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When Does Experience Matter?

I am having a hard time figuring out when "experience" is important on a presidential ticket. Until yesterday, we were told that "judgment" was more important than any meaningful foreign policy experience for a Presidential candidate. Now that John McCain has selected Alaska's maverick governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, we're told that foreign policy experience is essential for the bottom of the ticket. So while we were told Barack Obama's lack of foreign policy or executive experience was irrelevant, now we hear Sarah Palin's lack of foreign policy experience should be a deal-breaker.

Sure, Sarah Palin was a "hockey mom" before her entry into politics, but Barack Obama has never held a single full-time job for more than three years (and does not have many substantive achievements in any of them). When Palin entered politics, she successfully challenged the corrupt old guard of the Alaska Republican party. When Obama entered politics, he played by the rules of the Chicago machine. So, if experience is what matters (and we ignore the fact that John McCain is the one at the top of the ticket), is it really clear that we'd rather have Obama across the table from Putin than Palin?

Now I've never found the "he has no foreign policy experience" argument against Obama all that compelling. George H.W. Bush had more relevant foreign policy experience than any recent president, and I was hardly a fan. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton partisans, respectively, should also have some difficulty arguing that foreign policy experience is all that important, as neither had any to speak of. Nor, for that matter, did Margaret Thatcher.

If we look at the evidence, I don't think we'd find much evidence that "experienced" Presidents or other Heads of State perform that much better on the international stage. Indeed, in some respects, they perform worse. After all, it was the voices of experience that encouraged the coddling of Saudi Arabia in both the Clinton and Bush Administrations. So in the end, I prefer candidates whose principles and perspectives I believe in over old Washington hands. And while I'm still somewhat undecided, the Palin pick makes me more likely to pull the lever for John McCain.

UPDATE: Quite a few folks have asked whether I'm really undecided in the Presidential race. Yes I am. I have never been a big McCain fan, and I continue to have concerns about his temperament, his view of the First Amendment, judges ("Gang of 14"), his approach to regulation, and other issues (even water). I feel no obligation to vote for him because of the "R" after his name. I will only do so if I believe he will be good for the country, and at this point he has yet to close the deal.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Why Does Campaign Experience Count?
  2. When Does Experience Matter?
Justin (mail):
I don't necessarily agree with the Democrat's undisciplined response against Palin. That being said, Obama appears Presidential despite his lack of experience - because of over 4 years of making himself appear so (what do you think Germany was about?).

The attacks on Palin is to keep her from being able to do the same. As was said, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. The question you have to ask, do you feel comfortable with Palin being President? What exactly *is* her judgment? Obama made it through a tough primary to test his mettle. Palin isn't far more tested than you or me.
8.29.2008 6:38pm
Adam K:

So while we were told Barack Obama's lack of foreign policy or executive experience was irrelevant, now we hear Sarah Palin's lack of foreign policy experience should be a deal-breaker.


John (Jon?), we heard from Hillary Clinton, and then John McCain, that Obama lacked experience, that he wasn't "ready to lead," that he's too inexperienced to be trusted with this job. They - both Hillary and McCain - set the playing field, where they claim that experience is a material issue. Now John McCain, who would be the oldest first-term president in history, selects someone who's even greener than Barack Obama as his running mate, and next-in-line to the presidency.

Ultimately, this nebulous thing called "experience" doesn't matter. How much experience did Lincoln have, after all? The point isn't that Palin lacks experience. The point is that McCain has tried to make Obama's inexperience an issue, and has now turned around and chosen a running made who has even less experience than Obama. It makes him a disingenuous hypocrite at best.
8.29.2008 6:40pm
Anonymo the Anonymous:
So while we were told Barack Obama's lack of foreign policy or executive experience was irrelevant, now we hear Sarah Palin's lack of foreign policy experience should be a deal-breaker.

Are you serious? You're going to sit there with a straight face and tell us we're not going to be hearing the exact opposite of this from the right -- that Obama's inexperience is a dealbreaker but Palin's is irrelevant?

Seriously?
8.29.2008 6:40pm
Harmon Dow (mail):
"principles and perspective." Yep, that hits the nail right on the head. It's pretty much what Reagan was all about, isn't it?
8.29.2008 6:41pm
EH (mail):
I agree, but I think while "experience" is a non-starter in a political campaign, I expect Katie Couric and Brit Hume to be a bit slow on the uptake on this point. Look to hear about it for weeks into the future.
8.29.2008 6:42pm
Philosopher:
Undecided? Your whole post is a one-sided hit piece. Give me a break.

