McCain's Palin Choice: Experience Does Not Matter

Michael Kinsley:

The whole "experience" debate is silly. Under our system of government, there is only one job that gives you both executive and foreign policy experience, and that's the one McCain and Obama are running for [BTD - That's what Bill Clinton was saying when he noted no one was really "Ready to be President."] Nevertheless, it's a hardy perennial: If your opponent is a governor, you accuse him of lacking foreign policy experience. If he or she is a member of Congress, you say this person has never run anything. And if, by chance, your opponent has done both, you say that he or she is a "professional politician." When Republicans aren't complaining about someone's lack of experience, they are calling for term limits.

[More . . .]

That's why the important point about Palin's lack of experience isn't about Palin. It's about McCain. And the question is not how his choice of Palin might complicate his ability to use the "experience" issue or whether he will have to drop experience as an issue. It's not about the proper role of experience as an issue. It's not about experience at all. It's about honesty. The question should be whether McCain -- and all the other Republicans who have been going on for months about Obama's dangerous lack of foreign policy experience -- ever meant a word of it. And the answer is apparently not. Many conservative pundits woke up this morning fully prepared to harp on Obama's alleged lack of experience for months more. Now they face the choice of either executing a Communist-style U-turn ("Experience? Feh! Who needs it?") or trying to keep a straight face while touting the importance of having been mayor of a town of 9,000 if you later find yourself president of a nation of 300 million.

. . . How could anyone truly believe that Barack Obama's background and job history are inadequate experience for a president and simultaneously believe that Sarah Palin's background and job history are adequate? It's possible to believe one or the other. But both? Simply not possible. John McCain has been -- what's the word? -- lying. And so have all the pundits who rushed to defend McCain's choice.

(Emphasis supplied.) I agree with Kinsley. But then again, the same can be said about Democrats and pundits who kept saying Obama's LACK of experience did not matter and now are up in arms about Palin's lack of experience. I have the luxury of having always said Obama's lack of experience did not amount to a hill of beans and say now that my objection to Sarah Palin is not her lack of experience, it is her ideology - which is the same extreme Republican philosophy that Hillary and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama rightly criticized John McCain for having. No amount of experience or lack of experience changes the question put to voters when choosing between Obama and McCain. To me it is a no brainer. Obama must be our next President.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    The "inexperienced" meme (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by myiq2xu on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 07:56:03 AM EST
    is a trap for the Democrats.

    Yes, Sarah Palin lacks experience, but so does Obama.  But she isn't running for President, he is.

    And weren't we hearing (not from here) that it was racist to call Obama "inexperienced?"  That would mean it is sexist to say the same thing about her.

    You are correct BTD, she should be critiqued on her political philosophy and policy positions.

    As the point and fact of the article (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:11:13 AM EST
    is clearly stating, it's no longer about Obama or Palin's "weakness" it's about McCain's sincerity. McCain has been fussing and whining about how much experience matters, then turns around and picks someone who even her supporters know "is not ready". The job of a nominee (again) is to pick someone who is ready in case of emergency. It should be obvious that death is NOT the sole occurance that would require a VP to assume the highest office. Anyone who thinks that McCain's VP choice doesn't present grave complications both real and political, should be written completely off by the Obama campaign, because they were NEVER going to earn their vote in the first place frankly.

    what if? (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Josey on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:22:57 AM EST
    If Biden died in office - would Obama be left to make decisions on his own?!?
    Absolutely not!
    Neither would Palin.

    It is (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:28:09 AM EST
    SO LONG AS Democrats do not pretend to care about Palin's experience.

    Not experience but preparedness (4.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Ramar on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:47:08 AM EST
    As Kinsley points out, "experience" is a very fungible and easily spun term and therefore carries little real value as a descriptive term for discerning how one would behave in the role of POTUS or VPOTUS. Preparedness is in my view, a better term to use when critiquing someone like Palin. She has yet to appear on the likes of MTP and has not faced the grilling of 26 debates against the top tier of American politics. She has not been vetted by the media or the public to any degree of satisfaction. Obama has less experience than McCain, but he has had over 2 years to prove his mettle in the toughest political arena in America. If Obama can take on the Clinton team (the most experienced political operation possible) and defeat it, I feel comfortable with him taking on the likes of Putin etc.. Is there anything in Palin's experience that shows that she is prepared to do likewise?

    Inspiring confidence is yet a higher threshold (none / 0) (#125)
    by Ramar on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:09:17 PM EST
    There are many who would be considered "prepared" who would still not cross the confidence threshold with me. I feel comfortable with Obama because I have had the opportunity to see how he runs a national campaign. Unlike Palin, he has been vetted sufficiently enough for me to make a reasoned judgment about my confidence level and whether his qualifications to lead meet my criteria.

    Just because someone has crossed a preparedness threshold does not mean I would have confidence in them. That is yet another more subjective threshold. McCain, like Bush crosses the basic preparedness threshold but I still have no confidence in their judgment (or policies).  

    In the end, preparedness is just the first threshold to cross, not the only one. I assumed that was implicit.


    Meet the Press? (none / 0) (#132)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:45:43 PM EST
    Appearances on MTP count as experience and measure toughness?  And should be a qualification for the Presidency?  Sheeze.  I must disagree with that.  A mother of 5 has faced more crisis, and more tough times, (not to mention a Mayor and Governor) than a pre scheduled interview with Tim Russert, for which one has been prepared.  

    Shows like MTP (none / 0) (#135)
    by Ramar on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 01:33:59 PM EST
    Are on the public record and can be scrutinized. Difficult questions are asked and we can begin make a reasoned judgment of a candidate based on how they respond in these situations.

    I wonder ... (none / 0) (#79)
    by eustiscg on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:19:15 AM EST
    ... if there's a way to talk about the marginality of Alaska and Alaskan politics without making it merely sound like the city elite's attack on the backwoods.  I.e., Alaska's probably the only state you could govern and manage not to have an opinion on Trade, Immigration, Technology, Welfare/Poverty or even the most basic elements of Foreign Policy.

    I disagree (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by frenly on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:25:01 AM EST
    Alaska likely carries on quite a bit of foreign trade, and has substantial numbers of immigrants (mostly asians).  Poverty and welfare issues are significant given the large native population.  In any event it will never serve Dems to talk about the marginality of any place as it only feeds the notion that Dems are elitist.  Most Americans live in the suburbs of major cities, which are basically small towns.  Obama has better step carefully there lest another bitter clingy-gate occur

    Alaska is principally Caucasian, with the next (none / 0) (#120)
    by Christy1947 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 11:56:37 AM EST
    largest group Native American/Inuits, at 15% and only very small fractions anything else.

    The experience meme seen on a standalone basis, is a mess, but there is fertile ground for examining Palin on the basis of what she has done and how she has done it, a different form of experience. Much to review and criticize there, if somebody will quite blocking Googleable sites which seem to say interesting things, but which are apparently in some manner no longer accessible.

