August 29, 2008

More on Experience

I was reading Linda Bergthold on HuffPo regarding Sarah Palin. I'm always struck by that attitude (and maybe it's the circles I move in, but I see it sooooo much more in Dems) when someone believes in something so completely that they can't even imagine that someone would see it differently. I see it a lot in reporters and academics. Regardless, I really had a hard time with Bergthold's piece:

I think we will look back at today as the day when the Republicans most certainly lost the Presidency.
I think she's half-right. This is the day that decides the election. I'm just not so sure this is going down as a loss for the Republicans.

In choosing Sarah Palin of Alaska for Vice President, the Republicans have made a cynical but clever choice. At least they think it is clever. She is a woman, young (44 years old)
So...she's a young, good-looking minority...

a Governor (only two years)
So...she's run a state. (The largest one in the nation, by the way. More than twice as large as the next largest.) And Obama has run how many states? (Hint: it rhymes with "zero.")

a mother (five children)
So...check me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Obama hasn't passed up a chance to get his two moppets in front of the cameras, to show what a great family man he is. Frankly, I'm impressed that she can run a family of five and hold down a job like Governor.

pro-life, and pro-gun.
Yes she is...that's why she's a Republican.

But what is she not? She is NOT pro-choice.
What?! How dare she?! You mean a woman might find abortion wrong? (See. This is that lack of acknowledgement of the other side of the argument that I was talking about.)

She has NO national experience. She has never been under the intense scrutiny of a national campaign.
This is true. You could say that she is a change from those same old politicians that we're all used to. You might even say she is a change we can believe in.

She is under investigation for some incident in Alaska that is messy and personal.
I'm sure any pertinent details about this will come out, but I would be careful dwelling on this if I were the Obama campaign, especially considering the stench of scandal after scandal around Obama himself.

She has no international experience. Her experience governing is in a very small state,
As opposed to Obama's vast international experience, I guess. How many times did he go to the Middle East, again? And as I pointed out, Alaska is the largest state. I think what Bergthold means is a sparsely-populated state. But even then, it's more populous than Wyoming, Vermont, and North Dakota, and it's in the same neighborhood as South Dakota...oh, and Deleware--the state represented by VP candidate Joe Biden.

famous for its "Bridge to Nowhere" kind of political graft. Her Republican colleague in that state, Senator Ted Stevens has been indicted for corruption.
Now Bergthold is just being intelectually dishonest. She's trying to associate Palin with Stevens, graft, and the "Bridge to Nowhere," as if Palin is guilty by association. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think it's a stretch to even call Stevens a "colleague." Palin is well-known for fighting (with Democrat Eric Croft, with whom she filed an ethics complaint against State Attorney General Gregg Renkes) against ethics violations and "pork" projects. "In the roughly three years since she quit as the state's chief regulator of the oil industry, Palin has crushed the Republican hierarchy," and she enjoys--depending on what poll you look at--somewhere between a 70-90 percent approval rating. The truth is that while Obama likes to talk about change, Sarah Palin has already implemented many changes of that type. Oh, and I'll give you one guess which Alaska governor cancelled that "Bridge to Nowhere" that Bergthold mentioned...

I think Bergthold needs to check her pants...something smells like it's on fire.

I like Palin. If this election is about change, the one who really represents change and reform is Sarah Palin. I think the Dems made a huge mistake in not including Hillary Clinton on the ticket, and it opened the door for Sarah Palin. But that's how these things work--chance. If not for a speech given at the 2004 Democratic Convention, there's not a chance in hell that Barack Obama would be where he is now.

By the way...all this "no one knows her" business? Notice the date and title of the Weekly Standard article I linked to above: "The Most Popular Governor" 7/16/07 (emphasis mine).

UPDATE: Someone pointed out to me that despite Bergthold trying to link the "Bridge to Nowhere" to Palin (she, in fact, canceled it), maybe we should lay it in the lap of those who voted for it...including Senator Barack Obama. (According to, McCain "tried, unsuccessfully, to add a 'sense of the Senate' amendment to the bill, stating a general objection to earmarks; in the end he voted against the legislation.")

1 comment:

  1. Antimedia5:44 PM

    At least the Republicans had the good sense to put the inexperienced person at the bottom of the ticket.