August 31, 2008

The Only Way to Settle the "Experience" Question

Carroll Andrew Morse

There's only one real way to add meaningful information to the Obama-vs.-Palin qualifications question before the 2008 general election actually occurs: through a one-on-one debate between Senator Barack Obama and Governor Sarah Palin.

Obama partisans who claim that their candidate's years of thinking about issues are better than actual executive experience should relish this opportunity for their man to prove his clear superiority in this format.

And Palin supporters who say she's ready for the job should welcome the chance for their candidate to face as high-profile a test, working without a proverbial net, as can be conducted within the context of an American Presidential campaign.

Tell me this wouldn't be the highest-rated Presidential debate ever -- and wouldn't bring a little bit of political substance to the attention of more Americans than ever before!

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Obama was offered a seires of town hall meetings with McCain to go head to head in an open forum.He declined.Like many(not all) liberals he wants to be where at least a substantial part of the media has his back and can control the opposition's effect.NBC has so disgraced themselves they should be kept away from any debate.Why not let CSpan run the debates?I trust their integrity in this area.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 31, 2008 8:41 PM

The debate would not have anything to do with experience.

But why in the world would Obama agree to this? Wouldn't it immediately be perceived as some sort of concession?

When was the last debate between the presidential candidate of one party and the vice-presidential candidate of the other?

Posted by: Thomas Schmeling at August 31, 2008 9:00 PM

Obama's people (not necessarily you, Thomas) are claiming that Obama's political experience is so clearly superior to Palin's, that he shouldn't have any trouble mopping the floor with her especially in a multi-issue debate, doubly-especially if a major segment is devoted to foreign policy.

Just think of the opportunity this would provide to the Obama campaign (if they believe what their spokespeople like Bill Burton are saying); in one night, they'd be able to completely Stockdale-ize the McCain/Palin ticket, and wrap-up the election right there. Why turn away such an opportunity?

We could have a corresponding McCain-Biden debate too.

And there weren't any debates between Presidential candidates until Lincoln and Douglas did it for the first time in 1860.

Posted by: Andrew at August 31, 2008 9:11 PM


First of all, thanks for not assuming that my question was motivated by partisanship. It's a welcome relief.

Just as a question of strategy, however, if you were Obama's advisor, would you recommend he engage in such an unprecedented debate? Would you recommend it even if you thought he could "mop the floor" with Palin?

Posted by: Thomas Schmeling at August 31, 2008 9:26 PM

"through a one-on-one debate between Senator Barack Obama and Governor Sarah Palin."

Obama's people are saying they could mop the floor with her? Bring it on, chicky!

Posted by: Monique at August 31, 2008 10:03 PM

How about a debate between McCain's first and second wife
Mrs John Edwards could be the moderator

Posted by: sara at August 31, 2008 10:23 PM

Why would Sen. Obama have anything to fear about debating Gov. Palin.

I mean . . . she's from Alaska . . . it's a tiny state, right?

Posted by: brassband at August 31, 2008 10:25 PM

Monique says, "Obama's people are saying they could mop the floor with her? Bring it on, chicky!"

Come to think of it... Andrew, which of Obama's people said that Obama would "mop the floor" with Palin? Do you have a quote for this or anything close to it from any official member of the Obama campaign?

Posted by: Thomas Schmeling at August 31, 2008 10:29 PM

Funny, Brass.

Of course, it's not a question of fear, but you know better, and I know you know better, and you know I know you know better.

And yes, Alaska is a tiny state..much tinier than Rhode Island

PS: sorry to be dense, but can anybody tell me how to make links less clumsy here?

Posted by: Thomas Schmeling at August 31, 2008 10:37 PM

Monique and Thomas,

Bill Burton, the official Obama campaign spokesman, described Palin as "the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience". If the implication there is the she is not experienced enough to have a command of the issues relevant to the Presidency, Obama should easily be able to demonstrate that to the public in answers to a few open-ended debate questions, right? Or do the Obama people want to revise their position to Obama is obviously more qualified, but unable to demonstrate it in a simple debate format.


If I were an Obama supporter who really believed what was being said about Palin's public service experience not counting for anything, and the Palin camp issued the challenge, then why not take a shot a putting the campaign away in one night? Palin can't possibly learn in a month of debate prep what Obama has learned in his years of thinking about important issues, right?