    One example. Is the groundbreaking reformer status so powerful if you know that just before she came in the IRS and the FBI swept down on Alaska politicians and searched the offices of ten percent or more of every legislator in office, and there were multiple indictments. Ted Stevens is definitely not alone. Under those circumstanes, a new ethics code was inevitable, no matter who the governor was and a sleeping mouse could have gotten it through. And the resulting statute most interestingly excludes two state officers, the Governor and Lt. Governor. I read the whole bloody statute and a good New York politican can drive a truck through the holes in it.

    So, rethink experience and don't give up on this, but remember it is not a calendar issue.


    No, it's not possible (none / 0) (#136)
    by lilburro on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 02:53:38 PM EST
    As frenly writes below, Alaska has its own issues (including crime).  I don't see how insulting Alaska does us any good, if we're going to care about Wyoming, Montana or the Dakotas.  

    While it seems to be obligatory (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by frankly0 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:15:40 AM EST
    among the punditry and other blowhards to act as if a VP must be every bit as prepared as the Presidential candidate, the claim is just so much hysterical, mindless bloviating.

    The reality is that most people can perform rational calculations, and what they know perfectly well is that it is exceedingly unlikely that a VP will have to take over on Day One, or, indeed, at all. If they were to take over, it would very likely be some years into the administration. If they were to do so, they would be stepping into an administration already fully selected and functioning and with a clear direction, not building it from scratch. Much of the most important decision making would be behind them therefore. Often "Acting" roles at executive levels are simply caretaker, stewardship roles, and mostly VPs undertake such roles. It is absurd to imagine that those roles require the same level of experience as that of putting the executive organization and direction in place in the first place.

    Many people see the VP role as, as at least as much as anything else, a grooming role for someone who might become President in later terms. Having someone in that role who's not yet adequately prepared to be President is no act of recklessness.

    While I'd still say that Palin isn't even experienced enough to take on the VP role even with all these caveats, it really only serves to underscore how absurdly inadequate is Obama's likewise exceedingly thin experience for the role of President, where he most certainly needs to be able to put together a new administration with a new direction from Day One.


    just to add a bit (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by frankly0 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:34:55 AM EST
    Most voters know in their guts that the experience level in a VP simply is not nearly as important as that for the President, and I think I've captured in my post the rational justifications for that view.

    Now, of course, politicians have to talk as though a VP must be every bit as prepared as the President, that they must be ready "from Day One", as must be the President himself. It's simply one of those standard BS points politicians must engage in, because in the hysterical "thinking" of politics, t worst case scenarios always must be given the greatest weight, however improbable.

    But if most voters really know and accept the unspoken truth that the VP candidate is very unlikely to take over at Day One, the talk about how a VP must really be prepared as well as the Presidential candidate simply falls on deaf ears.

    And that's the real trap for Obama supporters who are trying to make so much of Palin's real shortcomings in experience -- they simply highlight Obama's own shortcomings, which are, in fact, felt to be far more severe and relevant in the Presidential candidate by most voters than in the VP candidate.

    Obama supporters may think that they are either winning or at least coming to a draw in the argument over experience, because the ritually required rhetoric of such things demands the pretense that the VP candidate must be every bit as qualified as the Presidential candidate. Yet the reality is that voters are coming to a very different conclusion, because of what they know, but is never spoken -- namely that experience is far more critical in the Presidential candidate than  in the VP.

    (Boy, was that longwinded!)


    I disagree. McCain's ads tout (none / 0) (#103)
    by zfran on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:17:52 AM EST
    "is he ready to lead." Any touting by McCain on Obama's fp inexperience was minimilized with Obama's Biden pick. So, in essence, fp policy was off the table (in theory). It is Obama v McCain, not Obama v Palin. and any other way the Obama campaign tries to make it is disingenuous and imo wrong. Also, every time the Obama team goes to degrade and take Gov. Palin down, it looks immature and as if he's afraid of her. The dems, imo, have once again showed why Bill Clinton's meme is correct: Republicans know how to win elections, they just don't know how to govern. Makes sense to me!

    What do you mean "every time the Obama (none / 0) (#122)
    by Christy1947 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 11:59:25 AM EST
    team goes to degrade. . . "  He hasn't. His comment to date is  "OK, that's the VEEP candidate. Welcome to the race, Mrs. Palin. It doesn't change anything we've said about McCain. He's still . . . " How is that an Obama attack on her experience?  Are you confusing commentators and bloggers with O again?

    The only way Obama himself does (none / 0) (#137)
    by zfran on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 03:02:55 PM EST
    not connect himself with Gov. Palin is if he doesn't mention her at all. Yesterday, at a rally, he said something like. ....both Gov. Palin and Sen. McCain are against equal pay yada,yada,yada. He should not mention her at all!!!! If he and surrogates minimalizes her then she become unimportant. Biden could say something perhaps, but not Obama who is running against McCain. His surrogates, as you try to educate me on, were all over the airwaves yesterday linking Palin with inexperience, no fp knowledge, along with McCain equals Bush 3. No a good plan for the Obama!

    Just look at the coverage his pick (none / 0) (#139)
    by zfran on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 03:07:22 PM EST
    generated, look at the convention bounce he got after McCain announced on Friday morning (for which McCain got his own bounce in the polls), look at all the blogs have been talking about since then, look at who is driving the agenda, look who had a very unpresidential first reaction to McCain's pick, and on and on. You bet it sent "shivers" to the dems. Totally unexpected and they didn't know how to handle it. You may buy into the theme she's inexperienced, but middle american, you know, the ones everyone has been saying wasn't paying much attention until labor day, well, they are paying attention and they are one big target audience!!!

    By this logic (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by cmugirl on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:00:21 AM EST
    Anyone should be able to walk off the street and be President.  If no experience is truly necessary, then why don't we see "regular" people run for high office every year. I know you said this was a "political" job in an earlier thread, but it's also the most important job in the world with lots of responsibility.

    Sorry - I guess we disagree.  Experience matters to me.  Palin is not at the top of the ticket. Unfortunately, this year, we don't have good choices to fill this job.

    Sure anyone could... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Fabian on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:08:51 AM EST
    but even the Perots of the world can only run with huge amounts of campaign cash and the support of the media.

    And Politicians need huge amounts of campaign cash, the support of the media and the support of their parties.

    It is true that Paris Hilton could run for President since she potentially has the money and media access, she'd have to compete against people with a history of relevant experience.  

    Experience isn't necessary, but it helps enormously with both public perception and party support.

    Experience - more of a tie breaker than a deal breaker.


    Mmm... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by cmugirl on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:14:56 AM EST
    Running for office is one thing.

    I'm talking about actually, you know, doing the job.

    And I think experience matters greatly.


