Ignore her then.  Or how about, when the experience question is raised yet again, one of these Democratic dupes answers with a short and sweet one: you have more constituents to represent if you're mayor of Columbus, Ohio than you do as Governor of Alaska.  Then segue right into how extremist her views are.  Or are we so frozen with fear we're worried we might lose Alaska, or the other always-vote-Republican states with equally tiny populations?

    Shake, shiver, shudder, pee your pants, I guess we just can't solve this one.  Boo Hoo.

    Then again, it won't matter when all that computer code owned and controlled by private companies gets to really decide this election.

    I do not fear HER (5.00 / 6) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:27:13 PM EST
    I fear the stupidity of Democrats.

    Which all could have been avoided (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 06:35:25 PM EST
    if they listened to you for the last many months. Most likely McCain would not have gone with another woman with Hillary on the ticket and we would have a sure thing going.

    Too bad (none / 0) (#56)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:35:54 PM EST
    it looks like you are proven right on this fear almost daily.

    Palin has shook the Obama campaign to the core. I think largely because he has depended on identity politics and this has just thrown a stick of dynamite into the middle of the campaign.


    exactomundo! (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:52:38 PM EST
    Obama was anticipating that his Personal Story would capture the imagination of voters enough to inspire them to vote for him.  He was also figuring he'd be the one getting wall-to-wall coverage until Election Day.

    And then here comes a COMPLETE unknown with her OWN personal story and ongoing coverage and ... oops.  What do we do now?

    Um ... uh ... er ... (sigh)


    Perhaps his media darling (none / 0) (#132)
    by abfabdem on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 09:55:15 PM EST
    status will be eclipsed and there are only two months left . . .  The Obama camp may have planned on him being the center of attention until the election, then McCain pulled the rug out from under him.

    Heh (none / 0) (#73)
    by Jackson Hunter on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:51:47 PM EST
    You're just fearing this NOW?  LOL  (Just snarkin' ya, I know you know better BTD.)

    Now if only the DNC can figure it out, this may just work out, but I'm not betting on it.  Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory has been a Democratic standard for a while, except in '06, and they have done nothing with that stunning victory.



    No one is saying ignore her. (none / 0) (#54)
    by indy in sc on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:35:07 PM EST
    We're saying ignore the experience factor.  It's a losing proposition for the Obama camp to push it.  Her policies are the appropriate target for criticism.  Far safer and more effective to paint her as a right-wing ideologue who only brings superficial change whereas the substance she brings is still more of the same--Bush's third term.

    I say ignore her (none / 0) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:40:23 PM EST
    But if you must, talk about issues.

    I think they must. (none / 0) (#66)
    by indy in sc on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:44:53 PM EST
    At least initially.  Once the pick is made, they have to have some public reactions to it.  Over the course of the rest of the campaign, sure, they can focus on McCain.

    Bad idea ... (none / 0) (#70)
    by prittfumes on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:49:07 PM EST
    [Y]ou have more constituents to represent if you're mayor of Columbus, Ohio than you do as Governor of Alaska.

    This could be interpreted by some as dissing small-town America where they are "clinging to their guns and religion".

    Yeh. Too bad that trap (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 04:30:27 PM EST
    was set by our own side, too.

    I'm not one who agrees that McCain set a trap here.  I'm from hunting country, so I see it differently.

    Dems set these traps.  McCain just set the bait.  And then Dems sprung the traps on themselves.

    Here, that's called "not ready for the hunt."

    Perhaps it would be wise to adorn such Dems so that they can be spotted easily, for our own safety.  How about bright orange?  Oh, wait, such Dems already did so adorn themselves.  Stay away from orange sites.:-)


    BTD is right (none / 0) (#79)
    by facta non verba on Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 03:58:19 PM EST
    Palin reopens the experience argument in a whole different way. She's running for VP, Obama is running for President. The Obama/Biden now looks like it should be flipped to Biden/Obama.