If I were the Palin campaign, and I issued a debate challenge, and the Obama camp refused it, I would then make an issue of "he says he's for 'change we can believe in', yet he's afraid of a small change in debate format; do you really think he'll be less afraid when it comes to standing up to the Federal bureaucracy or foreign leaders?"

Posted by: Andrew at August 31, 2008 10:45 PM


So, I take it that NOBODY in the Obama campaign has said anything to the effect that "Obama could mop the floor with Palin in a debate"? I thought not, since it would be a stupid statement to make and, whatever you think of the Obama campaign, they are not stupid.

And, while I have a great deal of respect for your postings here, Andrew, I really can not believe that you're putting this idea forward in a serious way... It's a stunt, and nobody sensible would fall for it.

1) For ANY presidential candidate to debate the opposing party's VP candidate would be a stupid move. I think you already know that.

2) "the Palin campaign"? Is SHE really the presidential candidate? (in some minds, maybe she is!).

3) There is no chance in the world that McCain/Palin campaign could make hay out of such a challenge. All Obama has to say is "I'm running for president against John McCain. I'll debate Mr. McCain." Nobody sane is going to say he has to say anything else.

Again, this isn't about partisanship; it's about strategy.

Posted by: Thomas Schmeling at August 31, 2008 11:03 PM

There is a reason Obama has refused to townhall style debates. He tends to say really stupid things when he isn't working off of a scripted speech.

You can tell that most of his knowledge was imparted to him in the Ivory Towers of Theory and not through application to the "real world".

Some examples of Obama "off the cuff":

-Stating the Iran was not a threat to the United States;

-Responding to a question about his abortion policy by stating that it was "above his pay grade";

-Comparing Russian troops invading a democratic Georgia to the American troops that freed Iraq from Saddam Hussein;

-Talking about the impact that an who uncle who helped liberate Auschwitz had on his life. Except Auschwitz, located in Poland, was liberated by the Russians (maybe he was referring to Uncle Joe Stalin?);

-Speaking of Russians, Obama's initial response to the Russian invasion of Georgia (I mean besides likening the Russian soldiers to American soldiers) was to call for the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution condeming the attack. Obama didn't realize that any permanent member of the UN Security Council can veto any resolution and Russia was one of the orginal permanent members. Oh wait, Obama is also chair of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee that deals with Russia.

-Obama talked about a tornado in Greensburg, Kansas and said "10,000 people died and entire town destroyed. Umm, actual death toll: 12.

Of course, those are scary. But some of Barry O's off-the-cuff comments are just entertaining.

-Barry O.: "We only have a certain number of them (translators) and if they are all in Iraq, then it's harder for us to use them in Afghanistan."

Umm...yeah...except Iraqis and Afghanis don't speak the same languages. But those Iraqis and Afghanis sure do look alike, huh Barack?

-Or how about when Barry O. said his parents got together as a result of the Bloody Sunday March in Selma: "So they got together and Barack Obama, Jr. was born."

Umm...yeah..the Selma march was in 1965 and Barry O. was born in 1961. Kind of makes the Immaculate Conception looks like child's play. Of course, Barry O. is the ONE--if you have any question, just ask him.

Obama's people are going to try to minimize the number of debates between McCain and Obama that require offering answers before running the answer by campaign "advisers".

McCain has more experience and knows more about national security and foreign policy than Obama. Palin knows more about energy and economic development issues than Obama.

Look, I wouldn't want Palin to be President at this point in time. She needs more time. But I have no doubt that she is better equipped to handle the Presidency than Barry O.

If Barry O. were a Republican, all we'd hear about from the talking heads is how Obama is gaffe-prone and inexperienced.

Obama's campaign team needs to keep him under wraps long enough so that the average American thinks of him as a rock-star and not as a very junior Senator that says some really wacky things.

Posted by: Anthony at August 31, 2008 11:13 PM

"Again, this isn't about partisanship; it's about strategy."

Dammit, Thomas S, we've been trying to keep it hush-hush but now you've blown it!

Okay, look, Andrew is a top strategist to the McCain campaign. And he was hoping to goad Obama into this debate, which would have been a great way to raise Palin's profile and increase her exposure. But you saw right through his bait.

Let's hope no one else does. Really, Obama ought to do it. He's not afraid, is he? As potentially the next President of the US, I should hope not ...

Posted by: Monique at August 31, 2008 11:20 PM

>>And yes, Alaska is a tiny state..much tinier than Rhode Island

Thomas, not really true. Alaska has fewer people than RI, but a much bigger economy. Palin also oversaw a multi-billion dollar oil industry.