    But how you run your campaign (none / 0) (#16)
    by Fabian on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:19:03 AM EST
    tells you LOADS about how they will govern!

    At least, that's what I've been told this election season re: Obama versus Clinton.  But if you apply the same logic to McCain....


    I have seen the argument (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:27:27 AM EST
    from, in the words of Josh Marshall, people who should know better, that Obama now has executive experience because he ran this campaign.

    Yes, I have seen this argument also (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Nike on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:03:05 AM EST
    and, as you suggest, it is not an argument that we want to have. (It just sounds absurd to most voters, and of course, if you say Obama has a lot of experience from having run for office, it has the unintended effect of imaging Obama as a politician.) The campaign needs to get out of the Palin trap.

    That is a silly argument (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by frenly on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:06:30 AM EST
    IMO because is basically asserts and opens the line of attack that Obama chief accomplishment and experience is in running for office.  I can just see the commercials, especially when you combine it with the meme that he is famous for being famous... ouch!

    And also (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by jb64 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:23:32 AM EST
    Bush won the office twice but who would say that he has been a successful executive?

    Ugh by that logic.... (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:31:09 AM EST
    ...Karl Rove should be president since he managed to get the biggest sack of crap in history elected president.

    Which job? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:22:18 AM EST
    What is the job of a Senator?

    Tell me what you think it is.

    Let me tell you something, politicians do not have jobs like you or me.

    Why are you acting as if they do?


    Well, (none / 0) (#38)
    by cmugirl on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:37:28 AM EST
    The American people haven't seemed to think for decades (and only twice in the last century) that being a Senator qualified someone to do the job of an executive. Senators, by the nature of their job, are into long winded speeches and debates. I know what a Senator does - I passed 8th grade civics.

    And no, politicians don't have jobs like you and me.  Our jobs require that we show up for work every day, complete projects in a timely manner, within budget constraints, report to a boss (or bosses), and actually review the documents we are working on. I won't even go into how we also don't get all the perks.


    As Kinsley writes (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:40:52 AM EST
    There is only one job that prepares to be President - and that is the job of President.

    This is... (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Cairo Faulkner on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:03:37 AM EST
    ...absolutely true. But I do think there are some jobs that prepare you more than others. I really think people are in dangerous territory when they start saying 'Obama has been in politics longer than Palin!', as if the only measure of experience is time. Such a judgement fails to recognise the massive distinction between executive and legislative experience.

    'Running things' is nowhere near as easy as those two simple words suggest. Managing is about taking decisions (no voting present in the governor's mansion) and seeing them through. That second point is particularly important I feel: nobody enters politics without ideas or aims. What distinguishes leaders from mere politicians is that the former know how to make mere words into a reality.


    Interesting (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:21:00 AM EST
    When we try a term or two of "regular people" then we would know if that would be a bad or good thing.

    Since "regular people" mostly do not have the money to do that, we'll never know.


    BTD: Maybe we will know (none / 0) (#90)
    by RalphB on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:40:30 AM EST
    From TNR's Plank via the NYT:

       In this year of bittergate and Britney-gate and McCain-has-seven-houses-gate, that could conceivably be a virtue; it's certainly less tone-deaf than a selection like Mitt Romney would have been.

        But Palin isn't merely playing at being ordinary, the way that Bill Clinton (Rhodes Scholar) or George W. Bush (son of a president) or Hillary Clinton (wife of a president) might. She really, really comes across that way -- like someone who had won a sweepstakes or an essay contest. Her authenticity factor is off-the-charts good; her biography sings. But do Americans really want their next-door-neighbor running for Vice President, or rather someone who seems like one?

    I'd love to see a normal person in office, as opposed to the douchebags we get now.


    EJ Dionne has it right (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:23:38 AM EST
    For the GOP, experience only mattered when the woman in question was named Harriet Mier and she seemed too moderate.

    Miers's lack of experience was, for many conservatives, a convenient rationale for opposing someone they worried might become another David Souter. Palin's lack of experience is irrelevant because she is right -- actually, quite far right -- on the conservatives' issues.

    Sort of off topic and sort of not, if you want a good laugh, read Palin's response to question 11.

    And some Dems and blogs (none / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:31:00 AM EST
    have flip flopped too.

    I wasn't arguing that (none / 0) (#36)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:36:25 AM EST
    If you weren't so quick to defend yourself, you might notice what EJ points out dovetails nicely with your point - Experience counts less than ideology.

    I found EJ to be one of the flip floppers (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:38:52 AM EST
    I did not care for his disingenuous column.

    Looking for purity in politics?! (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:43:35 AM EST
    Kind of a waste of time. The pure ones don't get elected very often, and when they do, they don't accomplish much. Purity from a pundit? I am not even going to go there.

    The Dems are only flip floppers (none / 0) (#49)
    by AF on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:43:25 AM EST
    If you buy the specious argument that Palin has as much relevant experience as Obama.  Your strategic point is a good one BTD but when equating Obama's and Palin's experience is both objectively wrong and bad for the Dems.

    Ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:52:11 AM EST
    I made mincemeat of your silliness when John Kerry tried it.

    It is a ridiculous argument imo and I will not engage it.


    Like she didn't know (none / 0) (#124)
    by nellre on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:07:33 PM EST
    Laugh? I think I'll cry.
    11. Are you offended by the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
    JB: No.
    SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I'll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

    The phrase "under God" was added in 1954!
    Her inexperience is not her weakness. It's her stand on progressive issues. Why are they not using those?

    What a hoot! (none / 0) (#128)
    by Don in Seattle on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:37:03 PM EST
    What's more, the Pledge itself wasn't written until 1892, so no Founding Father ever heard it, even in its pre-"under God" form.

    Palin reminds me of the King James Version traditionalist: "If those old English words were good enough for Our Saviour Himself, they're good enough for me!"


    God, I love Kinsley!


    McCain is not the only one that flip-flopped (5.00 / 6) (#24)
    by Buckeye on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:24:07 AM EST
    on the VP selection. Obama told the Democratic party for a year and a half that what matters more than experience is judgment.  Experience only matters if it drives good judgment.  So, when Hillary attacked Obama's lack of experience, he countered with her vote on the Iraq war.  Obama kept nailing Hillary on that vote saying things like "the most important vote in the US Senate since the end of the cold war, the most important of her career, Hillary voted with Bush on the Iraq war which was the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history.  THAT is what disqualifies you to be President."  Obama nailed Hillary with this for the entire primary saying that he got Iraq right, Hillary didn't.  He therefore has the judgment to be President, she doesn't.  He has been saying the same thing about McCain.

    So who does Obama select as his VP???  Someone who voted the same way Hillary and McCain did on the Iraq war!!!  Massive flip-flop.  If Obama believed that Hillary's war vote was the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history and negates all her experience, why is Biden on his ticket?

    Sadly, neither Obama nor McCain are offering "change we can believe in" or "straight talk."  This election is going to be the same as all the others in my lifetime.

