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Palin May be Good Politics

but she makes Barack Obama look almost over-qualified to be president. City Councilman and mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (pop. 5,000), before serving less than two years as governor of Alaska. You gotta be kidding me!

I've never been a fan of W, but I respected his choice of Cheney for V.P.--Cheney didn't seem to add much of anything politically to the ticket, and his main qualification for the post seemed to be that he would actually be ready to be president if something happened to Bush. My respect for McCain has gone down a few notches.

UPDATE: She has "executive experience," but Obama doesn't? Obama has run one of the most successful presidential campaign upsets in modern history. And less than two years as governor of Alaska (the second-least populous state in the country) when oil prices have been booming is not exactly trial-by-fire.

Obama's also spent the last several years receiving advice on national and international issues from some of the most talented people in the United States.

No one who's not a Republican partisan is going to take the argument that she's more qualified has more relevant background experience than Obama seriously. Fortunately for the Republicans, Obama is not in a position to raise the experience issue--after all, unlike Palin, who will likely spent the next four years learning the ropes, he'll definitely become president immediately if he wins.

FURTHER UPDATE: Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton for some reason thought it was a good idea to attack Palin for having "zero foreign policy experience." I guess because, you know, during Obama's less-than-one-term in the Senate he's virtually been a shadow Secretary of State.

Snaphappy Fishsuit Mokiligon:
Crap. If Bernstein has lost respect, the public will eat it up.
8.29.2008 12:23pm
Houston Lawyer:
Remind me again what experience that Obama has in an executive capacity. Two years as governor is more executive experience than Obama and Biden have combined.
8.29.2008 12:25pm
J. Aldridge:
Never been elected Mayor or Governor by knocking off established incumbents with little money have you, David?
8.29.2008 12:25pm
a_j_1979:
Two years as ALASKA governor is more executive experience than Obama and Biden AND McCAIN have combined.
8.29.2008 12:28pm
mls (www):
I would say that her qualifications to be president look roughly the same as Obama's at this point.
8.29.2008 12:33pm
pluribus:
It tells us what we already know. McCain likes younger women.
8.29.2008 12:34pm
stunned:
Laura Rosslyn did very well fighting the robots and she was only like 2087th in line...
8.29.2008 12:36pm
Kenvee:
She still has more executive experience than Obama. And you know, if it was a Biden-Obama ticket, we wouldn't really care so much about Obama's experience.

Personally, I think Palin's a great choice. Everyone I've spoken to so far is very excited about the choice. She adds some youth and vibrancy to McCain's campaign, and she also complements McCain's "maverick" or independent image. (Unlike, say, running on a platform of change and picking a long-time Washington insider as your running mate.) She has strong Republican values, including ones too many high-placed Republicans forget these days like fiscal responsibility and restraining government spending.

And you know, putting politics aside completely for a moment, I think that it really says a lot about how our country has moved forward that no matter which side wins, we're either going to have a black President or a woman vice-president. Who would've predicted that a few decades ago?
8.29.2008 12:36pm
BT:
It could be a stroke of genius or a complete meltdown. Time will tell. It will all depend on how she handles the national press which will give her a very short honeymoon as she is not a D. She should play well with working class moms which BO does not. She also should play well with independant women. The D's and their buddies in the national press are now doing their oppo research and anything negative will come out to blunt any upswing in McCain's vote. It will be interesting to see how the R base reacts.
8.29.2008 12:36pm
bornyesterday (mail) (www):
I bet if we could poll every living former president, very few of them would say that in retrospect they had the experience going in to handle most of what they faced in the office.
8.29.2008 12:37pm
PLR:
McCain really needs to be convincingly healthy for the next two months.

I'd much rather see Michael Palin in line for the presidency. It's too bad he's ineligible.
8.29.2008 12:38pm
Sam Draper (mail):
McCain ran a squadron once. Biden and Obama have never run anything. Palin has been a governor and mayor.
8.29.2008 12:38pm
alkali (mail):
@J. Aldridge: Yes, by all means let's talk at length about her struggle to be elected mayor of a city of 8,500 people.

I defended the Harriet Miers nomination at this site against what I thought was reflexive credentialism run amok. I won't be doing that this time around.
8.29.2008 12:39pm
Waldensian (mail):

I would say that her qualifications to be president look roughly the same as Obama's at this point.

Agreed. And McCain obviously think she's well-qualified to be president.
8.29.2008 12:40pm
The Unbeliever:
<blockquote>Two years as ALASKA governor is more executive experience than Obama and Biden AND McCAIN have combined.</blockquote>Very true, and a sad commentary on our meager options for Presidential candidates.

The current speculation seems to be that Palin's light experience is an issue because she would presumably be closer to being President than Biden should their respective top-ticket candidates win. But in a year with the even lighter-weight Obama as a top-ticket candidate, I don't think that argument will fly.
8.29.2008 12:40pm
MG:
I agree that it wukk be somewhat hypocricical for the Democrats and Obama to criticize her for lacking experience--not that that will stop them. However, one of the strongest arguments McCain had was that Obama was inexperienced and not yet ready to be president. How can he make that argument going forward if he is putting someone who is at best similarly experienced into the position to be president if he can't finish his term?
8.29.2008 12:42pm
PLR:
Agreed. And McCain obviously think she's well-qualified to be president.

And you know this, how?
8.29.2008 12:43pm
NI:
This notion that because someone's a senator rather than a governor means they have no executive experience is nonsense. Running a Senate office, a statewide campaign, or a Senate committee requires plenty of executive ability. Besides, by that standard neither Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy or Harry Truman were qualified.
8.29.2008 12:43pm
MG:
Err, "would be somewhat hypocritical"
8.29.2008 12:43pm
Eric Muller (www):
I look at the defenses of Sarah Palin's experience in this comment thread and simply shake my head in disbelief.
8.29.2008 12:44pm
Paul Milligan (mail) (www):
David - put down that pipe !!!

"she makes Barack Obama look almost over-qualified to be president."

Palin has more executive political experience than the ENTIRE BLOBAMA / BIDEN TICKET COMBINED !

Blobama has WHAT experience ? About a year in the Senate before he started planing his Presidential run????

"My respect for McCain has gone down a few notches. "

I doubt you ever had any. What's REALLY bothering you is, it's a FANTASTIC choice, that totally NEUTERS at least 50 % of Blobama / Biden's talking points !!!
8.29.2008 12:45pm
great unknown (mail):
Administratively, she has more experience than Obama. In terms of actual accomplishments on legislative and anti-corruption fronts, well, remind me again of what Obama has done in the past forty or so years. On the other hand, take a look at Palin's accomplishments in the past two years as Governor and before that as a member of Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. On the ethics front alone she crushes Obama. No Rezko or Ayers in her background.

Methinks very few people support Obama on the basis of his legislative/administrative accomplishments [minimal to non-existent] or his avowed policies [ditto]. He is primarily a revolutionary symbol to his supporters.
Based on what Palin has said, and done to back up her statements, she is far more the kind of symbol I could support.
8.29.2008 12:45pm
Angus:
I highly doubt that McCain thinks that Palin is qualified to be President. Clearly she is not. However, the pick is absolutely fantastic politics for the pure image, and campaigns for the Presidency are all about image. Substance does not matter at all in the media age.

If Palin can perform even moderately competent, this election is now McCain's to win or lose. Obama can't do anything himself to change the dynamic. As bad as Biden was as a pick, Palin appears to be a home run at this point.
8.29.2008 12:46pm
great unknown (mail):
Since the concept is being tossed around so freely, exactly what does qualify a person to be President?
8.29.2008 12:49pm
Bobby Ewing (mail):
You have to admit that Sarah Palin is pretty hot (remember she was in the Ms. Alaska Pageant) and MUCH BETTER on the eyes than Joe Biden

http://www.jlaforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=5055328
8.29.2008 12:50pm
tarheel:

I highly doubt that McCain thinks that Palin is qualified to be President. Clearly she is not. However, the pick is absolutely fantastic politics for the pure image, and campaigns for the Presidency are all about image. Substance does not matter at all in the media age.