Maybe RI can learn something from Palin: a commercial fisherman turned governor who creates new jobs. Seems like RI could do worse.

And for the record, Alaska has more people than Vermont, home of DNC chairman and former Governor Howard Dean. Funny, I don't remember the liberals talking about how being Governor of Vermont didn't count....

Posted by: Anthony at August 31, 2008 11:21 PM

Thomas-Let's forget Palin vs.Obama-there is no precedent for it-what's up with Obama rejecting the open-ended town hall concept put forth by McCain?This in addition to the media controlled debates,not in lieu of them.
Obama avoided the O'Reilly show-if he can't handle a blowhard phony like O'Reilly what happens when he comes up against people like Putin,Ahmedinajad,etc if elected?
Hillary went on with O'Reilly and to give the devil her due,she held her own.Obama seems very thin skinned and not resilient when put on the defensive.He has a habit of blowing off specific responses with an air of "I'll have to look into that"or"I'll get back to you"-that doesn't wash.He does not seem at ease like some other contenders.Hillary seems more relaxed and willing to deal with specific points.Biden is never at a loss for words-he does get to the point very directly-you have to give him that.Does Obama plan on giving Biden the foreign relations portfolio like Bush apparently capitulated to Darth Vader,er..Cheney on warmaking?
I used to think Hillary was brittle until Obama came along.Did he ever plan on really being a senator,or was it the big enchilada in his sights from the jump?I would appreciate your thoughts on these issues since you obviously drop in here to debate and not just spew invective.(Like I do about Charley Bakst and Steven Brown -oh,well.)

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 31, 2008 11:27 PM


So you're telling me the non-stupid position of the Obama campaign is that 1) Palin is clearly unqualified to be President because she's only been Governor of a small state for two years, 2) while Obama is clearly qualified to be President, because he's been a Senator from a big state for four years, 3) but that Obama would be unable to demonstrate his clearly superior qualifications with any certainty in a one-on-one debate. That reasoning doesn't really clear the bar of non-stupidity.

On the other hand, if you're telling me that the Obama people believe that he probably isn't any more or less qualified than Palin to govern, win a debate, or anything in between, and they're just making disingenuous statements about her qualifications for "strategic" puposes, we can proceed from there, because that's what I suspect is the case, though I doubt that very many Obama folks would admit it.

"I'm running for president against John McCain. I'll debate Mr. McCain."…

Mr. McCain says: I have the confidence to allow Ms. Palin to stand in as my proxy, at any time. That's why I selected her as my running mate. And of course, I will reciprocate by debating Mr. Biden, who is as honorable a public servant as the Democratic party has ever chosen for it's Presidential ticket, and whom the American people should hear from, before making their choice.

Posted by: Andrew at August 31, 2008 11:46 PM


So does McCain think experience is an issue or doesn't he? If he does, does he believe that 2 minutes as governor of a state is just overwhelmingly more relevant than 2 minutes as a US senator?

As much as you think that Obama can't have it both ways here, neither can McCain. He is the one who initially riased the experience question. Now he is the one who has made a mockery out of his own attack line.

Again, this pick was the worst kind of frivolous interest politics. It makes me worry a great deal about his judgment.

As for Obama vs. Palin, even you cannot deny that a man who went from first term senator to the first African-American nominee, beating a political powerhouse along the way, is a rare politican indeed. He is immensely talented, as well as obviously flawed. Only on the pages on the National Review will you find anyone making an argument of equivalence between the two.

Posted by: Pragmatist at August 31, 2008 11:51 PM

Oh, and McCain met her just ONCE before he slected her??!! They met at an NGA event earlier this year and had one phone conversation this week. That is breathtakingly frightening. This pick is easily the worst since Dan Quayle. Might even be worse.

Posted by: Pragmatist at August 31, 2008 11:54 PM

Andrew, I think you've stumbled on to something with your suggestion here but it may not be what you'll like. Namely, the incredible overshadowing of your presidential candidate by your vice-presidential candidate. I think they are friends and admirers and all that good stuff, but it's only going to be a week or so until the McCain camp starts to resent Palin's popularity with the republican base. You know you would all like to switch the positions on the ticket right now if you could wave a magic wand and get it done. This is going to be a problem for Sen. McCain who has a very healthy ego and especially, Cindy, who is only 10 years older than Sarah, and is going to resent the attention being lavished on her. It's not that Palin is trying to engineer anything. She's just being swept up in the frenzy. Remember the saying "the only thing that makes an old man sadder than seeing a young man fail is seeing him succeed". Go ahead and call me a provacateur, but I think I'm right about this. Time will tell.