At least try to make it seem balanced.
8.29.2008 6:43pm
Constantin:
I don't think Palin is ready to be president, and I don't think Obama is either. I'd take Biden or McCain over both.

But what people are missing is that as long as we're talking about this, McCain wins. The same way that as long as the debate is about "change" Obama wins, even though McCain's VP pick represents more change than Obama's.
8.29.2008 6:45pm
KD:
This post illustrates perfectly why I, as a Republican, think the Palin pick is bad, bad, bad. Now, we see people saying that expereince doesn't matter. They have to say that because Palin pick cannot be justified, as someone ready to be President. Imagine all the other people that could have been picked that would have shown Obama for the empty suit he is, instead, we have Palin who John McCain says is ready to be President. If she's ready, almost every adult in this country is ready.
8.29.2008 6:46pm
great unknown (mail):
Anonymo...
The correct argument is that Obama's total lack of accomplishment - other than getting himself nominated - is a dealbreaker, while Palin has a rather impressive amount of accomplishments, in a relatively short time.

Or are you saying that the accomplishment of defeating Hillary is the defining factor for presidental qualification?

Can you point to a single legislative success of Obama's?
8.29.2008 6:48pm
Cornellian (mail):
I'm ready.
8.29.2008 6:48pm
Justin (mail):
8.29.2008 6:49pm
Prosecutorial Indiscretion:
Palin is the most popular governor in America and has more expertise and experience on energy issues than anyone else on either ticket; the notion that she is a housewife who won the student council election and all of a sudden found herself running for Vice President is ridiculous. She has a record of executive accomplishment that has endeared her to Alaskans across party lines.

Palin has more relevant experience than Obama and she's not even running for president; even assuming McCain should pass away in office (and that's a big assumption), Palin will have an opportunity to gain more experience before being thrust into the hot seat.

But Obama's people are (once again) playing directly into McCain's hands. What issue does McCain want people to focus on? Experience. What have the Obamans been talking about all day?
8.29.2008 6:50pm
titus32:
It makes him a disingenuous hypocrite at best.

Gee whiz, if that's what he is at best, what he is at worst? But seriously, I'm struck by the number of comments that attempt to show such "hypocrisy" by equating the importance of a presidential candidate's experience with a vice presidential candidate's experience. Given the convential wisdom that the vice-presidency lacks importance, how is this equivalence justified? Or does the argument just depend on McCain's advanced age?
8.29.2008 6:51pm
Adam K:

The correct argument is that Obama's total lack of accomplishment


When the most recognizable "accomplishment" of McCain's is McCain-Feingold, you might want to find a different benchmark for evaluation.

Also, it's a lot easier to build up "accomplishments" - or the illusion thereof - as a unitary executive, as opposed to being one of one hundred members of one chamber of a bicameral legislature of 535 people.
8.29.2008 6:51pm
Conservative Dave (mail):
I have the same concerns as Justin. If Senator McCain dies on the first day, is she really qualified to deal with Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, and not to mention anything involving Israel? I may not agree with Senator Obama on a lot of issues, but it's very clear where he stands on virtually every issue of significance. Can you learn everything about foreign policy that you need to know to be President in four months?! At least Obama's been prepping for four years.

This choice really, really irks me.
8.29.2008 6:51pm
Le Messurier (mail):

Until yesterday, we were told that "judgment" was more important than any meaningful foreign policy experience for a Presidential candidate.


But how about this (emphasis added):

"After a narrow 2002 primary loss for lieutenant governor, in 2004 Palin, from her appointed position as chair of the Alaska Conservation Commission (the state agency which regulates oil and gas), complained to "[then-]Governor Frank Murkowski and to state Attorney General Gregg Renkes about ethical violations by another commissioner, Randy Ruedrich, who was also Republican state chairman." Rebuffed, she resigned — but then deftly proceeded to drive all three of them out of office, finally triumphantly besting incumbent Murkowski in 2006 by capturing 51% of the vote in a three-way GOP primary. Palin then won handily (and against national trends) against popular former governor Tony Knowles in the 2006 general election. (Campaign slogan: "New Energy for Alaska.")"