Very true. Her speech today and at the convention will be crucial. If she comes off as a lightweight (as Quayle did the day he was announced), the pick will be panned. If she comes off as a rising star, Obama will be scrambling until November.
8.29.2008 12:50pm
ejo:
I last saw muller above using the mccain/mentally ill talking point. will he soon be muttering the "how can she take time away from her down syndrome baby" vitriol already making the rounds? if style matters over substance (please see democratic candidate), McCain's won the round already.
8.29.2008 12:50pm
Nifonged:
Hmm, do I detect a bit of elitism from our professor friends? If Palin had gone to HLS or Yale law would the reaction be the same?
8.29.2008 12:51pm
OrinKerr:
Since the concept is being tossed around so freely, exactly what does qualify a person to be President?

I believe the key criteria is agreement with whoever is making the judgment.
8.29.2008 12:51pm
Dan O (mail) (www):
And She's H O T !!!!!
8.29.2008 12:51pm
GSC:
Obama ran arguably the most successful presidential primary campaign in history defeating a much better known opponent. If that is not executive experience, I don't know what is.

McCain clearly realizes that he is unlikely to win and decided to throw a hail mary with this pick. He also realizes that by picking Palin, the GOP will not completely implode (as a Lieberman pick would have) or put someone he hates in even stronger position for 2012 (that would be Romney).

Perhaps Palin has a strong future, but this pick completely vitiates the GOP's attacks on Obama's experience. The attempts to argue to the contrary are risible. (I think Joe Scarborough made the Harriet Meyers comparison this morning; discuss.)
8.29.2008 12:52pm
Nifonged:
"Obama has run one of the most successful presidential campaign upsets in modern history"

Jeez what does that have to do with executive experience. Preaching "hope" and "change" to the proletariat with complete backing by the media has nothing to do with executive experience. Was that even a serious comment?
8.29.2008 12:53pm
Nifonged:
"Obama has run one of the most successful presidential campaign upsets in modern history"

Jeez what does that have to do with executive experience. Preaching "hope" and "change" to the proletariat with complete backing by the media has nothing to do with executive experience. Was that even a serious comment?
8.29.2008 12:53pm
ejo:
where did she place on the law review and has she ever been subjected to the rigors of being a "community organizer"? answer these questions and we will know if she truly has the qualities necessary for being on the national stage.
8.29.2008 12:53pm
Nifonged:
"Obama ran arguably the most successful presidential primary campaign in history defeating a much better known opponent. If that is not executive experience, I don't know what is. "

See point above. That's campaign aptitude, not executive experience. There is a difference.
8.29.2008 12:54pm
tarheel:

I believe the key criteria is agreement with whoever is making the judgment.

So far Prof. Kerr is winning this thread.
8.29.2008 12:55pm
AlanW (mail):
I think Palin will surprise a lot of people. I think she's a good pick. I think Jindal would have been better, but he's gonna be busy next week...

On the other hand -
Paul Milligan, take your meds. She neuters about 95 percent of McCain's talking points.
Great Unknown - No Rezko? You obviously haven't even bothered to read her Wikipedia page. She's good, but she's got her own scandals.
Everyone defending her executive experience is just on crack. Her experience isn't her selling point to anyone on Planet Earth. She's a good politician, she's telegenic and she gives McCain a touch of the Obama "change" magic. That's why she's on the ticket.

This pick works if she can get the national press on her side - which shouldn't be hard. Great personal story, friendly, down-to-earth, Matt Lauer will be putty in her hands.
This pick doesn't work if it makes McCain look like an old, old, old man.

I say it's a net positive, but if it makes McCain look desperate, it will turn into a negative so fast your head will spin.
8.29.2008 12:57pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Wow, when did the VC comments section merge with Free Republic?
8.29.2008 12:58pm
Ben P (mail):

Jeez what does that have to do with executive experience. Preaching "hope" and "change" to the proletariat with complete backing by the media has nothing to do with executive experience. Was that even a serious comment?


This borders on willful ignorance.

In a way it's much like the way I explain my respect for Karl Rove to my more liberal friends. Yes, he plays dirty hardball politics, but in reshaping the political game and doing what he does he is a true master at the art.

Whether or not you agree with him politically, denying that Obama/Axelrod ran a masterful primary campaign is simply being willfully ignorant. If "preaching hope and change" to the proletariat was all that was necessary I'm sure Clinton's planners would have caught on. Further, not only did he generally outmaneuver Clinton on the media battlefield, the true genius of his campaign was on the electoral one. He and his advisors quite simply outplanned her campaign.


I'd agree that that doesn't necessarily count as a qualification to be president, but it is a certain kind of executive experience.
8.29.2008 12:59pm
GSC:
Nifonged--I see you know nothing about the opersation of a presidential campaign. Putting together a campaign staff and running it is what an executive does. Clinton failed because, in major part, she failed at this--lack of strategy, infighting, lack of understanding of delegate allocation, etc..

What do you think an executive does? Is running a presidential campaign identical to the responsibilies at 1600 Pennsylvania? Of course not; but I would say it bears a lot more in common to being president than running the government of the state of Alaska.
8.29.2008 12:59pm
Sam Draper (mail):
I think this observation that she lacks experience is very interesting.

Palin: She has been involved in government since 1992. She served on a city council and then as mayor (two terms). She served on the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission. She was elected governor, beating an incumbant in the primaries and a former governor in the general election, and served for two years.

Biden: Served two years on the city council and then was a US Senator forever. No executive experience.

Obama: State Senator for 7 years. US Senator for four years. No executive experience.

McCain: Served in the Navy. Eventually ran an squadron (24 pilots?). Other than that, no executive experience. Was a Congressman for eight years and then a Senator.

Really, would anyone really be commplaining about Palin's experience if she didn't wear a skirt?
8.29.2008 1:01pm
Norman Bates (mail):
This is clearly a cynical choice. That she is a young and attractive woman will be very effective in drawing many Clinton supporters and other marginally committed Obama voters away from Obama. Neither Obama nor Biden has any executive experience so, as important as this experience should be in deciding the outcome of a presidential race, it's a non-starter in this campaign. I agree with other posters that everytthing now depends on how effectively she presents herself in public. However, if the McCain camp hasn't thoroughly vetted this issue then even this committed, right-wing Republican would be forced to reconsider voting Republican this year.
8.29.2008 1:03pm
Mr. Bingley (www):
You can tut-tut all you like about her 'only' being the mayor of a small town and sparsely populated state, but I've been to town meetings and they can get pretty heated...and in Alaska everyone's armed.

From what I've read she picked some pretty tough fights, many against her own Party, and won them while Obama was staking out a bold 'present' stance.
8.29.2008 1:03pm
GSC:
First, if she didn't wear a skirt, she would almost certainly not be the GOP vice presidential nominee. Second, if Jindal were the nominee, the same exact point would have been made. It has nothing to do with gender, and to the extent experience is critical (as McCain and the GOP have been arguing for months), it is not executive experience they have focused on; it is simply experience. And by the standard they have used, she clearly does not have it. While Obama certainly has limited foreign policy experience, she has absolutely none.
8.29.2008 1:04pm
Nifonged:
"Nifonged--I see you know nothing about the opersation of a presidential campaign. "


I haven't, but I've run my own business and I know there's a difference between gearing up to buy a business and actually running it.
8.29.2008 1:04pm
CleanSanchez:
Mr. Bernstein,

I agree with you re Cheney, but look how that turned out. Democrats and tin-foil-helmeters accuse him of being all that's wrong with America, etc. And a lot of voters are silly enough to believe them.