Posted by: observer at September 1, 2008 12:10 AM

Hey, this is really fun.

I make a couple of simple non-partisan statements, and provoke volumes of responses.

Let's see....

Monique seems to be the only one with a sense of humor. Cheers, Monique.

Anthony...I'm talking electoral votes. Alaska has 3, RI has 4. OK, AK is not *tiny* compared to RI, but it's smaller. It was a joke. I admit that Alaska beats RI along every dimension other than 1) weird accents 2) good fried clams 3) political corruption 4) nice beaches 5) actually, there are a lot of other things that make RI bigger and better than AK. but it's almost November and electoral votes is what matters.

Andrew says "Mr. McCain says: I have the confidence to allow Ms. Palin to stand in as my proxy, at any time. That's why I selected her as my running mate.";re not even president yet and you're sending in your VP to do your job for you? We know you're old...., but, c'mon, at least run your own campaign and win the election before you retire to the rocking chair and make Ms. Palin acting president.

Posted by: Thomas Schmeling at September 1, 2008 12:16 AM


You say Palin is the worst VP selection since Dan Quayle, yet on the major factors that Palin is being criticized for, a lack of magical "Senate experience" (and Quayle's included time on the Armed Services Committee), and not being personally known well-enough to Washington insiders, Quayle passed with flying colors back in '88. It turned out not to be a good set of metrics. Similarly, judgment about Palin is premature.

Even if someone isn't a Washington insider, they deserve a chance to rise and fall on their own merits.

Here's the way I expressed the experience issue, from the pro-Obama perspective, a few posts ago…

A 47 year-old man, who first won statewide office in 2004, but has no executive experience is clearly qualified to be President, while a 44 year-old woman who first won statewide EXECUTIVE office in 2006 clearly is not.
If this doesn't tell the whole story, if Obama is so much more qualified than Palin, then he should leap at the opportunity to debate a supposedly overmatched opponent, one-on-one. He would, in one night, prove to be true all of the suppositions about McCain's choice having been a bad one, leave the McCain/Palin ticket with no rejoinder, and finish off their campaign for good. If the issue of experience is so cut and dried, then why not take the opportunity, if it's offered?

(BTW, you won't find any place where I said Obama's lack of experience was a problem. In fact, here's something I wrote at the end of 2006, where I said Obama should run now, before he ends up like Joe Biden – I really used him as my example -- and loses his viability as a candidate. I think that saying "we can just run around and tout our superior experience" is the kind of thinking that locks Republicans into 45% minorities as their peak performance. But I don't speak for the McCain campaign.)

Posted by: Andrew at September 1, 2008 12:48 AM

"When was the last debate between the presidential candidate of one party and the vice-presidential candidate of the other?"

NEVER. That's the whole point. If she repeatedly challenged Obama to a one-on-one debate, and he refused, he would be perceived as a wimp. It would also remove any questions about her experience out of people's minds.

You are correct, in that there really isn't an upside for Obama, unless he wants to prove that his lack of experience isn't a liability. We would never expect it to happen in a million years. I can't wait until the Barracuda starts going on the attack...

Posted by: Will at September 1, 2008 12:56 AM


You've got to be kidding. NOBODY is going to fault Obama for refusing to accept a debate challenge from the VP of the opposing party. The only person such a challenge would reflect badly upon is McCain. What? He can't handle a debate with his opponent and has to send his VP? Please!

Posted by: Thomas Schmeling at September 1, 2008 1:01 AM

Come to think of it, if the GOP thinks it should be Palin rather than McCain that should be debating Obama, maybe they will flip the ticket in St. Paul and nominate Palin for Pres. and McCain for VP.

Wouldn't that be a trip?

Posted by: Thomas Schmeling at September 1, 2008 1:09 AM

Pragmatist, is that really the best you've got?

Apparently, you don't know your Democratic Party history.

FDR didn't know Truman when party bosses Bob Hannegan (St. Louis), Ed Flynn (the Bronx) and Ed Kelly (Chicago) told FDR that they didn't want to support FDR's choices, James Byrnes and William O. Douglas.

