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Jon

Do you really think McCain is going to die in office in the first year or two before Palin learns the foreign policy ropes? For Chrissakes, McCain's mother is 96 and is still walking around going to his campaign events! He's had cancer 14 times and walks away every time smiling. Face it, the man has fantastic genes.

More importantly, which is more disturbing to you, an inexperienced VP learning foreign policy on the job in the OEOB, or an inexperienced president learning foreign policy (and executive management) on the job in the Oval Office? To put it differently, Palin may or not become president if McCain is elected, but Obama is SURE to become president if Obama is elected. The mental gymnastics required to be concerned about Palin getting elected, but not MORE concerned about Obama getting elected, are quite impressive.

If experience is what you will base your vote on, the choice is very clear.

Cheers.

Bob

Jon, are you insane? "Learns the foreign policy ropes"? This isn't like riding a bicycle. She hasn't paid attention to foreign policy (her admission) and she's done next to no traveling. Based on that, I'm far more qualified to be VP than she is.

Her executive experience isn't impressive either. Twenty months in office of the 47th most populous state? Mayor of a town of 8,000 people?

They say the first important decision of a president is who he picks as his running mate. Case closed.

Matt

Funny - I found your blog via Google after asking the same question: "Does she even have a passport?" Turn out, she does! As of 2007!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/30/us/politics/30veep.html?ref=us

Jon

Bob:

No, I'm quite sane. Thanks for asking.

Also, the import of being a governor does not depend on the population of the state, sorry. Every governor has to deal with decisions of a type similar to a president -- picking a cabinet, balancing a budget, picking judges, acting as head of state, using the bully pulpit to set the state's agenda, etc. That is true whether you are governor of California with 30M people or Wyoming with 400K. Likewise, being mayor involves making executive decisions, even a mayor of a town of 8K people.

Interesting that no one thought Tim Kaine was unqualified to be considered a finalist for VP, and his background is similar to hers -- city council, mayor, then Governor since the beginning of 2006. Kaine shows no knowledge of foreign policy either. But I digress.

Your comment suggests that no one who has not been in Congress for a while or a handful of cabinet departments or a General should ever be considered for VP. Yet a brief walk through history (or even Wikipedia) will tell you that most of our presidents have been governors immediately before their presidencies with no foreign policy portfolio before that. For example, Clinton and Reagan, to take two recent examples (or GWB and Carter to take two less successful recent examples). Were none of these people qualified to be president? If not, how can it be that Palin is not qualified to be VP?

In 1992, Clinton was governor of Arkansas, which at the time was ranked 49th in almost everything measurable. GHWB was was an incumbent president for 4 years, VP for 8 years and CIA director and US envoy to China before that. It would be hard to have been more knowledgeable on foreign policy than GHWB in 1992 or less knowledgeable than Bill Clinton. Just out of curiosity, did you vote for Bush Sr. over Clinton? How about Carter over Ford in 1976 (if you are that old)? No one seemed to be bothered by the fact that these presidnts had to learn the foreign policy ropes upon taking office. Yet, folks like you are worried about a VP with little foreign policy experience.

BTW, almost all of our worst presidents have come from people coming out of Congress with no executive experience (e.g., the five worst as of 2005 according to the WSJ: Harding, Buchanan, Pierce, A. Johnson, Fillmore). That does not bode well for Obama or McCain, but it does not reflect badly on Palin, or McCain for picking her. If the first important decision is picking a running mate, McCain is doing just fine.

Joel

Palin v. Clinton on foreign policy. Hmmm? Let's take a quick look at Clinton's resume upon taking office, and then Palin's:

"Clinton attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at
Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., receiving a Bachelor of
Science in Foreign Service (B.S.F.S.) degree in 1968. He spent the
summer of 1967 working as an intern for Arkansas Senator J. William
Fulbright. Upon graduation he won a Rhodes Scholarship to University
College, Oxford where he studied Government. He then attended Yale Law
School. After graduating from Yale Law School, Clinton returned to
Arkansas and became a professor at the University of Arkansas. Clinton was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976. He was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978, the youngest governor in State history (32). He later served as Chair of the National Governors Association from 1986 to 1987. He was governor for 12 years."
Based on his resume, between studying government in Oxford and studying Foreign Service at Georgetown, it's clear that Clinton was far more educated on foreign policy matters.