To the extent Palin is less-than-qualified, it is not McCain's "fault," it's the fault of an electorate that is largely composed of voters susceptible to identity politics. From the standpoint of pure competence and leadership ability, Romney would probably have been a safer horse to ride, but McCain actually has to get elected. Again, though, it's not John McCain's fault that he has to pick a VP that is most likely to get him elected, not a VP most likely to make a good president if he dies. To the extent the latter criterion is important, it is only important because of its impact on electability.
8.29.2008 1:05pm
Smallholder (mail) (www):
This could be a good move to bring over the Hillary supporters who cared more about the second x chromosone than any real policies. If McCain can use Palin to pull over even a fraction of the Hillary die-hards, it may be enough to swing a few close states.

Some of our unhinged partisans aside, it does blunt the force of McCain's argument against Obama's inexperience - but that argument may already have been less effective since Obama cast the choice as one between experience and judgment over the Iraq war. A majority of Americans now believe the war was a mistake, so that argument has some force.

For the "executive experience is all" crowd who think the skill set to lead a small town is coterminous with presidential leadership and senate experience doesn't count, I'd suggest that is a dangerous partisan argument to make - McCain doesn't have executive experience either. He and Biden are about equal with Senate experience.

The other concern over the Palin choice is the concern over the retaliatory firing of the police officer. I doubt that concern will have legs because McCain's staffers will have thoroughly researched to make sure there is no "there there."

Evidently she used her time with the oil industry to push reforms and eliminate corruption, but I'm not sure how the optics play with average Joe American: Another oil-flunky in the West Wing! Oh no! It wouldn't be fair for the Democrats to make this argument, but I bet they will.

Finally, I wonder if the Palin choice will hold down the racist vote (albeit a small percentage but one that could be key in close states). I would assume that the habits of mind leading to racism are also likely to encourage sexism. I am enjoying some unreconstructed troglodyte saying "Well, I don't want that black guy to be president, but I also don't want the woman to be veep."
8.29.2008 1:05pm
tarheel:

I haven't, but I've run my own business and I know there's a difference between gearing up to buy a business and actually running it.

Really? He's had to hire a huge staff, manage a 10 figure budget, overcome logistical hurdles, acquire office space, provide health care to his workers, etc. What exactly is different?
8.29.2008 1:07pm
Sarcastro (www):
Obama's never run anything in his life! Campaigns just run themselves, as do community programs!

And there's never been a succesfull President didn't have Executive Experience!

And Palin was clearly the most experienced pick, since McCain clearly values it so highly!
8.29.2008 1:09pm
AlanW (mail):
I was really pulling for Obama to pick Schweitzer and double-down on the change theme. A Schweitzer-Palin debate would have been epic. It would have been so darn folksy, banjo music would spontaneously waft from the air. Ah well.
8.29.2008 1:10pm
ChrisIowa (mail):

UPDATE: She has "executive experience," but Obama doesn't? Obama has run one of the most successful presidential campaign upsets in modern history.


The candidate does not run the campaign. The campaign manager runs the campaign.
8.29.2008 1:11pm
Nifonged:
"Really? He's had to hire a huge staff, manage a 10 figure budget, overcome logistical hurdles, acquire office space, provide health care to his workers, etc. What exactly is different?"

Well, the same way an entrepreneur has to (i) handle his staff, financial backing, attorneys (if necessary) to buy a software company and then (ii) running the software company.

I might be great at organizing an acquisition but once the deal is closed if I'm a lousy executive and don't understand the software business suficiently regardless of my great aptitude in (i) I'm not going to succeed at (ii).
8.29.2008 1:11pm
Constantin:
First, if she didn't wear a skirt, she would almost certainly not be the GOP vice presidential nominee.

Surely an Obama guy isn't going to go there.
8.29.2008 1:11pm
ejo:
might one add that she bucked her party while in state government, something obama never did while being one of Emil Jones' loyal foot soldiers/hacks. she's also not a lawyer-that ought to lose mccain votes. kid's in the service, just like McCain's. will they be able to say they don't "get it" when both have children on the firing line. .
8.29.2008 1:11pm
taney71:
Palin is just as qualified to be president as Obama.
8.29.2008 1:12pm
Ben P (mail):

Really, would anyone really be commplaining about Palin's experience if she didn't wear a skirt?


Honestly, I think they would.

I see Obama's and Palin's experience as generally being somewhat in the same league.

1. They're of roughly similar age. Both a generation younger than McCain

2. There are quite a number of politicians who have climbed the ladder from Governor to US senator, and there are quite a few who have done the reverse. Either position is a crowning achievement that requires not only hard work but a significant amount of luck but for a select few.

3. Neither of them have held the positions for terribly long.


I suppose you could get into quibbles about exactly what he did as a Senator and exactly what she did as a governor, but I think those are just that quibbles, which gets into the real way I feel.

I think much of this "experience" debate is rather mindless. In my opinion experience and "good leadership" are far from synonomous, and in fact are hardly even similar.

Today's business schools produce lots of good CEOs. However, some of the greatest businessmen of all time had strikingly little formal higher education.

I think the quality of being a good leader is quite complicated, but in general is far more a matter of personality, approach to problem solving and instincts than it is the particular positions one has held in the past. This is all the more true when we're talking about a position that very few individuals can really be said to be "prepared" for.
8.29.2008 1:12pm
GSC:
On a total side note, is Tina Fey going to play her in the movie? (Steve Carrell or the guy who played Miles on Murphy Brown woudl have gotten the Tim Pawlenty role if he had been the pick.)
8.29.2008 1:12pm
donaldk2 (mail):
It all depends. Experience or lack of it will be totally ignored IF she has sufficient acuity AND charm.

If she does, to me she looks like the best of the four.

We can always hope.
8.29.2008 1:12pm
Really?:

David Bernstein: "No one who's not a Republican partisan is going to take the argument that she's more qualified than Obama seriously."


That was startling hyperbole. No one who's not a Bernstein partisan is going to take his post seriously.
8.29.2008 1:13pm
Grover Gardner (mail):
"This could be a good move to bring over the Hillary supporters who cared more about the second x chromosone than any real policies."

I suspect Hillary supporters care even more about the abortion issue. On that front Palin will definitely not appeal to them.
8.29.2008 1:13pm
Justin (mail):
"Really, would anyone really be commplaining about Palin's experience if she didn't wear a skirt?"

Howard Dean wears skirts? If not, then yes. And he had 8 years of experience.
8.29.2008 1:13pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
Time isn't a direct relative to experience. There are some Senators and Representatives that have easy enough seats and placement that they really don't make any real decisions or complicated options. Obama's been cited as one of those; he doesn't have many votes in place, and most of his votes were rather duh results.

Palin's not quite in that class. She veto'd politically popular but discriminatory laws regarding same-sex civil union benefits for employees. She's also veto'd to try and get rid of construction-related pork. Add in her opposition towards Ted Stevens and similar, and support of global warming analysis, and she's as least made some remotely difficult actions.

She doesn't have a lot of experience, but she does have a pretty good amount more than the number of years alone would suggest.
8.29.2008 1:14pm
Really?:
Joking aside, I agree with mls that "her qualifications to be president look roughly the same as Obama's at this point," and add that she's not heading her ticket.
8.29.2008 1:14pm
The Unbeliever:
If the question is one of raw "experience", McCain beats Obama by a few decades. If the question is one of "executive experience", Palin beats Obama AND McCain AND Biden.

How does this hurt McCain's argument against Obama?

The only way Obama can logically use it to his advantage is if he wants to say that McCain should value experience in a Vice President as much as he values that in a President, but that's not really a watertight case.
8.29.2008 1:15pm
Brian Mac:
Who cares if the VP is inexperienced or underqualified? I mean for God's sake, the DoD and state department have been run by mere secretaries for what seems like an eternity, and the sky hasn't collapsed yet.
8.29.2008 1:16pm
PLR:
This is clearly a cynical choice. That she is a young and attractive woman will be very effective in drawing many Clinton supporters and other marginally committed Obama voters away from Obama.

