I Voted “No” on Palin Experience


toddy and sarah palin.jpg
Now after reading “Dead Treaty Walking,” I see that the START Agreement with the Russians is nearing expiration with nothing to succeed it other than bluster. I also see an American economy in meltdown mode and wars against Iran and others that many supporters of Sarah Palin are eager to nudge forward.
These imposed realities all make the question of Sarah Palin’s experience huge — even more huge than the question of experience on the table before.
Obama’s experience is not as full a roster as I’d like either — but he still has her beat (as does Joe Biden) and he has worked hard to educate himself about the serious policy challenges facing the country.
PBS is hosting a poll on Sarah Palin’s qualifications to be (vice) president, and a “yes” campaign is well underfoot.
I just balanced it out with my “No” vote.
Vote the way you like. . .here.
— Steve Clemons


14 comments on “I Voted “No” on Palin Experience

  1. David T says:

    “Obama’s experience is not as full a roster as I’d like either — but he still has her beat (as does Joe Biden) and he has worked hard to educate himself about the serious policy challenges facing the country.”
    Once again Steve, unfortunate diagnosis on your part. That Sarah Palin has not given speeches to the New America Foundation or spent time at the Brandenburg Gate with prominent German public officials is not what makes her so disturbing. To frame things the way you do you once again raises the canard that the Clinton camp consistently raised and failed with.
    But perhaps we just see things differently. Maybe you feel that after four years inhabiting the Naval Observatory you’ll feel she will make a great president. After all, what better experience than as Vice President? You must feel that lucky for us that the McCain of 2008 is so much more experienced than that of 2000 in I suppose you must feel will make him a better commander-in-chief. And you probably think that if only Bush had had more experienced people around him unlike those novices of Powell, Rumsfeld, and Cheney our country would be better off.
    The trouble with Palin is that she is “without any intellectual training relevant to the challenges and responsibilities that await her” as Sam Harris argues in Newsweek. In that its silly to compare her with Obama.


  2. farouk says:

    I don’t know why McCain chose Palin. This is not
    the time to play demographic issues and politic
    strategies at winning an election. Imagine if
    McCain wins, all of a sudden, America now has a
    vice president with no experience of geopolitics
    at a time when it’s policy needs a serious rethink
    and proper implementation. These time, even a
    single word miscalculated, can start a world war.
    People should be careful in this election for the
    future of the world hangs by their vote. This is
    not black president or woman vice. this is the
    future of us all. Vote carefully.
    I’m out


  3. JohnH says:

    Good point, David. After securing the nomination, McCain suddenly started parroting the views of his handlers. Palin will do the same, even if she is clueless about Morales and Chavez and the fact that they each survived recalls by garnering more than 60% of the vote.
    If these ham-fisted neocons want to really disrupt the supply of oil, a coup or invasion of Venezuela will do it. Unlike Saddam, Venezuela has been preparing peoples’ militias, and you can bet they will have RPG-29s and other weapons that the Iraqi insurgency could only dream of.
    Astute governments realize that having the people on your side really does matter when it comes to resisting thirsty, outside powers trying to secure those “vital strategic interests.”


  4. David says:

    Good point, John H, except that there is no need to face down Chavez. We just need to quit trying to overthrow him, and in the process forcing him into an alliance with Russia, just as we need to quit fomenting violence in Bolivia against the democratically elected and sustained Evo Morales.
    Palin would just sustain the Republican franchise ham-handed and often incompetent but still overpowering geopolitical policies of Bush-Cheney et. al. The idea that she would be permitted to be her own person were that ticket to win the White House and McCain’s health fail is beyond laughable. She is an essentially geopolitically clueless fringe fundamentalist true believer who would do as told, just as she is doing now. In a very small pond she got to hop around like King Frog for 19 months. In the very big


  5. JohnH says:

    So, Tahoe, if she’s so good, why can’t she face the press?
    From here it looks like the only way McCain can keep her from imploding on the campaign trail is by keeping her from being exposed to any questions. That includes protecting her from the nasty Alaskan legislature, who wants to know about Trooper-gate.
    If she can’t face the press, how can she face Ahmadinejad, Putin, Chavez, Taro Aso and Hu Jintao? Does she even know who half these people are? How do we know if the press can’t ask?
    Well, she better learn quickly, because the US government owes some of these folks’ governments a LOT of money.


  6. Tahoe Editor says:

    Just for sh1ts & giggles … would you vote “No” on Bobby Jindal?