Based, in part, on the above I'd say that Palin has plenty of "judgment" and the cajones and intuitive "experience" to accomplish her objectives and to manage. Given her talents the foreign policy part of it will come to her very rapidly. Not a real worry.
8.29.2008 6:51pm
CJS (mail):
Constantin nailed it. Any conversation on experience focuses on the weakness at the top of the ticket for the Dems, and focuses on McCain's strength. It's the presidential candidates who matter most, minus some gigantic scandal, gaffe or other failing in the prospective VP.
8.29.2008 6:52pm
KD:
I note you didn't say she is ready to be President. Since that's the only qualification for the job, Palin is a disasterous choice.
8.29.2008 6:54pm
Adam K:

Constantin nailed it. Any conversation on experience focuses on the weakness at the top of the ticket for the Dems, and focuses on McCain's strength. It's the presidential candidates who matter most, minus some gigantic scandal, gaffe or other failing in the prospective VP.


So, by that token, we should disregard those criticisms of Obama's selection of Biden which are based on the notion that Obama has eschewed his platform of "change" by selecting a Washington insider?

I know I probably sound like kind of a d**k, but there is a remarkably inconsistent set of arguments coming out of McCain's camp. If VPs are insignificant, then Biden being a conventional Washington politician is insignificant. If VPs are significant, then McCain's criticism of Obama's lack of experience is hypocritical. They can't have it both ways.
8.29.2008 6:58pm
Nunzio:
Maybe Obama and McCain can switch VP picks. Then Obama can stick to the change and reform Washington theme and McCain can stick to the experience and judgment theme.
8.29.2008 7:10pm
blabla (mail):
She has roughly the same amount of experience as Obama. Obama, remember, has really only been a Senator for about a year; the other three, he was running for President. So why does Palin's lack of experience bother you more than Obama's? I think the answer is that Obama has, over the past two years, managed to articulate reasonably intelligent views on a wide array of topics, foreign policy included. This has put people at ease. If Palin is able to do something similar over the next month, shouldn't we be a little more comfortable with her, too? (By contrast, if she screws up royally, we can certainly hold that against McCain.)

Also, keep in mind that it's highly unlikely that she would become President without further seasoning. After a few years in the veep spot, she's be a lot more knowledgeable than she is now. McCain may be old, but he, most likely, will serve at least the first two years of his first term. By that point Palin will have way more experience with foreign affairs than Bush or Clinton had when they took office.
8.29.2008 7:24pm
Constantin:
And Adam K, neither can Obama. The change/experience paradox of both tickets means they're both guilty.
8.29.2008 7:26pm
Kevin!:
Does Adler honestly believe that Palin is qualified to be President? For real?
8.29.2008 7:29pm
EH (mail):
blabla: Why must you cut and paste?
8.29.2008 7:31pm
Frater Plotter:
Sure, Sarah Palin was a "hockey mom" before her entry into politics, but Barack Obama has never held a single full-time job for more than three years (and does not have many substantive achievements in any of them).

Prior to entering politics, George W. Bush had these jobs and accomplishments:

Texas Air National Guard - enlisted after earning the lowest passing grade on the aptitude test. Repeatedly distinguished himself in the field of drunk driving, losing his driver's license as a consequence.

Arbusto Energy - founded company with investment from the Bin Laden family. Company later absorbed into George Soros's Harken Energy, noted as a holding firm for unproductive oil wells for investors seeking tax write-offs.

Owner of the Texas Rangers - secured corporate welfare from the city of Arlington for a new stadium.
8.29.2008 7:38pm
bob08523452:
The question of experience is irrelevant here, what is at issue, as Biden and Obama himself have said is judgment. Obama may not have spent 30 years in the senate but his judgments on the major issues of our day have been largely correct. Obama has obviously been gearing up for a presidential run for some time so he has stances and positions on things like the Iraq war. The problem with Palin is not only does she not have any experience in foreign relations, its difficult to tell if she even has any opinions. Check out ontheissues, she has no stance on pretty much anything. Given her lack of interest in anything beyond the borders of Alaska and the fact that having been governor for less than two years she is already the target of an ethics inquiry I think that her judgment is seriously in question.
8.29.2008 7:41pm
jgshapiro (mail):
I agree with Constantin: they are both guilty of hypocrisy. Obama for talking endlessly about change and then picking Biden, and McCain for talking endlessly about experience and then picking Palin. Obviously, they both thought it was more important to address other weaknesses through the picks than to maintain a consistent campaign theme through the picks.

But on the experience angle, McCain is still better off, because if you care about experience, you are more likely to vote for a ticket with a very experienced #1 and an inexperienced #2 than the other way around. Especially when the inexperienced #2 has mostly executive experience, and the inexperienced #1 has all legislative experience. I don't think the inexperience argument can work for Obama. It ends up highlighting his biggest weakness and emphasizing his opponent's biggest strength.