With Palin being pro-life and anti-gay marriage, I don't see the attraction for the Clinton diehards.

I think what this is designed to do is get the evangelical right out to the polls. Forget about the independent vote, McCain has no chance whatsoever unless he gets each and every conservative voter to come out to the polls in November, rather than stay at home. Most of the candidates the evangelicals swoon over have high negatives with independents and conservative Democrats (Santorum, Brownback, Huckabee). Palin might be able to get the evangelicals out to the polls to vote for the crusty, profane McCain, and she doesn't have negatives because hardly anyone's heard of her.
8.29.2008 1:19pm
Luke (mail):
This is a sign of desperation by McCain, i.e. we must also adopt a change message.

It is also a sign that McCain digs young women.
8.29.2008 1:20pm
Spiked:
These comparisons between running a year-long campaign and actual executive experience are laughable. The primary was tight for quite some time, his opponent was saddled with a great deal of political baggage and he had the national/international media and celebrity stars swooning for him. In addition, his primary opponent's supporters are defecting in serious numbers to McCain - at least according to polls. Calling this one of the "greatest campaigns in history" is not serious commentary. More to the point - to equate this "campaign experience" with actual executive experience where decisions have long-term consequences on people that didn't vote for you is simply ignorant.
8.29.2008 1:21pm
SATA_Interface:
Where I have disagreed with some of Prof. Berstein's other postings in the past, you have hit the nail on the head here. Good post.

I also agree that a lot of the comments seem to be cutpasted from Kos or Freeper accounts elsewhere; not much to do about it, but there's more than enough substance of discussion in this interesting race to have to go for the more childish ranting that we've been seeing. Doesn't the "gotcha" mentality take the fun out of discussion?
8.29.2008 1:22pm
taney71:

This is a sign of desperation by McCain

Well if that is the case then picking Obama was a sign of desperation for the Democrats.
8.29.2008 1:22pm
Hoosier:
mls
I would say that her qualifications to be president look roughly the same as Obama's at this point.


That is what strikes me about this selection. I would have preferred Marsha Blackburn. But it seems that McCain wanted a governor.

I have no idea what sort of candidate she will make. But interms of experience, there isn't much difference between the GOP running-mate and the Democratic nominee.
8.29.2008 1:28pm
alkali (mail):
Has George F. Will's head exploded yet? Could someone check his house?
8.29.2008 1:28pm
Colorado Steve (mail):
She's qualified to be Vice President. After all, she's probably a better shot than Dick Cheney!
8.29.2008 1:28pm
Hoosier:
This is a sign of desperation by McCain

You think he was beer-goggling? She looks cute to me . . .
8.29.2008 1:28pm
Luke (mail):
taney71- please explain.

Obama defeated the biggest and most powerful name in democratic politics. He has run a brilliant national, multimillion dollar campaign but is not "qualified" to be president. Well lets scratch off Lincoln, Truman and Kennedy as unqualified too.

Oh and I have been so impressed with the experience of Bush/Cheney.
8.29.2008 1:29pm
Euripedes Eupayfordese:
If Obama wins, it's certain that we'll have an inexperienced person not ready to be President.

If McCain win, there's only a small chance that we'll have an inexperienced person ascend to the Presidency, and then is so, likely after Vice-President Palin has been in office for a while.
8.29.2008 1:29pm
Luke (mail):
Hoosier

Looks-as in physical appearance-good to me too.
8.29.2008 1:31pm
Hoosier:
It is also a sign that McCain digs young women.

And Obama digs middle aged men with bad plugs. Which is weirder?
8.29.2008 1:31pm
SATA_Interface:

Oh and I have been so impressed with the experience of Bush/Cheney.


Amen. :-(
8.29.2008 1:32pm
taney71:
Luke,

I never said Obama isn't qualified. I am merely pointing out that if Palin isn't qualified then by the same argument Obama is not as well.

At any rate, Obama is running against McCain. Palin is the VP pick.
8.29.2008 1:35pm
Luke (mail):
Eripedes

Small chance? see http://www.bitsofnews.com/content/view/7902/

McCain is 72 but has suffered from melanoma and was tortured as a POW. Oh excuse me, he was not tortured as defined by Bush/Cheney.
8.29.2008 1:36pm
Sarcastro (www):
SATA_Interface but saying hooray for our side is the most fun you can have on the internets!

So glad she's hot and young! Important qualifications for any woman running for high office.

Obama didn't beat Clinton's dark-magic fueled juggernaut be enough. This proves he didn't organize a large disparate campaign filled with inexperienced newcomers! Whatta loser!
8.29.2008 1:37pm
Jane (mail):
Mr. Bernstein: Are you seriously suggesting that having NO executive experience but running a "sucessful campaign" trumps 2 year actual executive experience?

I agree with above poster who said it is either an inspired choice, or will prove a disaster. Remains to be seen. At this point, I rather like Sarah Palin (but remain unsure about McCain).
8.29.2008 1:37pm
SKardner (mail):
Palin: not ready for prime time. She makes Hillary look like Ronald Reagan.
8.29.2008 1:37pm
Hoosier:
Oh and I have been so impressed with the experience of Bush/Cheney.



Amen. :-(


You will want to be carefull: The bathwater goes out the window just fine. But the baby can't fit through the screen.
8.29.2008 1:38pm
Sk (mail):
I agree with you with respect to Palin, but for God's sake, don't let it make you intellectually lazy.

"She has "executive experience," but Obama doesn't? Obama has run one of the most successful presidential campaign upsets in modern history."

What does that have to do with executive experience?

"Obama's also spent the last several years receiving advice on national and international issues from some of the most talented people in the United States."

What does that have to do with executive experience?

To summarize:

"She has "executive experience," but Obama doesn't?"

No, he doesn't. Your two examples can't be stretched in any way to answer the question in the affirmative. Anyone reading your post knows it. I'm sure you knew it even as you typed the post. Sometimes the emperor has no clothes.

Accept it. He has none. She has virtually none. That is a perfectly reasonable description. 'Campaigning', and 'getting lectures from smart people' don't change it.

Sk
8.29.2008 1:39pm
tarheel:
She didn't help things by talking about "Senator McCain" and "Mrs. McCain." Makes them seem old and her seem really young.
8.29.2008 1:40pm
taney71:

Palin: not ready for prime time. She makes Hillary look like Ronald Reagan.

What a simplistic and thoughtless statement. You don't know that and will not until we see her in action. Right now I am watching Palin speak and she looks really good.
8.29.2008 1:40pm
Luke (mail):
Hoosier

I was trying to be funny with the digs younger women. I guess it is not a good joke of I have to explain it but here goes.

McCain left his wife of ?years after she cared for his children? while he was at war. But since she wasn't the same beauty when he returned, he went and got himself a hot young wife.

So much for the sanctity of marriage.
8.29.2008 1:41pm
William Wallace:
Professor Bernstein, with all due respect, your post sounds like talking points from "the one".

Executive experience is executive experience. Even one year as the governor of ANY State trumps "community organizer", "law review editor", "state senator" and "less than 1 full term U.S. Senator".

I guess worshipers of "lord barry" have resorted to adding "running a presidential campaign" to his resume.

If that's not padding, I don't know what is.
8.29.2008 1:41pm
taney71:

She didn't help things by talking about "Senator McCain" and "Mrs. McCain."

How so? What should she call them?
8.29.2008 1:42pm
William Wallace:

Two years as ALASKA governor is more executive experience than Obama and Biden AND McCAIN have combined.


Uh, No. McCain has more than 22 years of executive experience.