    Obama did not flip flop (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:30:28 AM EST
    It is the Democrats and the blogs that are flip flopping.

    Obama has played it perfectly imo.


    Then why would Obama put someone on the ticket (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Buckeye on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:33:56 AM EST
    with all the years of Washington experience Biden has and voted for the Iraq war?  That is what does not make any sense to me?  McCain has been hammering Obama on his lack of experience and picks Palin.  Did not both of these men flip-flop?

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:35:41 AM EST
    Experience does not DISqualify you for higher office.

    It was a political choice. But not inconsistent with Obama's expressed views.


    I am not trying to be a pest on this (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by Buckeye on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:39:12 AM EST
    but one of Obama's expressed views in the primaries, and it was a big one, was the original vote on the Iraq war.  According to Obama, Biden voted wrong and showed poor judgment.  I can understand that over Biden's career, he casted many votes, but so did Hillary.

    Obama argued that his good judgment on Iraq (1.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:42:23 AM EST
    made him a better choice than Clinton or Biden et al. He did not argue that they were disqualified because of their bad judgment on Iraq.

    Huh? (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:22:34 AM EST
    It amounted to the same thing.

    In 2008, he said:

    Senator Clinton often says that she is ready on Day 1, but in fact she was ready to give in to George Bush on Day 1 on this critical issue. So the same person that she criticizes for having terrible judgment -- and we can't afford to have another one of those -- in fact she facilitated and enabled this individual to make a decision that has been strategically damaging to the United States of America.

    But I guess he's retreating to his views of 2007, when he said:

    I'm always careful to say that I was not in the Senate, so perhaps the reason I thought it was such a bad idea was that I didn't have the benefit of U.S. intelligence. And, for those who did, it might have led to a different set of choices. So that might be something that sort of is obvious. But, again, we were in different circumstances at that time: I was running for the U.S. Senate, she had to take a vote, and casting votes is always a difficult test.

    come on now (none / 0) (#63)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:50:24 AM EST
    Obama was not in the Senate.  His opposition was expressed at an anti-Iraq protest.  He never had any inside info; it was shear gut reaction. Perhaps some folk think that means he has great judgement; I do not.  Either you were for it or ag'in it; two choices and he choose one with nothing other than his gut.  Note, we already have a president who goes with his gut.  That has not worked out that well.  

    BTD (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:42:19 AM EST
    are you kidding? Biden is everything that Obama has spent months railing about: there's almost no one who's been a bigger supporter of the war in Iraq than Biden. No one who's more of a washington insider than Biden (i always thought that was a loser of an argument for a senator to make anyway), no one who has more of a lobbyist reputation than Biden.

    IMO, Obama and the DNC saw the Georgia situation, his poll numbers going down hence the Biden pick. He does undercut the arguments that Obama has spent months and months making. Of course, if the voters believe Obama really doesn't have any political beliefs then I can see where they could believe that Biden really doesn't undercut anything.


    Now you folks are becoming (4.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:44:53 AM EST
    what I rail about - silly partisans. In this case, against Obama.

    I'll leave you to argue with the silly people of the other side. I want no part of it.

    I'll just write my posts and abandon the threads.

    As anyone who has been reading these past 3 days can see, I have a serious disagreement with Jeralyn on this issue. So I want my view to be seen.

    But I am not looking for ridiculous arguments from the mirror image Obama haters.

    And that is what you have become now. You have lost all rationality in discussing Obama. It is quite distasteful to me.


    You (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:49:05 AM EST
    and I are just going to have to disagree with Obama and his statements on Iraq. IMO, he said that Hillary Biden etc were unfit to the President because they voted for the Iraq war. Biden made the case that Obama was unfit to be President because he is unqualified.

    Frankly, we are still stuck going down the road we have been going down for years. We want people to vote based on the economy but as a party all we can talk about is Iraq. If we get bogged down on that issues, the election becomes all about FP which isn't a benefit to Obama.


    I'm (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:52:24 AM EST
    not an "obama hater" I'm a "constantly disappointed with Obama" person. The whole "you hate Obama" thing is silly. It just the same thing the bushies used.

    Usually I find your posts intellectually honest.


    Silly Partisan? Lost all rationality? Ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Saul on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:30:48 AM EST
    arguments?  To dismiss the argument that is being presented on why Obama picked Biden if Obama preached day and night on Hilary for voting for the war since Biden voted for the War is silly.  If ever there was a major flip flop by Obama it was the Biden choice.  Many using this good argument will probably vote for Obama anyway, they are  just vetting, but to tell people that using this argument is silly, irrational  is very condescending.  

    Lately the theme here is Obama won, we must support him and vote for him and I do not want to hear any bad things about Obama like we heard during the primaries just good things.  I remember during the primaries  I got chewed out here for criticizing Obama because they thought I was implying to others on who to vote for.


    BTD is right. What you are doing is (none / 0) (#123)
    by Christy1947 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:05:47 PM EST
    making your views about Obama more important than the choice between McCain's horribly damaging policies and the Democratic policies, which are extremely similar for both of the final candidates. Progressives have always had this problem with purity, if you don't agree with me on absolutely everything, you gotta go and the real enemy is less important that that little point you don't agree with me on, and that is what you are doing here.  Humiliating O is more important to you, continuing to be able to rail against him, than the actual choice in November, as if you were sure and certain (and you may be) that none of McC's horrible policies will really hurt you so you do have the luxury of throwing away your vote and your energy.

    Most that were agruging were for Obama (none / 0) (#129)
    by Saul on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:39:08 PM EST
    They were just arguing that it was a major flip flop for Obama to pick Biden. Not to view it as a flip flop by BTD is just crazy  That all it was.  So we all get that the Dem ticket is better than the Reb ticket.  That was not the issue hear.  BTD argues against Obama when he wants to but no one else can. Hello

    So now we cannot slightly disagree (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by zfran on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:24:42 AM EST
    with your positions, or, at the very least, attempt to tell you why, and you will not speak with us anymore? Do we now have to agree with everything you say even if we have a disagreement?
    I find myself not arguing for either side. I think they both have many problems. I have been mostly in agreement with you, however, at how the dems have been handling things, especially regarding Palin. You are a calming hand in all this madness that has occurred for the past 3 days. I have not agreed with every little nuance you've written about, but I looked forward to what you had to say.

    But remember what he was doing. he was (2.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Christy1947 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:11:39 PM EST
    picking a VP candidate who would be chicken soup for a wounded nation if he is hit by the asteroid I use in these examples. Someone who could deal with the horrible wounds that the VP having to take office would produce and believe that in that terrible circumstance, the nation would not come off the rails, because the VP could confuse foreign nations, not realize which provisions of that proposed legislation are about,  or forget what it is that HUD really does and where its address is.  And someone who could scoot around doing useful thing in the meantime. Picking a single issue and saying it is fatal is classical purity mania, the VP candidate is unacceptable because of one issue, without addressing whether he has anything to say at all as VP on that issue and what other functions he or she has to perform in the capacity in which elected.