When Truman's name was raised by the bosses, FDR told James Byrnes "I hardly know Truman". Despite having actively deteriorating health in the middle of WWII, FDR didn't even know Truman's age.

He also didn't ask Truman personally. He sent Bob Hannegan. FDR called Hannegan during the Democratic convention and asked "Bob, have you got that fellow lined up yet?"

It wasn't until Truman was nominated that Truman went to the White House and was shocked at FDR's sick and gaunt appearance.

And that was before you could run background checks and search electronic records!

But that's not as bad as Kennedy/Johnson. Kennedy knew and hated Johnson. But he needed to win the South and was forced to offer the VP to Johnson. Bobby Kennedy shouted at JFK not to pick LBJ and LBJ contemplated rejecting JFK.

And that brings us to Barrack.

How well does Barry O. know Joe Biden? He spent 149 DAYS working in the Senate before running for president. Virtually all of Obama's interactions with Biden came on the campaign trail and involved Obama defending himself from Biden's charges that Obama was too inexperienced to be President and how Biden thought Obama's ideas on Afghanistan were wrong.

But hey, I guess they "know" one another. After all, if Biden didn't know Obama, how would he know how badly Fauxbama screws up?

So do I have a problem with McCain picking the country's most popular governor, a self-made woman with more experience than Barry O., as his VP choice? Not at all.

Posted by: Anthony at September 1, 2008 1:10 AM

Kennedy knew and hated Johnson. But he needed to win the South and was forced to offer the VP to Johnson.

An interesting point. It's quite possible that JFK picked LBJ ONLY because it would help him win the south and therefore the election. But LBJ (as far back as the Southern Manifesto of 1956) had made it clear that he was going to be a strong supporter of civil rights.

Even if political expediency was JFK's only motive, he made an inspired choice that was clearly in line with the future development of the nation.

It's clear that McCain regarded his choice as politically expedient. Do you think he was correct in thinking Palin represents the future direction of the nation? I think there are good arguments that he was, but also arguments that he was not, or that it will not help him escape the connection to the past that most voters are ready to reject.

Posted by: Thomas Schmeling at September 1, 2008 1:28 AM

The DailyKos is now suggesting that Palin's new baby is actually her 16 year old daughter's.I hope these left wing extremist filth keep it up because they hold a better mirror to themselves than anyone else could.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 1, 2008 7:55 AM

It just came out that Biden received 5 student deferments during the Vietnam war period and eventually received a 1-Y medical deferment due to asthma as a teenager.Interestingly he played football and was a lifeguard.Shades of Dick Cheney and Phil Gramm.
I find this interesting because I had polio in 1953 and was still able to serve 4 1/2 years on active duty,including a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1968-69.I did not believe in taking student deferments because it set up a class distinction in exposure to the draft.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 1, 2008 8:04 AM

Up yours, John McCain! Up yours for seriously letting down voters who held out hope you would choose a solid candidate for VP and strengthen your ticket. After all the nay saying going on about Obama choosing Biden, at least Biden brought foreign affairs assets to the table that Obama lacked.

Up yours, John McCain! Up yours for criticizing Barack Obama for lack of experience, then picking a VP candidate who lost the Lt. Governor spot in Alaska in the ’04 elections, only to win the big chair less than two years ago! What happened? Condoleeza Rice had too much experience for you? Did your juevos shrink at the thought of being outsmarted by a woman?

Up yours, John McCain! Up yours for attacking Obama for not knowing enough about Iraq, then choosing a VP candidate who as recently as August 14th told Time magazine her only knowledge of Iraq consisted of her sons deployment there in September.

Up yours, John McCain! Up yours for accusing Obama of being weak on national security, then choosing a running mate who’s only experience is less than a full term of governing a state that’s not even contained in the continental United States!

Up yours, John McCain! Up yours for admitting your weak spot is economics and passing over Mitt Romney (a proven businessman) as your VP in favor of a lackluster nobody.

Up yours, John McCain! Up yours for spitting in the face of Hillary’s voting base by essentially saying “Look, we gots gurls too! What’s the diff’runce?” Played wisely, you may have grabbed a small percentage of her votes. Your own condescending decision has blown that chance to hell.

Up yours, John McCain! Most of all up yours for handing the presidency over to a borderline Communist who will destroy this country for every hard-working, tax paying regular guy out there.

Up yours.