People forget that Military Officer = Executive Experience.

McCain retired as a COMMANDER (O-5) he has PLENTY of executive experience.
8.29.2008 1:44pm
DG:
And the Laura Rosslyn jokes begin...
8.29.2008 1:44pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
David, VC is sounding like Free Republic to you because you sound like Mother Jones. Running a presidential campaign or a Senate office are not executive experience (and even if they were, who says it's Obama doing the running?) I also think Palin's executive credentials are light, but jeezum crow, stop and think for a minute about what you write. As to Obama receiving advice from some of the best people - yeah, and also some of the worst. Reading tends to be more important.
8.29.2008 1:45pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
1.5 years running Alaska, whose legislature meets 90 days a year, and which has oil money coming out of its ears, versus 1.5 years running a nine-figure presidential campaign with what appears to be an absolute minimum of friction and infighting, being questioned about every possible national and international issue under the sun, being advised by the brightest lights of the Democratic Party, being exposed to unrelenting (if often adulatory) media attention, and under attack from the nation's strongest political dynasty. It's not even close.
8.29.2008 1:45pm
SeaLawyer:

I was trying to be funny with the digs younger women. I guess it is not a good joke of I have to explain it but here goes.

McCain left his wife of ?years after she cared for his children? while he was at war. But since she wasn't the same beauty when he returned, he went and got himself a hot young wife.

So much for the sanctity of marriage.


Luke,
I really hope that you don't actually believe that is the reason McCain's 1st marriage did not work out.
8.29.2008 1:46pm
Virginian:

The other concern over the Palin choice is the concern over the retaliatory firing of the police officer. I doubt that concern will have legs because McCain's staffers will have thoroughly researched to make sure there is no "there there."


Unfortunately, BO's water carriers in the media will mention this "scandal" in the first paragraph of every article about Palin from now until the election. The media will sure make it look like there's a "there there," even if there isn't.
8.29.2008 1:47pm
Luke (mail):
all this talk of experience. Can we at least agree that Lincoln, Truman and Kennedy had "no experience" to be president?
8.29.2008 1:47pm
empty skirt (mail):
http://www.ontheissues.org/Sarah_Palin.htm

Sarah "No issue stance yet recorded" Palin.
8.29.2008 1:47pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
"David, VC is sounding like Free Republic to you because you sound like Mother Jones."

Sorry, I call them as I see him. It's hard to think of someone who was less of a national figure, and less ready to be president, on a major party ticket, since at least Geraldine Ferraro.

I don't see my job as providing propaganda for the McCain campaign.
8.29.2008 1:48pm
Jerry F:
Wow, when did the VC Bloggers merger with the Dailykos?
8.29.2008 1:48pm
ejo:
she certainly may turn out to be bad and inadequate on the national stage (of course, how many times was Joe Biden elected President?. however, right now, does anyone remember some guy last night giving some sort of speech on a Britney Spear's set? in terms of positives: she's hot; she has a lot of political experience; she's not a lawyer; we have no indication that she was welcomed into politics via a party at the home of terrorists; she's not one of the professional victim feminist types; she bucked her own party in the past; she has a big family with a kid in the service (the child killer set would never vote for a Republican anyway and can one be out of touch with a kid on the firing line?). The big negatives remain to be seen on the campaign trail.
8.29.2008 1:48pm
Jonathan H. Adler (mail) (www):
A few quick thoughts:

I think the experience issue is overplayed, even on foreign policy. George H.W. Bush is the only president from the past 20 years who had any meaningful foreign policy experience. So there's clearly a limit to how much voters care about that.

It's also interesting to note that Margaret Thatcher had basically no foreign policy experience when she became prime minister.

JHA
8.29.2008 1:48pm
taney71:

all this talk of experience. Can we at least agree that Lincoln, Truman and Kennedy had "no experience" to be president?

Yep, but in the classic "pot calling kettle black" the Obama folks are attacking Palin for having no foreign policy experience.
8.29.2008 1:49pm
john w. (mail):
Coming into the discussion late, so I apologize if this has already been discussed, but doesn't Palin have at least a semi-libertarian philosophy?

If she does, that would *almost* be enough to persuade me to hold my nose and vote Republican, even though I think that McCain himself is just as bad as Obama.

Is anybody selling "Palin for President in 2012" bumper stickers yet? If so, I'll buy a few and slap them on top of my Bob Barr stickers.
8.29.2008 1:50pm
Virginian:

She makes Hillary look like Ronald Reagan.


That's not fair.

Reagan was much better looking than Hillary.
8.29.2008 1:51pm
Sarcastro (www):
William Wallace
To review:

Military Officer = Executive Experience.
Running national campaign != executive experience.
Mayor of small town = Executive Experience.
Setting up nonprofits to serve the community != executive experience.
Governor of a state = Executive Experience.
Running Harvard Law Review != executive experience.

And let us not forget those losers Lincoln and Kennedy, who were seriously missing their "vitamin E"

And "lord barry" is awesome. Because everyone who agrees with Obama are like cult members. That's why I reflexively disbelieve everything they say!
8.29.2008 1:51pm
ejo:
she won't get the all important law faculty vote (what does that trend-95-5 Dem/Repub?).
8.29.2008 1:51pm
Shertaugh:
And Abraham Lincoln's executive experience was what again?

I'm not saying Obama is Lincoln. How could anyone compare any candidate to any past president.

Lincoln became "Lincoln" only after he had to begin dealing with the collapse of the Union and a civil war -- not because of the "experience" he brought to the office.

By the way, G.W. Bush was a governor. That's turned out well.

Same with James Buchanon. Lots of exec experience. President of Franklin &Marshall University. Former Secretary of State. Minister to the Court of St. James.

What a line of crap this whole "exec experience" meme is.

Experience is no substitute for judgment. On that point, Jack Kennedy captained a PT boat . . . then FUBAR'd the Bay-of-Pigs invasion. But he had the capacity to learn.

Who between McCain and Obama has the capacity to learn?
8.29.2008 1:52pm
AndrewK (mail):

No one who's not a Republican partisan is going to take the argument that she's more qualified has more relevant background experience than Obama seriously.


Ha. Her "inexperience" invites a contrast with Obama. I'm sure the McCain campaign welcomes this. Roughly two years as Governor beats a few years as an absent Senator.
8.29.2008 1:52pm
Jerry F:
To me, the question is not of who is most qualified to be President. Palin has a great deal more executive experience than Obama if we are talking about experience on the job, as opposed to experience at getting the job. Obama ran very successful campaigns for HLR President, Illinois Senator and President, but he accomplished nothing in these first two positions (and we can only hope he will not accomplish anything as President, since that would be far better than the alternative of him accomplishing things that move the country in a far-Left direction).

But when it comes to getting the job, I am afraid Biden and Obama are at an advantage. Palin seems like a nice and competent person who would be ready to lead the country after learning from McCain for a few years, but is she ready now to deal with the dirty politics, the lies that Biden will throw at her and the constant media attacks?
8.29.2008 1:54pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Jonathan, you're right, but Palin has no national profile on anything. She was chosen for purely political reasons. Surely, John McCain didn't say to himself, "if God forbid something happened to me while I was in office, who in the USA would I most trust to be president, to carry on my legacy and lead this country forward" and come up with Sarah Palin! In fact, I'm sure there are literally dozens of people who'd be ahead of her. I don't expect politicians not to act like politicians, but that doesn't mean I won't criticize them when they do.
8.29.2008 1:54pm
Luke (mail):
SeaLawyer

I actually do, but I admit that there are often private matters in a marriage that could also offer explanations.