    What the ODS victims fail (none / 0) (#70)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:01:05 AM EST
    to rationalize that even if you buy the "the flip-flop" meme, IT STILL DOESN'T HELP MCCAIN!! Why? Because it means both tickets are flawed and it comes down to who has it right on Iraq, healthcare, civil rights, etc. It's NOT about Palin so much as McCain and why he thinks this is the second best woman or man in the whole country that his party had to offer. This "debate" edges on insanity, and I'm guilty too, which is why I won't comment on the experience question any longer. It's a trap and a nothing more than a political game pushed by McCain.

    I've (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:04:27 AM EST
    always said that Obama should stick to the issues. Iraq is NOT going to help him though. Polls show people trusting McCain much more on Iraq than Obama. Most voters don't care that he gave a speech 6 years ago. Glad to see you finally realize that this is a trap but it's one that Obama seems to be falling into.

    BTD, don't leave the threads. You're needed. (none / 0) (#141)
    by VicfromOregon on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 03:38:21 PM EST
    These folks are just a little riled up because they are certain they see a big glaring double standard taking place in the campaign.  Stay in the threads.  We love it!

    We all need to be more thoughtful of how we let our frustrations out on the candidates.  There's no place for ugliness and reactionary hatefulness here.  But, this site gives a lot of people a chance to learn how to argue better.  And, that's why we need you to stay in the threads when you can.

    But, just for argument sake, surely you can see that Obama has changed his position from seeing those who originally voted for the Iraq invasion as patently wrongheaded spurious leaders, to now portraying them as bastions of clearheadedness deserving of the VP spot?  That is a bit of a change, isn't it?


    Picking Biden, imo, goes to (none / 0) (#112)
    by zfran on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:44:27 AM EST
    Obama's judgement not experience. His judgement, many thought, including BTD, should have told him to pick Sen. Clinton. Obviously, he did not. Political calculation had him pick Biden. That, too, is judgement, but if it helps him, then it was good judgement, and if it doesn't, then that also goes to judgement. Both Obama and McCain made picks based on the time, the place, and the states of their campaigns. I believe their judgement on this issue is yet to come.

    Obama (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:37:35 AM EST
    picking Biden is no reflection on him but McCain's pick of Palin IS a reflection on McCain? That's the line you seem to be shopping.

    HAHAHAHA (none / 0) (#83)
    by RalphB on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:26:47 AM EST
    You're hilarious.  Have you noticed that everytime the Obama camp hits Palin on experience, the GOP just responds that she's running for VP while he's running for President?  Appears they can't play this game for sh!t.

    The fact that the Judgement argument was bunk ... (none / 0) (#138)
    by FreakyBeaky on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 03:03:34 PM EST
    ... IMO does not mean that Obama was wrong to pick an experienced VP.  It may have been hypocritical, but it was also responsible - unlike the pick made by certain Republicans I might name.

    Of course the "experienced VP" clearly should have been (ahem) someone else, but she seems to have let that go.


    I agree with Kinsely (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by AF on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:37:08 AM EST
    And I agree with BTD's general point that Dems shouldn't be touting Palin's inexperience for strategic reasons.

    But it's simply not true that "the same can be said about Democrats and pundits who kept saying Obama's LACK of experience did not matter and now are up in arms about Palin's lack of experience."  Obama has 8 years in state government and 4 years in the Senate.  Palin has 10 years in small town local government and 2 years in state government.  

    It's perfectly consistent to believe that Obama has crossed the minimal threshold of experience while Palin has not -- even though it's not the best argument to be making.

    But HOW does this comparison make sense? (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:44:01 AM EST
    Obama is running for President, Palin is running for Vice President.

    Both have to be prepared to be president (none / 0) (#55)
    by AF on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:45:06 AM EST
    Because the VP is next in line for the presidency.  

    Okay...... (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:48:31 AM EST
    But I would think most people would view it as the top job requiring a bit more qualification than the bottom job. Maybe not.

    I see (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:47:31 AM EST
    8 years as a state legislator plus 4 years as a Senator is the threshold now?

    Which is the key part - the 8 years as a state legislator or the 4 years as a Senator?

    What if it was 6 years as a state legislator? 2 years as a Senator? Would Obama THEN be unqualified?

    You are also wrong in your description of Palin's non Governor experience but this is the silly argument that only foolish people who support Obama would engage in.


    + 2 years intense public vetting & questioning (none / 0) (#99)
    by Ramar on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:15:00 AM EST
    If Palin were to get the same, she might be able to convince many that she was prepared to lead despite her limited experience. She will get 2 months, one debate and very limited and controlled press availability. Anyone who thinks that she has crossed the same leadership threshold as Obama is IMO being disingenuous.

    I agree (none / 0) (#131)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:43:49 PM EST
    comparing apples to oranges. (none / 0) (#142)
    by VicfromOregon on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 03:53:45 PM EST
    Illinois State Senate positions are very part-time jobs covering a small segment of the population.  Obama's District 13 was a very small section of a larger city?  His real job was as a property acquistion attorney (which got him involved in the Rezko stuff, or more accurately, allowed him to play both roles of senator and procurer for a friend and financial supporter.  This goes down alright in Chicago but would probably get an Oregon state senator recalled).

    Senators are concerned with making legislation, the laws that reflect the policies, not the actual running of a government. Obama doesn't have any executive experience - public welfare implementation and oversight, policy implementation and oversight, budgetary development and implemenation and oversight, public employee oversight, etc., and a governor's perspective of how all the pieces interact and coordinate.  This is why many refer to Obama's successful campaign as his major leadership experience, rather than pointing to anything in his actual political career.

    Palin has both mayoral and governor experience.  While small and certainly not substantial, she does have actual experience making executive decisions.  Obama has none.  The Republicans will exploit this difference as best they can.

    But, I think Palin's selection was not to win Hillary voters.  McCain doesn't need Hillary voters.  Obama needs Hillary voters.  McCain needs Independent voters.  And, conservative Independents will see themselves reflected in Palin.


    McCain only goal was to monkey wrench Obama (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Saul on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:38:00 AM EST
    Had nothing to do with experience.  The goal of the election for either party is to win the election no matter how you do it.  Right way, crooked way, anyway. So McCain knows he cannot use the experience factor anymore but he did what he had to do to compete with Obama plus he needed to energize his base so the election stays razor thin. Apparently its working by reducing those in his party that would not have voted and those that were thinking of going over to Obama

    According to the last polls I saw,  I would say it's still a neck and neck race.