The gaffe risk is another thing entirely. But don't forget that that risk cuts both ways. Joe Biden is not exactly gaffe-free. His entire career has been littered with gaffes and he has been in Washington for over a quarter of a century. Experience on the national stage is not the same thing as discipline.
8.29.2008 7:43pm
blabla (mail):
"blabla: Why must you cut and paste?"

Huh?
8.29.2008 7:46pm
loki13 (mail):
So let's see-

GWB was Guv'nur of Texas. As is widely acknowledged, that is the least demanding executive position of any state (perhaps even moreso than Alaska). Yet, executive experience, so he *is* a good President, right?

Clinton was Guv'nur, so he *was* a good President, right? And Dole could not have been a good President.

GHWB was not a Guv'nur (no credit for the CIA role there), so he was not a G
good President.

Reagan was a Guv'nur, so he was a good President.

Carter was a Guv'nur, so he was a good President.

Ford was not a Guv'nur, so he was a bad President.

Nixon was a Guv'nur, so he was a good President.

LBJ? JFK? Eisenhower? Truman? FDR? All bad Presidents. (EIsenhower might have led the military, but he wasn't, you know, guv'nur of Alaska or anything).

Lincoln? Horrible president.

Personally, I believe the cauldron of the primaries does a pretty good job of separating out the contenders from the pretenders. Which makes me a little leery about Palin; we'll see how she does. I'm sure whatever happens, it will turn out in a way that is different than anyone on this blog (from both sides) is currently frothing about.
8.29.2008 7:46pm
The Ace (mail):
Repeatedly distinguished himself in the field of drunk driving, losing his driver's license as a consequence.

Something you couldn't possibly prove.


Love the fact you denigrate Bush's TANG service while of course never serving yourself.

Where do you drooling imbeciles come from?
8.29.2008 7:49pm
Nunzio:
Ace,

Will you relax a bit. President Bush isn't as offended as you are at these digs.
8.29.2008 8:11pm
Pierce Wetter (mail) (www):
Start of Palin's political career: 1992
Start of the One's political career: 1997

Seems like Palin has 5 more years then Obama. :-)
8.29.2008 8:23pm
MarkField (mail):

Nixon was a Guv'nur, so he was a good President.

LBJ? JFK? Eisenhower? Truman? FDR? All bad Presidents.


Nixon was not a governor, FDR was.
8.29.2008 8:26pm
loki13 (mail):
MarkField,

You are, of course, correct. Damn my memory. I can blame the Nixon gaffe on his famous concession speech after losing the race for governor (I vaguely had remembered it as a re-election). I can only blame my own need to finish the post quickly for putting FDR in there. DOH!
8.29.2008 8:37pm
loki13 (mail):
Personally, my favorite moment from the VP announcement:

McCain: We are here to... HEY YOU! YEAH! YOU! GET OFF MY LAWN, YOU DARN KID!

Aids: *whisper whisper whisper*

McCain: What? Her? But she looks younger than Cindy when I came back from Vietnam...five kids... oh.. um... I'd like to welcome the next Vice President of the United States, Sarah Palin!
8.29.2008 8:55pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Nixon: not governor. He lost to Pat Brown in 1962, leading to some of the most famous "last words" in political history: "I leave you gentleman now and you will write it. You will interpret it. That's your right. But as I leave you I want you to know — just think how much you're going to be missing. You won't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference and it will be one in which I have welcomed the opportunity to test wits with you."
8.29.2008 9:09pm
loki13 (mail):
Crazytrain,

The great irony, of course, is that we're *still* kicking Richard Nixon around. Sock it to him!
8.29.2008 9:12pm
pluribus:
titus32:

I'm struck by the number of comments that attempt to show such "hypocrisy" by equating the importance of a presidential candidate's experience with a vice presidential candidate's experience. Given the convential wisdom that the vice-presidency lacks importance, how is this equivalence justified? Or does the argument just depend on McCain's advanced age?

McCain himself said the vice-president's chief duty is to inquire daily after the health of the president. At McCain's present age, his dad was dead. If he finishes his first term as president he will be 77. This reality gives Palin's daily inquiries a certain sense of urgency.
8.29.2008 9:54pm
MarkField (mail):
Ok, I read the first paragraph of this post the first time and thought it was the strangest thing I've read on the VC in some time (yeah, standards, I know). I decided I must have missed something, so I've thought about it and followed the comments. The paragraph still makes no sense to me at all.

