Not Quite

Adam Pagnucco has accused me of “lacking consistency” when it comes to the fact that Governor Palin is more qualified to lead than Barack Obama. Adam’s contention is that because the selection of Joe Biden reinforces Obama’s lack of experience to be President, that makes it (allegedly) hypocritical to support Governor Palin’s nomination as Vice-President due to the experience factor. Never mind the fact that, as Mark Newgent pointed out, her cherry picked pieces of my argument to try and support his point.

The problem is that Pagnucco’s argument has no merit. When it comes down to experience in public life, Sarah Palin has served the people of Alaska for the last sixteen years. When Barack Obama was still a young lawyer and “a community organizer” for fringe political groups, Sarah Palin was a mom and City Council member.

When Obama was first elected to the State Legislature, Palin began accumulating her leadership experience as an executive, as Mayor of Wasila.

When Obama was still a State Legislator, she was appointed as Chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, where she led the fight for Clean Government and began railing against Corruption in Alaska State Government against members of her own party.

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Once Obama graduated to the U.S. Senate (a job he has shown up for a mere 141 times in four years), Palin was again accumulating Executive Experience as the Governor of Alaska, further fighting corruption and graft both inside and out of Alaska state government. During that time, she managed to get tough in negotiating with oil companies regarding Alaska’s Permanent Fund (an excellent piece in the Spectator notes her fantastic negotiating skills).

Pagnucco’s argument about Obama’s allged foreign policy experience is laughable:

The contention that Senator Obama and Governor Palin have similar levels of foreign policy experience is factually wrong. Senator Obama has worked with respected Republican Senator Dick Lugar to reduce conventional weapons stockpiles, sponsored a measure to encourage public pension funds to divest from companies connected to Iran and co-sponsored the 2006 Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act along with Senator McCain. This does not match Senator Biden’s record, but it is hardly equivalent to the “experience” of Governor Palin.

Un-huh. Any U.S. Senator can attach their name to a bill as a sponsor and attempt to take credit for it. So color me unimpressed. Also color me unimpressed that Obama called zero hearings of his European Affairs Subcommittee. Color me unimpressed that Obama and Governor Palin have both taken exactly one trip to Iraq during their terms in office. So yes, it is fair and accurate to say that Governor Palin and Obama both have similar foreign policy experience, which is to say not much.

The argument that Obama is more prepared than Governor Palin to be President is absurd. And the idea that the right, particularly me, is being hypocritical on the Biden/Palin issue is equally absurd. Senator McCain, in selecting Governor Palin, selected somebody who will be a partner in change and in reform. Somebody who can lead on day one, without the training wheels. Governor Palin accentuates Senator McCain’s message. As I stated Friday:

Needless to say, I am surprised, and I shocked, I am ecstatic, and I am extremely enthusiastic about this pick. Sarah Palin is the future of the Republican Party. She’s both conservative’s conservative, and a reformer. She took on the corrupt Stevens/Young/Murkowski wing of the Alaska State GOP and has succeeded in changing her state and her party for the better. THIS is the type of change that Barack Obama wishes he could bring; Sarah Palin has been there, and she’s done that already.

So next time Adam, be a little more honest about the argument conservatives are making. The argument of experience is important, but let’s face it; conservatives are excited about Governor Palin because she symbolizes real change and real reform. And that is what Republicans have to offer, and it is the polar opposite of four years of tried, tired, and failed liberalism revisited that Obama administration would offer America.

Liberals need to face a simple fact; while Governor Palin was leading, Barack Obama was grandstanding. And it’s not hypocrisy to challenge The One.


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