    This is what McCain might do this week. If I thought about it then surely they thought about it.
      If McCain is smart he will postpone the convention because of Gustave.  That prevents Bush from appearing which I thought would be bad for MaCain  and it shows Bush as the concerned president of the Gusatve people  who gave up going to the convention since the people came first.  Then McCain and Palin physically go to New Orleans and Mississippi  getting their hands dirty trying to help those people.  Then he goes back to start the convention giving his image and Palin's image a boost.  

        He can say

    We care about the people first and therefore we postponed our party in Minnesota.

    Especially if Obama does not go down there.  Also he will try to show up Obama by saying,


    See what an old man can do

    etc etc

    Bush has already said (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:50:30 AM EST
    he's not going to the convention but will be in Texas because of the hurricane. (It's Gustav, btw, not Gustave)

    Postponing the convention is simply logistically impossible.  They are, however, stripping a lot of it down to just the legal requirements on a day-to-day basis.

    I think McCain is handling this the right way so far.


    He;s got to go, McCain. His response to Katrina (none / 0) (#127)
    by Christy1947 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:15:30 PM EST
    was to be photographed waving a cake at Bush in Arizona as NOLA was floating away and people dying. It's not as if either candidate can do anything about whatever FEMA and La are ready to do this time.

    I like this site compared to other left wing sites (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Tim V on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:43:27 AM EST

    1. unlike KOS the site is not filled with foul language and I don't feel like I need to bathe afterwards
    2. the dialogue is quite civil thanks to Jeralyn's high standards
    3. opinions from the other side ( like mine ) are allowed ( sometimes ) to be heard
    4. Hillary was the much stronger candidate and this site recognized that fact
    5. there are SOME issues ( such as marijuana legalization or de-criminalization ) that I agree with that the left supports
    6. the posters here seem reasonably thoughfull and articulate

    In the spirit of full discloser, I am a conservative republican but I do appreciate being allowed to post here. I will try my best to not troll or to engage in personal attacks.

    You're off to a good start (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:45:40 AM EST
    It's very rare that conservatives and liberals can have an honest and civil exploration of their differences on issues.  I look forward to your contributions here and hope we can have some of those discussions.

    Based on that limited list (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by Faust on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:18:45 AM EST
    you sound more like a libertarian.

    Thanks for your opinion and (3.00 / 2) (#84)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:29:57 AM EST
    having the integrity to state that you are a republican, and not a republican troll. I'm now convinced a few posters here do not have the same integrity.

    There are so many issue-related (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by ruffian on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:58:52 AM EST
    reasons to vote for Obama over McCain - I wish liberal pundits would hammer those instead of engaging in experience debates that cannot be won by either side, and also run the risk of making hypocrites out of themselves and looking very silly.

    This of all years we should be able to win on Democratic principles alone.

    There will be a big reset after this weekend and the hurricane-plagued Republican convention.  Maybe they will get down to brass tacks then.

    Can't we walk and chew gum at the same time? (none / 0) (#108)
    by NWC80 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:29:30 AM EST
    I just don't get this line of reasoning.

    Obviously, those who are paying close attention (or even care a smidgeon about issues in a variety of areas from Health Care to the future of the Supreme Court), would never even consider voting for McCain over Obama... unless they were comfortable with right-wing idealogues in the first place.

    However, who McCain picks and equally importantly how he picks them is also important. After eight years where the notion of good governance has been tossed out the window, the decisionmaking that McCain demonstrated is absolutely fair game.

    It is one thing for some to argue that the Obama campaign should keep its eye on the ball and concentrate on winning the election on the policy issue front, while assiduously working on the ground game. Fair enough - that is sound advice indeed and presumably their little jaunt through the Midwest means that they are rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.

    It is quite another for the MSM, punditry, blog posters, etc. to sit by and not weigh in on the Palin choice. Sure, some of it will be silly and certainly there will be a great deal of offensive stuff tossed in along the way.

    However, in the end the question HAS to be posed as to what does the choice of Palin say about McCain and whether he has the judgment that the majority of the voters are looking for in a president and is he is fit to be commander-in-chief.

    With a hurricane hammering the Gulf Coast and visions of the current administration's debacle with the choice of "Heckuva job Brownie" to run FEMA refreshed, it certainly gives renewed cause to pause and consider the Palin choice.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by cmugirl on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:15:04 AM EST
    If it makes you feel better, she didn't fire her former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten. She fired the Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, who incidentally says that Palin never told him to fire Wooten, but felt pressure to do so from members of her administration. He was fired after he declined a transfer to become the director to the state's alcohol control board.

    Palin has welcomed the investigation, which started when a blogger accused her of wrongdoing.


    OT on the use of ODS (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by waldenpond on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 11:23:20 AM EST
    It interests me up.  CDS took years to build.  It was based on attacks by the Repubs and the media for 15 years and has been so successful it has been adopted by the Dems.  

    No such history revolves around ODS.  He hasn't been attacked relentlessly and singularly by Repubs.  He has had constant adoration by the media.  It reminds me of the debates where xerox, and what she said ribbing came up.  It's just another whisper of he said/she said... he did it, well, she did it too.  Just another round of 'me too'.    

    Using this kind of phrasing is yet another example of staying in the primary.

    Michael Kinsley: Dead. On. (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 07:54:48 AM EST

    Not really (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by ineedalife on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:30:05 AM EST
    Since one is running for President and the other for VP. A VP may become POTUS but it doesn't happen often. And unless McCain is Tippecanoe Two, the VP is the best place to acquire experience.

    Obama and his surrogates do not want to be in the position of comparing him and the opponent's VP. I know it feels natural but, isn't that a poor reflection on Obama?

    CNN has a poll up that shows NO convention bounce for Obama. Palin totally wiped out any. I think BTD is right that Obama and his surrogates are better off ignoring Palin. But here we are starting another day of wall-to-wall Palin.


    Yeah that CNN poll is wierd, (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:43:10 AM EST
    considering every other poll I've seen in the same time points to a convention bounce. In any case, the Obama campaign should act like the race is even and fight for every possible vote.

    Yeah, today's Ras still has Obama with a (none / 0) (#75)
    by tigercourse on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:05:50 AM EST
    3 point lead, same as yesterday. So the bounce wasn't erased, just blunted. Of course 3 points isn't that great. I'm curious about what the next Gallup will say.

    It was 3 on Ras (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by RalphB on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:34:13 AM EST
    at the start of the DNC,  What convention bounce?

    Term limits (none / 0) (#4)
    by BernieO on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:03:07 AM EST
    My conservative father-in-law recently told me he supports term limits to keep the moneyed interests out of politics. I pointed out that there would be nothing stopping a special interest like big oil from choosing someone favorable to them and supporting their election with the implicit promise that if the poltician did their bidding there would be a lucrative career waiting for him or her when the short time in government was over. I think that would be even easier to do since people would not have to give up too many years to a low-paying government job.

    My father-in-law was surprised that he had not thought of this and agreed that term limits could actually make things worse. Since the media never points this out I was not surprised most people dont' think of this potential downside.

