Friday, August 29, 2008

CHANGE, INDEED

When George Bush was seeking the presidency nearly a decade ago, he faced some criticism regarding his lack of foreign policy experience. While he certainly had executive leadership experience as Governor of Texas, and business experience - his resume showed a lack in dealing with world affairs.

His solution was to choose Dick Cheney as a running mate - a man who could certainly assist in areas in which Bush was lacking.

Conservatives love Cheney, liberals detest him. However, one point that simply cannot be argued: Cheney has been a very effective VP. The fact that Democrats have long amused themselves by pointing to Cheney as actually running the show proves that even they know his effectiveness.

You may love what Bush & Cheney have accomplished, or it may scare the hell out of you... but the fact remains that Cheney performed his job with flying colors: to implement the President's agenda.

John McCain has faced a similar image problem.

Some see him as an old-school Washington "part of the problem" politician. Others believe he's just another old white guy. He's been described as out-of-touch, and in the past has certainly done more bargaining with Democrats than the conservatives would have liked. Members of his own party have questioned his resolve to protect the Second Amendment.

A few hours ago, McCain didn't just solve that problem. He set it on fire and threw it off a cliff.

Her name is Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska... who incidentally is a Lifetime Member of the NRA.

Barack Obama spokesman Bill Burton responded to her nomination saying, "Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency."

True enough, Palin has no foreign policy experience. But attacking her lack of experience is going to be a serious mistake. Criticizing her as a "former mayor" and "two-year governor" is simply going to reinforce something rather important: She has more executive experience in government than Obama.

Palin has only been Governor for two years? Obama is a first-term US Senator. Palin has no foreign policy experience? Perhaps not, but McCain certainly does.

As Governor of Texas, Bush had little foreign policy experience. As Governor of Arkansas, Clinton had little foreign policy experience. As Governor of California, Reagan had little foreign policy experience. As Governor of Georgia, Carter had little foreign policy experience.

One could argue that Governor Sarah Palin is more qualified to be President than Barack Obama.

If Democrats try to make leadership and foreign policy an issue, they may have to start explaining why their ticket is backwards.

2 comments:

Quimbob said...

From what little I know of Mrs Palin, she seems to try to strike a balance between exploiting and conserving our natural resources. That seems to fairly in keeping with the attitudes of a lot of hunters, a group she apparently also belongs to.
I also like the fact she is not afraid to tax the big oil companies who are "suffering" record high profits. Because of the high taxes they impose on the oil companies, Alaska has neither sales nor income tax.

Anonymous said...

right on, thorn. when a campaign changes their message (in this case from hope/change to experience), you know you've shaken up their game.

@quim.
taxes aren't the answer. use caution when cheerleading for flow-through taxes. as a consumer, you'll be the one who ends up paying them. remember, corporations don't pay taxes; they build those into their revenue models and pass them on to you...