-The Regular Guy

Posted by: The Regular Guy at September 1, 2008 8:44 AM

In many ways, I think John McCain has selected not only a national leader, but the new leader of the nation's conservative movement.

I can't recall when I've seen so many Republicans and independents energized by a VP selection, while seeing so many left-wing activist types going nuts. Heck, just look at the number of posting that her selection has generated on this blog!

In the past, that type of reaction among the left has only been directed toward folks like Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater and Newt Gingrich.

Like 'em or hate 'em, all three of them had a significant impact on the course of the United states.

That's how I know Sarah Palin will be a national star. She puts fear into the hearts of left. And well she should.

She's a bright young working mom with blue collar roots who has a strong record of cleaning up government on both sides of the aisle. It strikes at the core of what the Democrats profess themselves to be.

Obama and Biden can talk about blue collar issues. Sarah Palin has lived them.

Obama and Biden can talk about union families. Sarah is the mom of a union family.

Obama and Biden can praise Hillary for being a woman and putting cracks in the glass ceiling. Sarah can break through that glass ceiling.

Obama and Biden can talk about how they intend to reform government. Sarah Palin can talk about how she her experience successfully reforming government.

Obama and Biden can talk about how gut-wrenching it must be for a woman to find out what it's like to be pregnant with a special needs child. Sarah can offer a first-hand account and doesn't equivocate about it as being "above her pay grade."

Look this is a race between John McCain and Barack Obama.

But make no mistake, Sarah Palin is now a force to be reckoned with--and the Democrats that attempt to discredit her simply because she is a conservative woman will pay the price.

Liberals over at the Daily Kos have already tried to spread rumors that one of Palin's kids is actually her grandchild. When that was disproved by the date of photos published in an Anchorage newspaper, they started to ask whether her special needs child was the result of Palin not taking her pre-natal vitamins.

These types of sick rumors are the clearest indication of the left-wing becoming desperate. But that's what the left does when it feels genuinely threatened.

Posted by: Anthony at September 1, 2008 9:36 AM


Yes, I've wondered whether the choice was a more-partisan thing than we've tend to expect from McCain. Whether the ticket wins or loses, Palin is now on the national stage, whether explicitly as a Stop Hillary candidate or just as a strong new face for the party's direction.

Posted by: Justin Katz at September 1, 2008 2:20 PM

These comments about Obama vs Palin are just too funny. For one, anyone who sould suggest that some white guy with Obama's microthin resume would be a major party nominee is just smoking something funny. Affirmative action is not a good way to pick the president of the United States.

On another note, Obama made a huge tactical mistake by not picking Hilaary as his running mate. As Jack Kennedy said to Bobby when agonizing over his own pick for VP and Bobby wanted nothing to do with LBJ, Jack said "Bobby, do you want to win?"
The rest is history, and so is Obama.
THe left wing nuts are going to see the folly of the ways. Come November - NObama.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at September 1, 2008 6:24 PM


I can't believe such a response on such a completely absurd comment (post).

First of all, Obama would have absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose by such a debate and his campaign would never consider such a ridiculous move. Period. End of story.


...the raising of this question as well as the pick of Gov. Palin for running mate is all about raising the McCain campaign's interest level. It's all a huge gamble by a candidate that knows he needs to shake things up drastically to have even the most remote chance come November.

Posted by: Tom Kenney at September 1, 2008 7:16 PM

"the most remote chance come November"

Tom K, did you just come back from the wilds of Alaska? McCain was in a statistical dead heat with Obama BEFORE he picked Palin. In fact, Cokie Roberts said today on WPRO (mandatory corporate overlord plug) that Obama got no post-convention bounce.

Sure, McCain's picking Palin may have been in part strategery. But it wasn't desperation because of a (non-existent) twenty point deficit.

"On another note, Obama made a huge tactical mistake by not picking Hilaary as his running mate."

I'm still shocked Obama didn't pick Hillary. Yes, her negatives are high. But between the two of them, each appealing to a different consituency, wouldn't they have picked up more than enough votes to take them to the White House?

Posted by: Monique at September 1, 2008 9:05 PM

"I can't recall when I've seen so many Republicans and independents energized by a VP selection, while seeing so many left-wing activist types going nuts."

...And I can't recall a time when I've agreed with Anthony so much (those of you who followed the 2006 elections locally will know that Anthony and I haven't always been on the same page).