"Until yesterday, we were told that "judgment" was more important than any meaningful foreign policy experience for a Presidential candidate."

Well, no. That's not right. What we were told by Republicans was that experience -- not "foreign policy experience", just "experience"* -- was essential for a President. What we were told by Democrats is that experience wasn't worth much in the absence of judgment.

"Now that John McCain has selected Alaska's maverick governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, we're told that foreign policy experience is essential for the bottom of the ticket."

Again, no. What you're now being told (to some extent implicitly, to be fair) is that (a) it only makes sense to apply the "experience" test to VPs, since they have to be Constitutionally qualified to be President (a matter of considerable importance in light of Sen. McCain's age and health history); (b) Gov. Palin pretty obviously fails the "experience" test which until yesterday was so important to Republicans, thereby calling in question the good faith of those who insisted on it; and (c) such a selection therefore demonstrates poor judgment by Sen. McCain's own standards.

BTW, has the word "maverick" recently acquired some talismanic meaning for Republicans? Or are you suggesting that being opposed to corruption is all it takes nowadays to distance onesself from the Republican party?

*Had the issue been solely "foreign policy experience", then I demand a do-over of the 1980 election.
8.29.2008 9:56pm
pluribus:
The fact that Palin has been governor for a little over a year doesn't reflect poorly on her. The fact that McCain has met her only twice and yet thinks she should be a heartbeat away from the presidency does reflect poorly on him--his judgment, not his experience. I am reminded that he loves to shoot craps in Vegas. This seems like a crap shoot to me. I hope he won't shoot craps in the White House.
8.29.2008 10:06pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
If we elect BHO then have a 100% chance of getting a president with no foreign policy experience. If we elect McCain then we have a 15% chance of getting a president without foreign policy experience assuming that McCain has any to begin with. The 15% figure is McCain's chances of dying in his first term. I assumed that McCain is somewhat healthier than average and will receive better medical care than average. If you assume he is average then he has a 20% chance of dying in office.
8.29.2008 10:36pm
MS (mail):
"maverick governor"? Do you mean that gay rights veto?
8.29.2008 10:44pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
That was a veto against an anti-gay rights bill. Pay attention.
8.29.2008 10:51pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
"Nixon was a Guv'nur, so he was a good President."

So long as we're faking lingo as if that proved much, of what State was Nixon a guv'ner, guv'ner? 'ee lost 'is race in California, last I checked.

"LBJ? JFK? Eisenhower? Truman? FDR? All bad Presidents. (EIsenhower might have led the military, but he wasn't, you know, guv'nur of Alaska or anything). "

Glad to know that FDR was never governor of NY. All these revisionist historians claim he won the election of 1928. JFK and LBJ ... did great things getting us into Vietnam and managing the economy and other details.

"Lincoln? Horrible president.

Personally, I believe the cauldron of the primaries does a pretty good job of separating out the contenders from the pretenders."

Sure. We remember when Jimmy Carter kicked Ted Kennedy's posterior and went on to become one of the great leaders of the 20th century.
8.29.2008 10:53pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Lincoln was a horrible President. He violated the CSA's rights to sovereign country and suspended habeus corpus! He should be a villain to all the lawyahs on this site!
8.29.2008 10:59pm
Hoosier:
"Nixon was not a governor, FDR was."


For as long as . . . Palin.
8.29.2008 11:05pm
Hoosier:
(loki13 is clearly envious that McCain can get closer to Palin that he can.)
8.29.2008 11:07pm
Hoosier:
"*Had the issue been solely "foreign policy experience", then I demand a do-over of the 1980 election."


Well, *quality* also counts, doesn't it?
8.29.2008 11:09pm
TJIT (mail):
Justin you said,

Obama appears Presidential despite his lack of experience - because of over 4 years of making himself appear so (what do you think Germany was about?).
This form over substance aspect of politics is cringe worthy. A good actor can appear presidential with a good suit and a couple of days practice reading his lines.

In other words who cares if someone appears presidential if they don't have the chops to back it up.

A politician who appears presidential without having the chops to back it up is exceedingly dangerous.
8.30.2008 12:11am
loki13 (mail):
1. I'll cop to the envy. Waiting for the great "VP candidates in history" swimsuit calndar starring, uh, Palin uh, well, I hope they skip the sideburn era.