Here's Palin's resume: "Gov. Palin went to Univ. of Idaho, majored in Journalism with a Poli Sci minor, worked as a sports caster and soccer/hockey mom, and then became mayor of a town of 8,000 people. She's now been governor of a state with a total population of 600,000 for a total of 20 months, barely has a passport, and as of July 31, 2008, didn't know what a vice president's job duties were (her own words)."

Comparing the two people is laughable.

selwyse

wow @ Jon vs Bob.

1-0 in favor of Bob, definitely!

Verdict: Jon is insane.

Matt, I too found this website through googling "Palin passport". Apparently she has visited Kuwait, Germany and Ireland. I'm half her age but I've been to more countries than her and have had my passport longer. That just galls me and I resolutely do not want Palin to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Hey, but as Cindy McCain duly reminded all of us: don't misunderestimate (thanks for the word, Dubya!) Sarah Palin's foreign policy experience because "Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia". Btw, I live next door to a restaurant .. would anybody like a copy of my Chef de Cuisine resume? Seriously, I'm literally two feet away from this restaurant. I'm totally qualified.

CS

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Our national leaders must have at least a passing interest in world affairs; a passport is both a literal and symbolic measure of a person's cosmopolitanism and curiosity about the world. This is not to say that one needs to travel -- and to be able to afford it -- in order to be "cultured," but let's face it: Palin isn't economically disadvantaged. She just didn't see the need to leave the U.S. very often, which smacks of provincialism and the narrow-mindedness that too frequently accompanies it. The South Side of Chicago is a more culturally and socio-economically diverse place with far greater political cronyism to negotiate and repair than Wasilla, AK. That is just a fact.

P.S. Re: narrow-minded provincialism: Time Magazine has recently reported that Palin tried to ban books from the Wasilla Public Library: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1837918,00.html

Evans

Please..i'm so scared. Does Sarah Palin even know what continent Nigeria is in? I'm a 26 year old middle-class man and i'm about to get my second passport because i have too many stamps already. Travleling is nowhere near convenient for me financially but my interest in foreign affairs...takes me around. i think i'm so so qualified to be V.P.

Tiger184

Soooooo...the rumors that liberals are elitists and look down their noses at "normal America" are true!

I am older than Palin and have never had a passport. Does that make me stupid? Does that make me narrow-minded?

Maybe we feel that it is better for us to explore the US, explore Canada and Mexico with our children than trapse all over the world.

You people make me laugh.

And your rhetoric here just proves that you are scared to death of Sarah Palin.

Palin's experience is light years more than Nobama's, and she is only running for Vice President!

Funny how the left-wing nutcases refused to talk about experience; refused to talk about vetting until Sarah Palin came along.

All this phony "we care about the neglected infant" BS doesn't fly either. Lefties celebrate teenage pregnancy - look at Jamie Spears.

You are all so phony. And your deception is unraveling for all the world to see.

Evans

Tiger..i would assume you call yourself conservative since you call us liberals. Shut up...hypocrites. I really don't know who will allow her teenage minor daughter get pregnant and still claim to be conservative...and yeah you're stupid and narrow-minded for not having a passport as it show you that you can only thrive within your comfort zone....the US..and true we're scared of Sarah Palin being a heart beat away from the presidency considering its a 72 year ailing heart. Imagine her sitting next to Puttin, Chavez, Musharraff, Ahmadinejad, Yaradua, Ghadafi, Mugabe.. That's if you and Sarah Palin know who these people are. Isn't it scary to you too.