    I think term limits for important offices are less problematic because the public is much more aware of what is going on with these people, but it is unlikely they would notice if this was going on with their congressman. We know almost nothing about what goes on with them.

    Anecdotal (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by cmugirl on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:46:41 AM EST
    The voters of Michigan imposed term limits for state representatives some years ago and now the fruits have come to bear.  It's been an utter disaster - issues that have been worked on by seasoned people (with  "experience") have been dropped.  House and Senate Committees are now being chaired by freshman - taking over these jobs when they had fewer than 3 or months on the job. It has also created an imbalance of power -many in the governor's office (of whatever party) bring with them years of experience in various levels of government, while the legislatures are full of relatively inexperienced. It also had the effect of making House members very new, while members of the Senate more experienced, since many were former House members.

    This has led to what one critic described as giving the "bureaucrats" more power.

    It's been an utter disaster in the last 16 years since it was passed.


    Term limits (none / 0) (#87)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:33:06 AM EST
    Most convincing argument against term limits to me is that it actually vastly increases the influence of staff and lobbyists because the neophyte legislator can't possibly personally be fully prepped on all the myriad issues he/she has to vote on and has to rely on info and advice from people who know their field.  Folks who've been around for a while have a much better ability to see through the line o' crap they're being fed oh so very convincingly and sincerely by lobbyists and special interests.

    Experience has jus become a codeword for resume (none / 0) (#5)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:05:28 AM EST
    when it shouldn't.  There's something between experience and ideology, it's reasoned judgment.

    Imagine if China invaded Taiwan.  Then let's think about the candidates' reactions.

    With Obama and Biden, we can assume you get something reasoned and well-measured.

    With McCain, you can imagine something more "maverick-y".

    With Palin, who knows?  It's not because of her "inexperience", but because she, as far as I know, just has no opinion on this issue.

    Now, of course, it's fair to say most Governors wouldn't have an opinion on that, but that's where the idea of a 72-year old president makes it an issue.

    Sure, if "experience" just becomes a measure of years doing X or Y on a resume, it's a silly discussion.  But to the extent it's about the ability to present a reasoned response to a world crisis, it becomes something else.

    Moving the "experience" definition away from the first definition towards the second one seems important.

    Experence and judgment are unrelated (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:18:04 AM EST
    I actually like this definition of experience: (none / 0) (#18)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:20:36 AM EST
    knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone.

    Nothing about years of X doing Y.


    That is a false definiion (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:29:38 AM EST
    Experience means in common understanding, the time you have spent at a job or task.

    Hey, I took it right out of the dictionary (none / 0) (#45)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:41:03 AM EST
    That's what I mean.  Everytime the Republicans bring up "experience" (which they still do by the way, they just keep doubling down no matter what), the idea is to move the discussion first to this definition, and then to ideology.

    Imagine the Obama-McCain debate.  I'm sure the moderator will ask McCain if he thinks Palin has enough experience.  And I'm sure McCain will say yes and go off into some BS about executive experience yada yada.

    I don't think Obama can counter that IMMEDIATELY with ideology, he has to segue to it with this kind of definition as it creates informed judgment.


    COMMON understanding (3.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:52:54 AM EST
    But silliness abounds in this thread so you are going with the flow.

    I am sick of this thread.

    You are all on your own.


    What is experience? (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by Don Meaker on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:01:49 AM EST
    I think that Palin, as governor of the only state with two foreign countries on its border, would have rather more experience than Bill Clinton whose tenure as Commander of Arkansas National Guard involved zero foreign borders (unless you count bad foreign experience in the nutball allegations of drug smuggling through the airport).

    Experience is not measured by the calender. It is measured by what good things you have done. I regret to say that Palin's executive experience is rather more than Obama's or Biden's.


    Really (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:08:00 AM EST
    the judgement argument has long been shot for both candidates. McCain has bad judgement simply due to his ideology. Obama has been shown to have bad judgement repeatedly. Does picking Biden show good judgement? You certainly could make an argument that it does not since it did nothing to help him or unite the party.

    And judgment is hard to,er, judge. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Fabian on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:15:54 AM EST
    History helps.  That's where "experience" comes in.  No history, no data.  More history gives more data, but there's always the chance that it brings "baggage".

    However, the GOP's favorite attack is negatively defining their opponent.  That's always easier to do with an Unknown than a Known.  


    That's politcal judgment (none / 0) (#12)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:15:19 AM EST
    which, by the way, may not be wrong.  There is no way to determine what the effect of picking Hillary would have been on Independents or the Republican base.  It's really an unknowable.

    Besides, I'm talking about governing judgment.  Which is what we all should be thinking about since that is most important.  And on a governing basis, I have seen nothing that indicated Obama has poor judgment.


    How is (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:22:12 AM EST
    Obama going to sell this "judgement"? He's shown a lot of poor judgement in his personal life-Rev. Wright etc. As far as the political judgement, he did a speech against the war but when in the senate continued to vote for funding? His IL senate record is no great shakes either for that matter. I just happen to think that the whole judgement thing is a massive loser of an argument for Obama and I don't know why people like you continue to shop that argument.

    There is a losing judgment argument (3.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:19:18 AM EST
    Unknowable is every path not taken.

    These are the type of contortions that I think are making Obama supporters look silly now.


    "Experience"... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Cal on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:16:27 AM EST
    ...is a code word for sexism - always has been.

    Even when (2.00 / 1) (#59)
    by TomStewart on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:48:11 AM EST
    McCain applies it to Obama? You're painting with too broad a brush.

    The whole (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:06:14 AM EST
    thing is that it's a debate about a VP candidate (less important) vs. a Pres candidate (more important). I don't know why anyone would make this debate in the first place.

    Okay, if Palin undermines McCain's argument about experience which it does somewhat then Biden greatly undermines Obama does he not?

    BTW, did you hear Kinsley interview on NPR before the end of the primaries where he said that the party was going to nominate Obama but knew that he would lose against McCain?

    Why is Biden on Obama's ticket. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Buckeye on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:31:42 AM EST
    Is that not also a flip-flop on the change and Iraq war argument Obama made in the primaries?

    Thanks to the DNC... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Cal on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:14:58 AM EST
    ...Obama won't be the next president.

    BTD - what is your take? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Josey on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:30:29 AM EST
    why Obama didn't get a big bump after the convention.

    He got a decent bump (5.00 / 5) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:34:51 AM EST
    Why it stopped on Friday?

    Palin of course.


    OK - thanks (none / 0) (#62)
    by Josey on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:50:15 AM EST
    I wasn't online yesterday to get all the analyses.
    But if Palin was able to knock out Obama's fireworks, that seems troublesome for him.
    Obama knew McCain would announce his VP pick between the 2 conventions and yet Obama projected a big bump after the Dem convention.

    off topic (none / 0) (#130)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:42:31 PM EST
    this is about Hillary campaigning for Obama.