2. For all of those ciriticizing my post . . . man, did you notice I corrected it? Hello? Every now and then real life intrudes (like taking out the family for ice cream) and I have to rush things. Still, can't believe I forgot FDR. Nixon, eh, that was a complete memory flub (swear to god, all I can think about is that concession speech). But jeez, you don't get any points for cleverness for correcting a corrected post. Go deface a sign in a national park or something. I'm *literally* beside myself. heh.
8.30.2008 12:24am
MarkField (mail):

Well, *quality* also counts, doesn't it?


That was kinda the point of my 8:56 post.


For as long as . . . Palin.


No, FDR was elected first in 1928 and re-elected in 1930. He served 4 years.

But he did have fewer houses than McCain.
8.30.2008 12:25am
TCO:
I would vote for Palin for prez in a heartbeat. The rest of the Repubs have lost their manhood ever since GHWB geve in on the no new taxes. Romney and Huck were weak not even imitations of a Reagan Goldwater type. Bush was a disaster (both of them, last one worse). I love Palin. Nothing against McCain, but if his fate was set by God regardless, would LOVE having Palin catch the nod.
8.30.2008 12:30am
omatsca (mail):
For me, the issue isn't whether or not experience is relevant. It's what this choice says about McCain, who has repeatedly stressed the importance of foreign policy experience. He has either picked someone who he doesn't feel is ready to be president, or he has been lying all along about the qualities that he actually believes a president should have.

The only Republican responses I've seen to this important question today have been (1) to focus on the Democrats' past defense of Obama's judgment over experience, as if Democratic hypocrisy cancels out Republican hypocrisy (that is the approach of this article, of course), or (2) to scour her meager resume for anything that might be somehow stretched to make it seem like foreign policy experience ("commander in chief of the Alaskan national guard"? really?)

I turned to this site to see what the REASONABLE right had to say about it, and read this article. I'm flummoxed.
8.30.2008 12:42am
VincentPaul (mail):
Mark Field,
FDR elected first in 1928 and re-elected in 1930... He served 4 years??????
8.30.2008 1:53am
BadLiberal (mail):
Let's compare and contrast Palin and Obmama:

Palin doesn't have Obama's experience in dealing with terrorists, because she hasn't been put on boards or had fundraising parties thrown for her by terrorists.

Palin doesn't have Obama's experience in dealing with corruption, because she's fought corruption instead of embracing it.

Palin doesn't have Obama's experience in dealing with earmarks, as she has refused earmark money.

So yeah, Obama is definitely the more experienced candidate. He's just got the wrong kinds of experience.
8.30.2008 8:57am
David M. Nieporent (www):
So, by that token, we should disregard those criticisms of Obama's selection of Biden which are based on the notion that Obama has eschewed his platform of "change" by selecting a Washington insider?

I know I probably sound like kind of a d**k, but there is a remarkably inconsistent set of arguments coming out of McCain's camp. If VPs are insignificant, then Biden being a conventional Washington politician is insignificant. If VPs are significant, then McCain's criticism of Obama's lack of experience is hypocritical. They can't have it both ways.
Yes, but at some point in her vice presidency, she'll be experienced; Biden will never not have been in Washington for decades.
8.30.2008 9:13am
Michael Drake (mail) (www):
"at some point in her vice presidency, she'll be experienced"

Indeed, she'll finally have uncovered the secret of what it is a VP does everyday.

Good times.
8.30.2008 10:11am
MarkField (mail):

FDR elected first in 1928 and re-elected in 1930... He served 4 years??????


Yes, as governor of NY. That was the issue I was responding to.
8.30.2008 11:25am
David Warner:
MarkField

"No, FDR was elected first in 1928 and re-elected in 1930. He served 4 years.

But he did have fewer houses than McCain."

He really grew up in a log cabin, that one did.

Michael Drake:

"Indeed, she'll finally have uncovered the secret of what it is a VP does everyday."

Imagine it was a he, say Mark Warner, who had made Palin's VP statement. Can you honestly tell me you would construe it in the same manner? You are aware how this appears, sexism-wise, don't you?
8.30.2008 2:24pm
MarkField (mail):

He really grew up in a log cabin, that one did.


Well, I was making a joke, but I'm not sure if you're making my argument or yours here. Which way do you think that really cuts?
8.30.2008 4:10pm
Hoosier:
MarkField:

You are correct, sir. I was thinking of Wilson. Something I try to avoid.

But really, all those presidents in pince-nez run together in my mind.
8.31.2008 1:00am