Hubris

Pictures Proof Positive Sarah Palin visited Ireland

http://hubriticanomaly.blogspot.com/2008/09/pictures-proof-positive-sarah-palin.html

:)

Frank

Let me guess, Jon has not travelled outside the US much either. The US is such a giant bubble that many Americans dont even realize they are in it.

George

I'm not American but I reckon that who is President of the US is a matter of global interest. Just one thing. Foreign Affairs is called that for a reason: it's foreign. And another: I've seen McCain accusing Obama of a million different things and the next thing you know, he picks for VP someone who can be accused for all these things, but declares herself hardcore conservative... read between the lines guys, 'cause the consequences of your stupid choices are paid by the whole of the planet, not just America.

Evans

Tiger...i can't help but feel distress for the lack of importance you place on travel. You said you're older than SP and have never had a passport. At best i would assume that you've only been to Mexico & Canada..and you're American..a land blessed with numerous opportunities. You should be ashamed of yourself. What do you do with you life? I'm from the worst slum in the planet..'Ajegunle in Nigeria' with absolutely no opportunities but i've managed to get out of my 'comfort' zone, thrived and i will proudly say that i've been to nothing less than 22 countries worldwide (still counting) and i'm at least half your age. I currently live in the US...get out of your comfort zone and explore. That's what life is for...you dumb ass.

tiger184

LOL

your elitism is showing, guys

ooooohhh, me scared! he called me a dumb ass

Grow a pair, Evans

Evans

Tiger...i wholeheartedly accept your description of me being and elite. It honestly makes me feel good taking into consideration my roots and background. From a child born where opportunities are zero to an elite in the US. That's a pretty impressive resume that anyone should be proud of. Don't you think so? Bottom line is...get your ass up, go to the post office, apply for a passport and travel....distance away from the US..then you can understand me and other people in this blog...You're pretty myopic at this point.

billybob

Interesting post Sean. It seems to have earned you some Ann Coulter-reading trolls like Tiger. Congrats! They'll reward you with lots of page views with their meaningless heckling unencumbered by logic or facts. Hopefully they'll come back frequently to pester your regular readers and really stir things up! Now, if only you could get them to buy some virtual items :)

I agree that Palin's obvious lack of interest in the rest of the world is a huge black mark. Normal Americans know that our economy and culture is deeply connected with that of our fellow countries around the world. Whether you know it because you fought in a war on foreign soil or because your job involves working with people who don't look or think exactly like you, it is pretty obvious to all of us at this point. Choosing to explore it or not is a personal thing but if you want to be my VP, I'm going to want proof that you understand the greater context of our country. This is what we mean when we say "leader".

Palin comes up so short on this scale that I'm still amazed that someone would seriously put her forward for this office. She's Dan Quayle: the sequel. So since she wasn't chosen on ability to actually do the job, I can only surmise that her selection is based solely on political calculation and pollstering. This is not "maverick" behavior; it is the same old do and say whatever it takes to hold onto power Karl Rove stuff we've seen in the past. This colors everything that McCain says for me. He chose THIS person as his running mate and then tells me she's the best of the whole Republican party? Seriously? He's obviously willing to lie to me about his first important decision. I don't want another President that lies to me about the business of the country.

They can trot out slick defenses of Palin until the cows come home. Doesn't matter. Americans are not stupid. We see what is going on here. This is the same playbook that brought us the lies about WMDs, mismanagement of the housing bubble, Abu Ghraib, Katrina, and on and on. Until he chose Palin, I actually had a fair amount of respect for McCain. Not anymore. I can see the lying on the wall. And...I'll bet my fellow Americans can too.

Jon

Frank:

Just so you can sleep easier tonight, I do have a passport and it is still valid too! I have been to the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, both E. & W Germany before the wall fell, modern unified Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Iceland, Israel, the Czech Republic, Greece, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia (plus Canada and Mexico and some others like Monaco that are hardly worth mentioning). I don't think that makes me any more qualified to be president than anyone who has never been to these places. Even more so because the places you need foreign policy experience are some of the last places you would willingly travel: Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, N. Korea, Pakistan -- is the point getting through? How would a vacation in France help me deal with Pakistan more effectively?