On a somewhat related note, I noticed a story today that former junior Sen. Linc Chafee is down in Florida to campaign for Obama. He actually said this, in response to a question regarding why McCain chose a conservative VP in Gov. Sarah Palin: "I always thought that the base [of the Republican Party] wouldn't have anywhere to go," Chafee said. Having lost control of the House and Senate, the conservative base should be "sufficiently motivated" by the prospect of losing the White House, he said. I'm sure he believes that, which is why I am glad he is no longer in a position of power. Stay in FLA (please).

Palin is a super-excellent choice. Period. I gave online this weekend (So did a lot of other people who were probably holding back, as they raised over $10 million over the weekend). It's even gotten me to the point where I am eagerly anticipating the new McCain-Palin bumper sticker (will wonders never cease).

PS I think we should all form a search party and go look for Lord Obama's post-coronation/convention bounce, because it seems to be missing.

Posted by: Will at September 2, 2008 1:08 AM

"I can't recall when I've seen so many Republicans and independents energized by a VP selection, while seeing so many left-wing activist types going nuts." took the words out of my mouth regarding anthony.

The comment above hits the nail on the head. I love how much the left hates this woman. Every single attack is getting turned on its head and definitely energizing the conservative base of the GOP. With 2 months to go, that's a very good thing as in the last few weeks of the campaign, with this stuff behind us, she'll need to focus on bringing in the slightly left of center independents.

This pick will either win or lose McCain the election. I don't think he wins with a retread and I think Palin has the upside to carry him over the top and also the risk to cost him the election. But, no guys no glory is my mantra and McCain has always been of similar ilk.

it's almost comical to see the left in full out attack mode. Obama is trying to stay out of that fray, but I think the leftwingers are going to drag him into it - that's going to hurt him.

Posted by: donroach at September 2, 2008 8:03 AM


I disagree that Obama has nothing to gain. From how his supporters are speaking, it's a slam dunk that his "experience" has prepared him for the Presidency, while her experience has not. Certainly, Obama would be able to demonstrate this in a debate, right? And by debating Palin directly, Obama would show his unquestionably superior experience to the maximum possible audience, ending in one night the McCain/Palin ticket's chances of winning the election. What possible reason could Obama have for turning this opportunity down?

Posted by: Andrew at September 2, 2008 8:59 AM

When you use the phrase, "left wing extremist filth" when referring to a group whose views oppose yours you are not really encouraging rational argument. Bring your arguments up, or do you really have nothing to say, and like Anthony, hide behind a pile of mindless invective. Pick it up a few notches or you'll be forced to lay in the gutter with Anthony.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at September 2, 2008 11:37 AM


I will be voting for Obama/Biden in Nov., but this doesn't mean that I have the illusion that Obama has no weaknesses in the campaign. I believe that his experience is a weakness even though it's not as blatant a weakness as Palin's is.

The fact remains that Obama is the Dem's front side of the ticket while Palin is the Rep's back side of the ticket. Advantage - Rep's.

There is absolutely NOTHING to gain for Obama to debate Palin. If he trounces her it's the #1 against the #2 and it was expected. If she holds her own or bests him Obama loses big time.

Remember that debates (especially single debates) show next to nothing about a candidates overall knowledge. It all depends on the questions asked. If all the questions are "underhand pitches" easily lobbed up to the plate, Obama will have no problem answering them - but neither will Palin. Result(?) - she holds her own and therefore helps her campaign while the Obama/Biden ticket loses considerable ground.

Monique - I haven't just returned from the wilds of Alaska - but maybe you have. After all, Alaska polls this week will undoubtedly show a big gain for McCain. I think you're delusional if you try to make the case that the race is in a statistical dead heat.

BTW - I'm not a fanatical Dem who praises the party no matter what. I have posted for and against Obama in the past - for and against Dem policies in the past.

For my money the best candidate of the 4 major party runners is Joe Biden.

Posted by: Tom Kenney at September 2, 2008 11:51 AM

It's a little late in the game to be talking about experience. If experience was important to voters Giuliani or Romney would be the GOP nominee and Richardson would be the DEM nominee.

Barak Obama was lifted to his party's nomination because of what the Democrat base and its media-enablers believe in.

John McCain rose to the GOP nomination because Republican's in general still don't understand what's gone wrong with their party.

The overriding factor for me is rooted in what each candidate believes in. I'm very much aligned with Sarah Palin and can find enough good in McCain, especially his choice in running mate, to be able to vote for him.