    Victor Davis Hanson:
    I think it is much harder for a mother of three or four in an out-of-the-way Alaskan town to get elected to city council and the mayorship, then take on the entire Republican establishment and get elected governor than it is for a Barack Obama to emerge from Chicago politics into the Illinois state house and later Senate. The qualities that allowed a Palin to succeed without the power spouse, the identity politics, the Ivy-League cachet, the fawning New York editors and DC insider-press will ensure she does not implode on the campaign trail–and won’t in office either.
    So far I think Palin understands the symbiotic world of word and the world of deed far more so than does Obama. And again, we are not talking about McCain, where the contrast only widens-and is far more important.
    Palin in empirical fashion bucked the Republican establishment and the old-boy network when she thought it was unreasonable; Obama never figured out or at least never questioned Tony Rezko or the Chicago machine, Trinity Church or the Pelosi-Kennedy liberal mantra–unless it proved advantageous. Palin draws on everything from position papers on ANWR to how to keep four screaming kids fed and bathed; Obama on Harvard Law Review and dispensing more public money to more Chicago interest groups.


  7. bess says:

    You can vote as often as you like on this poll. Therefore I do not consider it accurate. Do Palin’s supporters have more time than those who are afraid of her?


  8. jb says:

    I voted and saw results of 48% No 51% Yes. This was the same result my daughter saw earlier in the day yesterday. I do not believe the site is working properly and there is no count to show activity. A poorly designed poll from PBS.


  9. rich says:

    You’re taking your eye off the ball. John McCain is the nominee, and Americans vote for Prznt, not the VP.
    Further, your comments apply equally well to John McCain and for that matter, George Bush. Particularly when it comes to policy stance, judgment, the usefulness of experience, and overall qualifications to lead in the face of a resurgent Russia, to name one of the more straightforward foreign policy challenges.
    Specifically, Steve wrote:
    “Now after reading “Dead Treaty Walking,” I see that the START Agreement with the Russians is nearing expiration with nothing to succeed it other than bluster. I also see an American economy in meltdown mode and wars against Iran and others that many supporters of Sarah Palin are eager to nudge forward.”
    Supporters of George Bush and John McCain are eager to “nudge” forward those same wars and general policies.
    George Bush thought it was a bright idea to poke a the Russian bear in right in the eye with the sharp stick of Georgian territorial consolidation. Like that was going to fly. As though that was even remotely responsible. John McCain is hot for war and confronting Putin in Georgia. Even though there’s no chance Russia walks away. It’s not Afghanistan.
    John McCain is pushing Bush’s policies, and there are serious questions about McCain’s judgment. Sarah Palin is pushing Bush’s policies, and sticking very close to the party line. So never mind that George Bush didn’t have much experience going in, and hasn’t much to show for it on the way out. (That includes conducting an illegal covert war inside Iran.) Point is, John McCain sticks with Bush and Bush’s policies in the face of all countervailing evidence, and Sarah Palin sticks with McCain, Bush, and the GOP.
    So it doesn’t matter what Sarah Palin thinks. All that matters to GOP loyalists and Bush dead-enders is that John McCain continue Bush/Cheney administration policy. No way Sarah Palin influences their vote. What’re they gonna do, vote for Obama? Unless you speak to the fundamental insanity of George Bush’s policies, they’ll still vote McCain. Unless you speak to the fundamental inadequacies of McCain’s worldview, grasp of policy, and general fickleness as a principled maverick, it’s unlikely GOP die-hards will reconsider their vote.
    Those inclined to vote for McCain won’t be deterred by Sarah Palin, so there’s little to be gained by cutting Palin down for the same flaws ingrained so deeply in Bush and McCain. Unless driving Palin from the ticket is the point.
    So the question becomes, how is Sarah Palin different from George Bush or John McCain? Polcy-wise? In terms of judgment?
    John Hilbert:
    Steve wrote,
    “These imposed realities all make the question of Sarah Palin’s experience huge ..”
    The GOP has been willfully blind to the economic reality and the reality of hot wars and cold international relations for many years.
    “These imposed realities” equally call into question the qualifications conferred by the ‘experience’ of Dick Cheney and John McCain.
    You write:
    “This is the classical example of people wanting
    somebody “ordinary” in the second highest office
    in the land.
    It is risible how unqualified she is, but in this
    age of celebrity, it matters not at all.”
    How does that differentiate Palin from George Bush, or even John McCain? It was risible how unqualified Bush was, and on many levels both are unfit. Just check out what they’re actually saying, and whether they practice what they preach.
    Do not mistake “ordinariness” for skill; or social background for quality. I’m not a fan of Sarah Palin, but in many respects she’s easily as skilled as John McCain or George Bush. Whether Charles ‘The Shill’ Gibson plays gotcha with her and not them, doesn’t enter into it.
    Palin’s celebrity is consciously Reaganesque, and I didn’t hear too many complaints about Reagan, nor the role of McCain’s celebrity status in reassuring the Republican faithful.
    What’s saucy for the goose, is saucy for the gander–and I don’t see how cutting down Palin erases those very same flaws in John McCain.