I made the comment to highlight the seeming hypocrisy of advocating against gay marriage in order to protect the sanctity of marriage by someone many who do not appear to hold marriage to such a high ideal in their own lives.
8.29.2008 1:55pm
Crafty Hunter (www):
It's sure as heck going to depend very much on how Ms. Palin handles the national spotlight. If she can weather the sniping about, for example, mildly supporting teaching "intelligent design" in public schools, and other hot-button issues, then her presence on the national ticket will be a rather large political plus for Mr. McCain. Whether or not they recognise it consciously, the disaffected Hillary Clinton Democratic bloc will be moved to vote for "another" strong-willed woman, albeit indirectly, as long as Ms. Palin doesn't disgrace herself.

Now that Ms. Palin is on the ticket, I cautiously predict that the Republican Presidential ticket will win the popular vote by a quite narrow margin (say two percentage points) and the Electoral College by twenty or more points. This prediction, naturally, depends on neither Mr. McCain or Ms. Palin having a meltdown between now and the general election. I don't think it even matters much anymore what happens in the Obama camp, aside from a major meltdown. Voters have generally made up their minds about electing a Marxist and race-baiter to the White House. They like it or not.

You bet your bippy the McCain insider crowd knows this very well.

BTW, I've set up a nice little poll for those in favor of an alternative to the dismal current selection.

<a href = "http://poll.pollcode.com/IiF">Is Bugs Bunny a better Presidential pick than either McCain or Obama?</a>
8.29.2008 1:56pm
Crafty Hunter (www):
Sorry about that. The blogging code doesn't like spaces between "=" and "href" etc.

Is Bugs Bunny a better Presidential pick than either McCain or Obama?
8.29.2008 1:58pm
Sarcastro (www):
[Seriously people, no noe is attacking Palin's experience, all I see is people pointing out that "McCain's mighty and oft-swung Obama swatting hammer of experience has been instantly changed from steel to rubber." [cite]

Can we start talking about her positions?

In Palin's America, there's no abortion, polar bears, untapped wildlife refuges, people without guns or due process for wife-beating bastards!]
8.29.2008 2:03pm
ejo:
chosen for purely political reasons-that has to rank as the "no duh" statement of the day.
8.29.2008 2:05pm
tarheel:
taney71: "John" and "Cindy" would have been better because it would make them seem like equals. Not a big deal, but it reinforces something that McCain does not want reinforced.
8.29.2008 2:05pm
ChrisIowa (mail):

I think the experience issue is overplayed, even on foreign policy. George H.W. Bush is the only president from the past 20 years who had any meaningful foreign policy experience.


On foreign policy experience, what Presidents have had any when they entered office? Bush1, Nixon, Eisenhower, Hoover, Adams. The President finds someone else with that talent and experience to do that job. Which is what good executives do. Which is why executive experience is what's important.
8.29.2008 2:08pm
Sigivald (mail):
Obama's also spent the last several years receiving advice on national and international issues from some of the most talented people in the United States.

Considering what he's come up with for policy suggestions, given that advice, shouldn't we hold it against him? Or at very least, not count it as somehow being in his favour?

If he can turn allegedly top-grade advice into the steaming piles I've seen come out (e.g. on foreign policy), that's not an endorsement.

(While there are probably "dozens" of people who'd make a better President than Palin, there are also dozens who'd be better than Joe Biden, so that's also a wash, comparing the tickets.

The question actual ticket-formers have to ask is not "who'd be the best VP in terms of being a replacement president and nothing else" but "who'd be the best VP in that regard that will result in the combination being elected in the first place".

I'm not sure a "national profile" is important, either.)
8.29.2008 2:08pm
The Unbeliever:
Surely, John McCain didn't say to himself, "if God forbid something happened to me while I was in office, who in the USA would I most trust to be president, to carry on my legacy and lead this country forward" and come up with Sarah Palin!
And Obama thinks 33-year-Senator Biden is best capable of carrying on his legacy of Hopiness and Changery?
8.29.2008 2:10pm
Hoosier:
George H.W. Bush is the only president from the past 20 years who had any meaningful foreign policy experience.

But that's one of three.

"taney71: "John" and "Cindy" would have been better because it would make them seem like equals. "

I don't know about that. Gore always said "Bill Clinton," not "Bill" as I remember. And I don't recall what he said early on in the campaign. Quayle said "Vice President Bush." Cheney: "Gov. Bush."

I think it's just typical.
8.29.2008 2:11pm
Hoosier:
ChrisIowa

Don't forget Taft. (He's hard to overlook.) And I'd add Grant, at least if invading another country counts.
8.29.2008 2:16pm
Really?:

David Bernstein: "I don't see my job as providing propaganda for the McCain campaign."



Who stated or remotely suggested that you do or should?
8.29.2008 2:20pm
Lazlo Holyfeld:
Professor Bernstein hits it on the head.

According to most idiots here, a two-year county executive is more qualified to be president than Bob Dole was?
8.29.2008 2:22pm
tarheel:

I don't know about that. Gore always said "Bill Clinton," not "Bill" as I remember. And I don't recall what he said early on in the campaign. Quayle said "Vice President Bush." Cheney: "Gov. Bush."

Cheney and Gore did not have the same age/experience differential that McCain/Palin are dealing with, and I would argue that Palin should not take her cues from what Quayle did. In any case, I think my reaction was more to her referring to Mrs. McCain. That just skewed young to me. I'll drop it now.
8.29.2008 2:22pm
keypusher (mail):
Surely, John McCain didn't say to himself, "if God forbid something happened to me while I was in office, who in the USA would I most trust to be president, to carry on my legacy and lead this country forward" and come up with Sarah Palin! In fact, I'm sure there are literally dozens of people who'd be ahead of her.

Well said.

And Obama thinks 33-year-Senator Biden is best capable of carrying on his legacy of Hopiness and Changery?

This was what Obama identified as his most important criterion before he picked Biden.

"I think the most important thing, from my perspective, is somebody who can help me govern," Obama said. "I want somebody who I'm compatible with, who I can work with, who has a shared vision, who certainly complements me, in the sense that they provide a knowledge base or an area of expertise that can be useful. Because we're going to have a lot of problems and a lot of work to do."

I think Biden measures up to that criterion pretty well. Besides, are you suggesting Obama should have picked up another newcomer like himself? That wouldn't have gone over very well.
8.29.2008 2:25pm
EH (mail):
SeaLawyer:
Luke,
I really hope that you don't actually believe that is the reason McCain's 1st marriage did not work out.


This was addressed in a Seinfeld episode entitled "The Abstinence" (substitute "POW" for "doctor"):

Elaine's boyfriend tells her he passed his doctor boards

Elaine: Congratulations! You passed!

Ben: Elaine, Elaine. I don't think we should see each other anymore.

Elaine: What? you're breaking up with me? But I sacrificed and supported you while you struggled. What about my dream of dating a doctor?

Ben: I'm sorry, Elaine. I always knew that after I became a doctor, I would dump whoever I was with and find someone better. That's the dream of becoming a doctor.
8.29.2008 2:27pm
SATA_Interface:
To me, the most important Presidential quality is the ability to pick good advisors, cabinet appointments, and be able to see when they aren't performing up to snuff. That seems to be the biggest failure of Bush - he kept staying by the losers and kicking out the ones who were halfway decent at their job but didn't toe the status quo line.

Now that I've said that, I'm not sure I know which candidate would be a better manager. McCain ran a very tepid campaign to begin with, and managed to moderate himself back to victory. Obama did a very skillful job sailing past Clinton (remember her, the shoe-in just a year ago?), playing the delegate game, and not alienating everyone in the process. (your opinion on that last one will wait until the Final Countdown in November).

And for those who keep saying that running the campaign does not make you a campaign manager or equate any sort of executive experience, Clinton's inability to control her team is what lost her the primary dance, and is what led McCain to dump his bad team members...
8.29.2008 2:27pm
Actually...:
According to most idiots here, a two-year county executive is more qualified to be president than Bob Dole was?
Maybe. But Bob Dole was infinitely more qualified than Barak Obama.