If Obama were the 3-term-Mayor-of-Chicago-turned-2-term-Governor-of-Illinois, I would not vote for him because of what he believes in.

I hope the majority of my fellow American's don't find themselves ideologically aligned with BHO. If so, we are looking toward really, really dark days ahead.

Posted by: George at September 2, 2008 1:28 PM

"Barak Obama was lifted to his party's nomination because of what the Democrat base and its media-enablers believe in."
This is true George; and in typical liberal fashion, they are emotional thinkers and not logical thinkers. The fact that they have a black man as the nominee makes them feel "oh so progressive. Look how special we are. We have a black man running for President". Yup, it's all about appearances to them. Unfortunately for them, the rest of the country isn't as enamored with them as they are of themselves. When the hallucinating effects of their "progressiveness" wears off, they will realize they have nominated a man with the absolutely thinnest resume of any Presidential candidate of all time.
What is so great about the Palin pick is that it forces the issue of experience onto the table for all to see and debate. And, the more people talk about it, the more it will be thought - "OK, she's not that experienced, but she's only running for VP, The other inexperienced guy wants to be number one."
Advantage: Republicans

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at September 2, 2008 7:43 PM

>>And I can't recall a time when I've agreed with Anthony so much (those of you who followed the 2006 elections locally will know that Anthony and I haven't always been on the same page).

We probably agree with each other on policy more often than not. I think our disagreements have centered more on HOW to advance policies.

I don't like when "cult of personality" trumps trying to solve problems and I really do believe that leaders need to both inspire their own side AND work with the other side in order to make progress.

Reagan did this very well and succeeded. Gingrich could inspire his side, but couldn't work together with others and turned out to be a better "backbencher" than leader. He later cited this as one of his failures and has since worked with several Dems to promote ideas.

For all of Obama's soaring rhetoric about "change" and "working together", he has had remarkably little impact in his previous positions as a state legislator and in his brief time as a US Senator. His MO has been to play things as safe as possible to advance himself.

Obama talks about working together, but his voting record is that of a left-wing partisan.

In short, he is the polar opposite of the person described in the speeches he delivers.

Compare that to Palin.

Sarah Palin has an 80% approval rating among Alaskans--Democrats and Republicans. Her personal story is inspiring. If you're the parent of a girl, you'd hope she'd turn out a little bit like Sarah Palin. Palin did not follow a calculated path to power through blind ambition. She strikes me as the type of person who won't abandon her ideals, yet will be able to work well with others (heck, her husband and son aren't even registered Republicans).

In short, Palin has the profile of a person who could truly change the country.

On a different note, it's a lot of fun now being hit from the left instead of the right on this blog.

From OTL:
>like Anthony, hide behind a pile of mindless invective

Gee whiz, I guess OTL didn't like my analysis of his attempt to equate Barack Obama with Abraham Lincoln. C'mon how can you even think about comparing them? Barack Obama doesn't wear a top hat or even have a beard.....

Posted by: Anthony at September 2, 2008 8:28 PM

OTL-that is my honest opinion of the people at Daily Kos.They've earned the epithet-they are very similar to the maniacs running wild in downtown St.Paul with masks acting like terrorists.The level of hate speech on Daily Kos makes me sound very mild by comparison.I can certainly draw a distinction between someone I disagree with and those who peddle lies and threats-like Randy Rhodes for instance who suggested a presidential assassination would be okay.Have you ever heard Mike Malloy?

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 2, 2008 8:57 PM

"Gee whiz, I guess OTL didn't like my analysis of his attempt to equate Barack Obama with Abraham Lincoln. C'mon how can you even think about comparing them? Barack Obama doesn't wear a top hat or even have a beard."


I agree that we've probably agree on a lot more than we disgree. We're probably pretty close on policy issues.

I was just thinking of an excellent humorous retort that Sen. McCain could use during his acceptance speech on Thursday night. It could go something like this:

"Barack Obama's supporters say that he's a new 'Abraham Lincoln.' Well, let me tell you something. I knew Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln was a friend of mine ... and Senator Obama, you're no Abraham Lincoln!"

Posted by: Will at September 3, 2008 2:43 AM

Don't flatter yourself into thinking that I care for your opinion one way or another.

I am not comparing Obama with Lincoln. Have someone read what I said to you and even you will see that what I said is that Lincoln was the least experienced candidate in the 1860 election. He won, and history is damned glad he did.


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at September 3, 2008 8:20 AM
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