  10. Mr.Murder says:

    Russia is sending a Naval squadron to Venezuela, let’s keep the puppet show vs. Iran going on instead.
    If you want to flip the model, get in w/Iran now to hedge Russia. Their development facilitates our development of buffer zones in east Europe for Rummy’s missile shield, which is a also a slap to Putin. Entirely plausible as a means facilitation.
    Iran is already friends w/China, a direct result of George Snubya Bush’s cajoling the West into a cold shoulder regarding Iran. Since the Chinese treasury owns us thanks to Dubya’s tax cuts for billionaires maybe you’d better pay attention to who calls the shots and with what money it is done.
    We could triangulate Iran vs. our own client states Israel and Saudi Arabia to keep business as usual for the MIC and still have added gain of isolating Al Qaeda to new levels regarding the regional ally that is teetering at this time, Pakistan.
    Iran distrusts Al Qaeda, get with them to take away a large swath of influence on the tribal frontier.
    The ability to challenge these non state actors by talking amenably with state actors could help reshape some of the most dangerous short term tracks we have going.
    Peg benchmarks to reparations for the two state solution. This could create the capital necessary to reinforce the banking infrastructure that has taken major hits from the Chalabi type gutting of countries there, and America’s own system on its subprime charade.
    Doing this interactively could restore some of the dollar’s influence. Iran is the major player, we set up Iraq with the Shi’ite majority. If the states are Balkanized we are alienating Turkey and the House of Saud. You’re more likely to dilute Shi’ite their power in a federated republic by tagging benchmarks there as well.
    This would require setting new standards for the major players involved. Arabia for the Shi’ite, Israel for Palestinians, Syria for several elements, Iraq for the Sunni and Kurds, Iran for the Kurds in exchange for agreed development and tactical assistance in the tribal regions, this would further narrow the non state concerns of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    Would it work to full extent? Doubtful, but it is a start and it will accelerate development and scale economies. Doing nothing would accomplish far less.
    Everyone will get something out of it. The collateral effects are immeasurably efficient from a cost benefit perspective. The East/West divide could be bridged, or develop economic beachheads established(wage pre emptive trade, not pre emptive war). This type of market penetration could pattern exemplify what is needed in the OAS and elsewhere also, and carry along numerous intelligence opportunities within it that would see us have to expand the IC to meet such a demand and prevent counteroperative penetration’s effectiveness.


  11. David says:

    Couldn’t find the “You’ve got to be kidding” option, so I had to settle for just “No.”
    It is one godawfully sad commentary on the general public that McCain’s selection of Sarah the Hockey Puck Palin wasn’t met with derision by all but the most fanatic right wingers/religions superfundamentalists. Her theology is nutcase, and it requires that she impose her beliefs on the general public – the absolute reverse of what John Kennedy so correctly believed, and said, about the place of religious beliefs in the decisions made and policies pursued as president of the United States, a purely secular job.


  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Anonymity, Don. Don’t underestimate its importance.
    On Palin, it appears the PBS poll is leaning in her favor. Thats a sad commentary on the intelligence of the voters, or, at the very least, a prime indicator of how uninformed the average American is. Anyone even moderately informed about Palin would have to be an effin’ idiot to consider her “qualified”. Particularly considering the scope of the problems that face this nation after these cowardly mewling clowns in Congress gave this criminal asshole George Bush free rein to bring us to our knees.


  13. DonS says:

    In my group tonight, recovering drug addicts in a rural area if you must know, the one African American said he was pissed to see race injected into the compaigns. Somehow Palin –“How do you say her name anyway?” — came into the discussion.
    Two women piped up how pro Palin they were: “She’s well rounded” was the refrain.
    I introduced, amidst my general going ballistic (I don’t often do that in gorup) the factoid about Palin as Mayor charging for rape kits. These women were shocked. Never heard that. I invited them to google the subject.
    There it is. A candid sample from rural America.


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