Palin>>Dole>>Obama might sound silly to you, but it makes more sense than the idea that half a term as Senator + running a campaign in the primary is a stronger resume for head of the Executive branch.
8.29.2008 2:28pm
KD:
According to an article on MSN, when asked by Larry Kudlow in early August if she wanted to be VP. She responded she couldn't answer "until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day."

As a Republican, this seems like a bad, bad joke.
8.29.2008 2:28pm
Lyle (mail):
Abraham Lincoln only served as a U.S. Representative in Congress for 2 years (1847 to 1849)... yet things worked out well for him and the country. His most important plank against other canidates was normally... "I was born in log-cabin". Some experience Lincoln had.

Come on you intellectuals... know your history.
8.29.2008 2:33pm
The Unbeliever:
I think Biden measures up to that criterion pretty well. Besides, are you suggesting Obama should have picked up another newcomer like himself? That wouldn't have gone over very well.
It would have been more consistent with his omnipresent blather about CHANGE. Take Obama's acceptance speech last night, word for word, and try imagining it coming from Biden's mouth. Would you really buy it?

I'm willing to believe they both buy into the same tired old set of leftist/liberal policies, and in that sense Biden's as capable of carrying on after Obama as any other random Democratic party leader. But Obama's unique legacy was supposed to be transformational, and you just don't get that from a guy who spent 30+ years in the Senate.
8.29.2008 2:33pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
William Wallace:

McCain apparently retired as a Captain (O-6), and not Commander (O-5). This is equivalent to a Colonel in the Army, Air Force, and Marines. Not clear exactly why he left, but it seems like he knew he wouldn't make Admiral, and even Rear Admiral was real iffy. One theory is his physical situation. Another one though is that he was just too much the maverick. He also didn't have any experience as a ship driver, and very little at sea (after all, it is the Navy).

On the other hand, a NYT article: Taste of Senate Set Capt. McCain on a New Path, "At a meeting in his Pentagon office in early 1981, Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman told Capt. John S. McCain III that he was about to attain his life ambition: becoming an admiral." The suggestion there was that the allure of politics, as seen by him as Naval liaison to Congress caused him to switch careers.
8.29.2008 2:36pm
MarkField (mail):

On foreign policy experience, what Presidents have had any when they entered office? Bush1, Nixon, Eisenhower, Hoover, Adams.


Both Adams's, of course. Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe had all served as Sec'y of State. Taylor also invaded a foreign country (to follow up on Hoosier). Buchanan had extensive ambassadorial experience and (going off memory) also served as Sec'y of State.
8.29.2008 2:40pm
Uthaw:
Obama's also spent the last several years receiving advice on national and international issues from some of the most talented people in the United States.

ROFLAMO! This is why we should vote for the lightweight - he's got a bigger rolodex?

Based on the idiocy of his views, Obambi can't have been listening very hard when he heard that "talented advice".
8.29.2008 2:41pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Didn't we hear last night about how little experience Lincoln had...
8.29.2008 2:45pm
davod (mail):
"According to an article on MSN, when asked by Larry Kudlow in early August if she wanted to be VP. She responded she couldn't answer "until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day."

What's wrong with this? Sounds like a real answer. You should know what a job entails before jumping in.
8.29.2008 2:48pm
keypusher (mail):
I'm willing to believe they both buy into the same tired old set of leftist/liberal policies, and in that sense Biden's as capable of carrying on after Obama as any other random Democratic party leader. But Obama's unique legacy was supposed to be transformational, and you just don't get that from a guy who spent 30+ years in the Senate.

Well, Obama is a left/liberal. He wants to raise taxes on high earners, and spend more federal dollars on cities, education, health insurance, and other things that liberals like to spend money on. If you don't like those things, you're probably not going to like Obama. As for the vacuousness of the "change" slogan, Richard Nixon once told Theodore White that his best line during the 1960 campaign (or maybe it was the 1956 campaign) was "we're going up and they're going down!" I never thought "Morning in America" was particularly profound either. Substance-free campaign themes did not originate with Obama.

As a relative neophyte and non-Washingtonian, Obama had to deal with the Jimmy Carter issue — is Washington going to eat this guy alive? Picking Biden was a reasonably good way to deal with that.
8.29.2008 2:50pm
KD:
""According to an article on MSN, when asked by Larry Kudlow in early August if she wanted to be VP. She responded she couldn't answer "until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day."

What's wrong with this? Sounds like a real answer. You should know what a job entails before jumping in."

Since you asked, to me, it sounds like she is clueless, and has no business being touted as someone who is ready to be President. That's, after all, the Job of the Vice President.
8.29.2008 2:58pm
Lawyer (mail):

"Palin May be Good Politics but she makes Barack Obama look almost over-qualified to be president..."



CORRECTION: she makes Obama look over-qualified to be VICE PRESIDENT.


Obama has run one of the most successful presidential campaign upsets in modern history.


Attributing Obama's campaign successes -- from an administrative standpoint -- appears breathtakingly naive. Aside from his personal charisma and speaking abilities, the current success of Senator Obama's campaign has little to do with the man himself, but should rather be attributed to campaign managers, staff, strategy and, to a certain extent fortuity.
8.29.2008 3:06pm
Shertaugh:
It's "amazing" how, on both sides of the political divide, the party or person you favor has what it takes and the other guy/woman's background just isn't that exciting.

This whole string is just such garbage. It's like reading the transcript of a round-table on a cable news show or one of those Sunday Morning jokes.

Speaking of which, can't wait to hear Cokie Roberts . . . on everthing. She's always a hoot because of how vapid her remarks are.

BEST POST OF THE DAY (and I may be paraphrasing): "Has George Will's head exploded yet?"
8.29.2008 3:10pm
KeithK (mail):
Executive experience is a desirable quality in a candidate for president (or any other executive office). It is neither necessary or sufficient to be a good President. It's one factor in the calculus that different people will weight differently. I disagree with David Bernstein - being governor, even of a state like of Alaska, is more executive experience than running a political campaign. But two years doesn't make for an overwhelming difference.

I think Obama lack of relevant experience is troublesome. But the reason I won't vote for him is almost entirely due to his politics.
8.29.2008 3:15pm
Dan O (mail) (www):

Sarcastro"In Palin's America, there's no abortion, polar bears, untapped wildlife refuges, people without guns or due process for wife-beating bastards!"


As more a sideline reader of this site, as I hate coming to a battle half armed, as I feel a little out classed here, I could not let this BS post by Sarcastro go unchallenged and feel I must jump in.

Abortion should be rare and a last resort. Parents should expect every right to know when their daughters are about to have one.

When Churchill Canada is ass deep in Polar Bears and where Canadians are on the menu more than bear steak the argument about the polar bears demise is harder to swallow than seal blubber.

The dimwitted belief that the closing off of public lands is somehow more noble than maintaining the American standard of living is a lousy argument to we who live in the rural west and are trying to put food on the table and gas in the tank.

Sarcastro, Just as you have the right of free speech, the wonderful thing about America is you have the choice of owning a firearm or not. But then I'll bet you've heard all the arguments.

But then what do I know... I'm just a country bumpkin that is clinging to his guns and praying to Jesus that T Boone Picket isn't about to eminent domain my desert home for a Wind farm.

Do a little research and you'll find that the "wife beater" Got more due process than he deserved.
8.29.2008 3:26pm
zippypinhead:
This whole string is just such garbage. It's like reading the transcript of a round-table on a cable news show or one of those Sunday Morning jokes.
FWIW, here's this pinhead's view from the edge of the pool, having been afraid to jump in given all the scary, circular waves the bigger kids are making:

Shertaugh wins this thread!