Just because I have the ability and interest to travel, as opposed to say, hunt moose, race snowmobiles and/or raise three more kids than I have, doesn't mean that I know the first thing about how to balance a budget that is hundreds of billions of dollars in the red, or how to speak in a way to get a crowd to follow my lead, or how to pick out effective ministers and judges to run the government and the courts, just to pick three things that might come in handy if I were president for a day. But please don't let logic get in the way of a good flame war.

As for Evans, hell if I lived in Nigeria I would travel as often and as far as I could from there. But given that the principal industry appears to be sending fraudulent emails to western democracies trolling for someone dumb enough to respond, one might well conclude that the reason Evans gets around so much is that he is on the lam.

Finally, as for the argument that Clinton knew foreign policy before he became president because of his degree in foreign service, that is downright funny. Did he ever negotiate with a foreign leader? Did he ever negotiate, draft or vote on a treaty? Had he ever dealt with an international crisis? Not hardly. Instead, he took a handful of classes that were certainly vague and long out of date by the time he became president. And he was running against an incumbent president who (to repeat) had more foreign policy experience than any other modern presidential candidate except Ike and maybe Nixon.

billybob

Jon, back to your original post on this thread, I don't think most of us vote based solely on experience. I'm voting based on a mix of experience, judgement, and trust. For the reasons I mention above I don't trust McCain. Moreover, given his rubber-stamping of the failed Bush policies, I don't think much of his judgement either. Palin is just a sideshow and another black mark against McCain's judgement.

Her false portrayal of her role in the bridge to nowhere and history of divisive politics tip me off to what kind of politician she is. She is part of the problem America has right now - an addiction to extreme positions. McCain choosing such an extremist just underlines the same terrible judgement he showed when he backed Bush.

I've had enough of this NeoCon nonsense. It has produced disastrous results. Even McCain is running against the NeoCon record while Trojan Horsing a full blown NeoCon on his ticket. Again...how stupid does he think we are? I see through this cynical ploy and have confidence that other voters do too.

I respect your right to disagree but don't you find it ironic that McCain has to run against his own party's record in order to dupe people into believing in his message of "change"? It is completely laughable to me. If he is such a change agent, why didn't he stand up to Bush when he had a chance? Right. Because he isn't one. He's the same old Republican NeoCon nonsense. Thanks but no thanks.

Jon

Billybob

In order of your points:

I don't know where you get the idea that Palin has a history of divisive politics or extreme positions. I think you are projecting because she is an evangelical. From what I know of her, she has focused her efforts almost entirely on energy, anti-corruption and eliminating waste in government, and has done nothing of significance to push her views on social issues. So I don't see how she is an extremist, or that it says anything bad about McCain that he picked her.

She is not a neocon, and has been opposed by those who want a neocon VP (e.g., Krauthammer), so I don't see where you get the idea that picking her has anything to do with the Neocon agenda. Nor do I see how she can be a trojan horse for something for which she has no record of standing. OTOH, McCain is a neocon and is definitely not running against the neocon agenda. So I think you are getting your facts mixed up. [I expect that her views on foreign policy will mirror his, but that is typical for any VP. You don't usually hear a VP publicly contradicting the president on foreign policy.] In any event, if you want to argue against McCain on neocon grounds, go ahead, but this post was about Palin, and I don't see any relationship between her and neocons or their agenda.

As for your third point, McCain does have a tough row to hoe. He needs to separate himself from Bush, which is not that hard given that they haven't agreed on much of significance except the surge and comprehensive immigration reform (or the amnesty plan, if you prefer), but at the same time he does not want to lose the 20-25% of the population that thinks Bush is doing a decent job. It is tough to realign your own party when it is still in power. I'm not sure it has ever been done before successfully. I would give him a B on his performance in this respect so far. It didn't go so well for Gore or Ford or Humphrey.

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