    I hope (none / 0) (#43)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:39:56 AM EST
    people keep comparing Obama to Palin.  Keep it up all Fall.

    As a Republican (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:48:08 AM EST
    Yours is the most sensible comment in this thread.

    Conservative (none / 0) (#107)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:25:20 AM EST
    Ha - yep (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by ruffian on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:05:57 AM EST
    Ignoring Palin would be the best Dem response.  Debate her respectfully, sticking to the issues, and move on.  McCain's position and his judgement on other matters, like clinging to Bush,  should be sufficient to defeat him.

    Really (none / 0) (#54)
    by TomStewart on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:44:59 AM EST
    Once the political world comes back from the long weekend, can we endlessly debate about something else?

    Leadership and Judgement (none / 0) (#56)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:46:53 AM EST
    I think experience is very overplayed. I think you're only as good as the people you surround yourself with. The position of president requires judgement and leadership. I look to see who Obama wants to fill key cabinet positions. Those selections will determine what his vision of governing is.

    Bush ran as a compassionate conservative that was going to bring the country together,and yet his cabinet reflected that that wasn't his agenda at all.

    Candidate should be pushed to disclose their cabinet preferences during the campaign. It would give everyone a much clearer insight.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#69)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 08:58:54 AM EST
    Obama should do that. It might help him with voters since he is such an unknown.

    I'd like to hear McCain say he'd make Lieberman (none / 0) (#73)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:03:37 AM EST
    his Secretary of State.  You know that's going to happen.

    Phil Gramm as Sec Treasury?  

    Just because McCain is "known" doesn't give me any comfort on his decision making process for his cabinet.


    This (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:07:46 AM EST
    is anectdotal but I have heard people make statements like "who's obama going to pick?" Is he going to put Al Sharpton at HHS? No one has any idea and these thoughts are allowed to hang out there.

    Lots of times people will pick what they know even if it's bad simply because they think the alternative might be worse.


    integrity and 'will' (none / 0) (#80)
    by 18anapple2 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:21:22 AM EST
    I'd say the integrity to stay true to your oath of office and the "will" to execute the promises he/she made while running for said office..afterall what use is "ability" if the "will" does not exist.  

    Stay away from land mines (none / 0) (#89)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 09:36:24 AM EST
    Obama and his surrogate need to drop all the silly arguments like McCain's house or even Palin's experience and run against the Republican Party. Public opinion polls have consistly shown the American people are dissatisfied with their governing. This strategy would also help the down ticket. McCain and Palin are Republican's, that's all they need to pound. With a disapproval rate over 70% this should be a no brainer.

    I don't know strategy (none / 0) (#97)
    by Don Meaker on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:03:56 AM EST
    But I note that Speaker Pelosi has approval rating of only 9 percent.

    I don't think that Democrats have the favorable brand recognition that you think. I may be wrong.


    I do remember (none / 0) (#109)
    by ccpup on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 10:30:25 AM EST
    reading not long ago that the Generic Dem Candidate was running a solid 10 points higher than the Generic Repub Candidate in the Polls.

    Compare that with the reality of the Polls now where Obama is running neck-and-neck (or even slightly behind) McCain.

    The Dem Brand IS still stronger than the Republican Brand, but the likes of Obama, Dean, Pelosi and our truly Do-Nothing Congress aren't helping matters.


    Experience is a losing argument (none / 0) (#118)
    by SomewhatChunky on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 11:41:18 AM EST
    I think this focus on Palin's "lack"  of experience is a big mistake.

    You could make all the same arguments for Governor.  Yet she not only beat out a far more experience existing Governor, she remains wildly popular in her own state after two years on the job.

    Based solely on experience, it's a partisan stretch to say Obama is qualified and Palin is not.  Obama is popular because people like him personally, he communicates well, he comes across as capable, and many agree with him on the issues.

    If you wonder how much America truly values experience, Obama over Hillary should help one think that through.

    This race is close.  It's not because people don't like Obama -- it's because not everyone agrees with his positions on the issues.  There is a clear difference between Obama and McCain and I think people know that.

    The argument that Palin lacks "experience" falls apart if an undecided person sees her and is impressed --see comments on Obama above.   Focusing on the wrong thing matters - if her positions on the issues hasn't been well-defined, I'll bet she'll come across quite well.   Once people decide, it becomes tough to get them to change.   Avoidance of the issues only helps Palin.  Throwing every trivial point against the wall to see what sticks does not appeal to the truly undecided voter.  That's where the game will be won or lost.

    I think that most Americans will weigh in on Palin after they see her speak.  First impressions count.  Based on the videos I've seen of her so far, I think she'll come across well. My bet is she'd be very popular on this board if she had liberal views.   I think the experience argument is dead in the water by next week.

    Remember, Dick Cheney had tons of experience.  How do you think that worked out?

    kinsley is an idiot. (none / 0) (#119)
    by cpinva on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 11:44:02 AM EST
    he has been for quite a number of years. anyone who agrees with this nonsense is also an idiot.

    experience absolutely does matter, in heart surgeons and presidents, or veeps who may well become president. to argue otherwise is to display your idiocy, as kinsley does, publicly. if it didn't matter, your neighbor, the garbage collector, would have as valid a position, should he choose to run for president (assuming he met the minimum constitutional requirements) as the two present candidates.

    experience isn't the only criterion, but it's an important one; we see the history of the individual's judgment, and how they dealt with important public issues.

    yes, a candidate's position on the important issues of the day is critical as well, but i want a sense, from the candidate's prior experience, that they won't hit the launch button, at the first sign of danger.

    frankly, i don't (and have explicitly said so, from day one, with regards to obama) have a clue how either a pres. obama, or a potential pres. palin would react, under stress, because both lack significant experience in that capacity.

    intersting poll results... (none / 0) (#121)
    by Tim V on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 11:58:38 AM EST
    concerning Palin, Biden, The Dem convention and more...


    Environment (none / 0) (#134)
    by Gustavion on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 01:17:06 PM EST
    What worries me most about McCain/Palin ticket is their environmental policy (especially regarding drilling in the ANWR). I think it is evermore important for us, as consumers to support 'green businesses' that benefit the environment. For example, http://www.simplestop.net stops your postal junk mail and benefits the environment.

    spin and hyperbole much? (none / 0) (#140)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 03:38:02 PM EST
    her 'wanton abuse' - based on this single incident.

    'family fueled vendetta'

    'obstinate high-handedness'

    'petty and vindictive'

    Oh, and the 'previous adjudication' involved a 5 day suspension slap on the wrist and return to work for a cop who willfully tasered an 11 year old kid, made death threats to the father-in-law, and was drinking on the job. All facts. He should have been fired. They closed ranks and protected his @ss instead. So she fired the person who wouldn't do what was right. Good on her, I say.