Although I might reconsider my vote if somebody would only have the nerve to write "Sarcastro, you ignorant slut..."
8.29.2008 5:27pm
Hoosier:
She's done wonders for the bi-polar bear population in AK, FWIW.
8.29.2008 6:18pm
Ohio Scrivener (mail):
How does running a successful campaign make one qualified to be President?

Its like reading a tautology. Obama is qualified to be President because he succeeded in being nominated to be President. Ergo all nominees to be President are always qualified to be President. This hardly passes for sound logic.
8.29.2008 7:54pm
ManBearPig:
dave don't be ridiculous. 130 days working as a senator < nearly 2 years as governor (of any state (I'll throw in territories too)).

BHO's resume could be written on the back of a business card.
8.29.2008 8:12pm
Maggie (mail):
Obama has spent the last two years making the case to voters that he's ready to be president. He's persuaded a lot of us -- based on his writings, his speeches, the efficiency of the campaign he has overseen, his policies, his aqdvisors and the testimonials of the many exceptional people who have endorsed him. Granted, he's not persuaded many of you of his readiness for office -- but, the point here is that nobody is picking the president based on a resume that is detached from the person we are looking at.

Palin has a very thin resume. That's not disqualifying. But she hasn't sought national office. She hasn't prepared for it. She hasn't built up a national campaign to seek it. She hasn't amassed teams of advisors to get her ready for it. She's got a shot at being president because ONE person has made the judgment that she's ready (based on meeting her no more than a few times). She has no other personal endorsements (unless you want to count Ted Stevens). There is NOTHING here to give us the impression she's ready for office.

John McCain has made his first presidential choice and he has shown himself to be deeply un-serious about governing. In my mind this choice argues strongly that McCain has very questionable judgment. He has obviously put politics ahead of country.

I thought we had learned that un-serious candidates really are risky presidents. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say we HAVE learned that lesson and that McCain has just signed himself up for a crushing defeat in November.
8.29.2008 9:41pm
Toby:

According to an article on MSN, when asked by Larry Kudlow in early August if she wanted to be VP. She responded she couldn't answer "until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day."

As a Republican, this seems like a bad, bad joke.

And yet it was LBJ who opined that the vice presidency was not worth a warm bucket of spit....

Since the original quote from Palin is easily findable, in context, on youtube, I can only assume this is one of many willfully ignorant or troll comments on this thread. Each time I see one, it reduces my respect for the author.


Coming soon, fart jokes and heavy breathing "she said..." from the Beavis *&B crowd....
8.29.2008 10:39pm
MarkField (mail):

And yet it was LBJ who opined that the vice presidency was not worth a warm bucket of spit....


It was John Nance Garner.
8.29.2008 10:51pm
Col John Boyd:
Maverick is on Obambi's six and going to guns.

Team Obama just can't keep up with McCain's audacious moves. Maverick is inside his OODA loop.

I'm giddy the McCain campaign has turned into this media maestro every time I turn around he's got a killer ad.

He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain.
8.29.2008 11:21pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"She has "executive experience," but Obama doesn't? Obama has run one of the most successful presidential campaign upsets in modern history."

What a great deal. If you have no experience, just run a campaign saying you do, then get people to say your campaign counts as the experience.
8.30.2008 12:21am
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
David, what you are describing as "executive experience" is more like "working under pressure." That may be a good thing, but it's not the same thing.
8.30.2008 1:09am
Kirk:
Jonathan H. Adler,
Margaret Thatcher had basically no foreign policy experience when she became prime minister.
Interesting point. I think underlying that is the idea that experience is fine, even desirable, but it's not a substitute for having the right principles.
8.30.2008 1:27am
David Warner:
"She's got a shot at being president because ONE person has made the judgment that she's ready"

Actually, I think this is a case where the blogosphere may have had some influence. Depending on one's perspective, this could be more bug than feature. Nonetheless, she's generated the most buzz among the more forward-thinking of those who would consider voting R in November, and McCain (or someone in his campaign) seems to be enthusiastically targeting that demographic.

The Army of Davids is more than one person.
8.30.2008 3:29am
h0mi:
Obama ran arguably the most successful presidential primary campaign in history defeating a much better known opponent. If that is not executive experience, I don't know what is.



Convincing people to vote for you is executive experience? If so, I see your Obama campaign and raise Palin's campaign for governor &decisive victories against an incumbent republican governor and a former Democrat governor.
8.30.2008 7:10am
h0mi:
And while we're busy lauding the accomplishments of the Obama campaign, how many states did he win since February?
8.30.2008 7:22am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Sorry, I call them as I see him. It's hard to think of someone who was less of a national figure, and less ready to be president, on a major party ticket, since at least Geraldine Ferraro.
Really? While Biden, Gore, Lieberman, Cheney were certainly more qualified on paper, how about John Edwards? Yes, he was a senator. A senator with less than one term of experience -- with no discernable accomplishments in that time. And a PI lawyer before that.
8.30.2008 9:33am
David M. Nieporent (www):
And yet it was LBJ who opined that the vice presidency was not worth a warm bucket of spit....

It was John Nance Garner.
And it was piss, not spit. A generation of American schoolchildren have been misled by bowdlerized textbooks.
8.30.2008 9:40am
MarkField (mail):
DMN: True.
8.30.2008 11:30am
DavidBernstein (mail):
You're right, I forgot all about Edwards, but I'm not sure I'd put him in the same camp--he did, after all, run a campaign where he had to deal with "presidential" issues. But he wasn't remotely ready.
8.30.2008 4:52pm
iambatman:
Props to DB for taking a critical look at Palin. I also wonder, given his scrutiny of Obama's associates, what he makes of Palin's past support for Pat Buchanan\.

Is Buchanan a heartbeat away from a cabinet position?
8.30.2008 10:27pm
davod (mail):
Obama is the Chairman of the NATO sub-committee, who, when asked why he had never convened a meeting, especially considering NATOs involvment in Afghanistan, replied that he became chairman just as he announced his candidancy for the presidency.
8.31.2008 2:07am
USpace (mail) (www):
.
This is going to be fun. History will be made, one way or another, and it looks more likely now that it will be the right history.

Even more Hillary supporters will go for McCain now. Obama is no longer a near certainty. Heaven forbid something happens to McCain, but I believe Palin would rise to the occasion. She has the right attitude. Everyone knows Obama is NOT ready for POTUS, Palin is only for the VP. Look at Dan Quayle.

YEY SARAH PALIN! YEY John McCain! Great pick! The 1st woman for the GOP VP? SCORE!

She's conservative! SCORE! She's a Governor! SCORE! She's pro-drilling! She's a hunter! SCORE! She's a hockey Mom and played basketball in school! SCORE! She's pro-life! And she respects women! SCORE! She fights corruption! SCORE! She's high-energy! SCORE! She's tough! SCORE! She's got 5 kids! SCORE! Her son is going to Iraq in the Armed Forces! SCORE! She's married to a Blue-collar professional! SCORE! She's smart! SCORE! She's young! SCORE!

And she's a Hotty to boot! SCORE! The Left is going to go nuts! SCORE!
.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never elect a woman

who's a conservative
she's just a gender traitor

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
just HOPE to pay more taxes

DREAM about high fuel prices
CHANGE PROGRESS to move backwards

.
All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech, there can be no real freedom.
.
http://www.libertarian.to/ Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
.
http://haltterrorism.com
.
http://www.lulu.com/USpace

:)
.
9.1.2008 2:33am
Smallholder (mail) (www):
"Why did President name his daughter Linda Bird?

Because Linda Dog was too mean."

Mocking elected officials' kids is old news.

My favorite troubled White House Kid is Alice Roosevelt.

T.R., incensed that his daughter had been photographed smoking like a suffragette, forbade her to smoke while she was under his roof. When told by the staff that she was waving to the press with a cigarette from the top of the White House, he stormed up the stairs to confront her.

"But Daddy, I'm ON the roof."
9.2.2008 10:02am