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September 13, 2008


I agree with Brendan. What with raising 5 children and being (by most accounts) a fine governor, Palin has had little time for foreign affairs. She appears ignorant. In general she's too inexperienced.

Obama also lacks experience, IMHO. He has almost 4 years in the Senate, but spent the last 2 campaigning for President. So, his effective governing experience period is about the same as Palin's. As far as I know, Obama can point to few, if any, accomplishments during his brief Senate tenure.

There's something wrong with an election process that prefers tyros like George Bush ( in 2000), Palin and Obama to Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney and Al Gore. Good speaking ability, an attractive appearance, and novelty have become more important than knowledge, experience and a demonstrated record of accomplishments.

There is no comparison to Obama and Palin. She may be governor but she is not ready to be VP. Obama on the other hand is ready to lead. He knows what the Bush doctrine is lol.

I'm heartened to see Brendan elucidate so clearly that the Bush Doctrine is that preemptive action does not require an imminent threat. The left has repeatedly maintained that Bush lied by arguing before the Iraq War that Iraq posed an imminent threat. See, e.g., the comments to Brendan's post less than three months ago.

I think the term "Bush Doctrine" is ambiguous and that Palin was right to ask for clarification. Bush never called any of his positions the "Bush Doctrine." Unlike Brendan, I would have guessed that Gibson was referring to Bush's statement that countries supporting terrorists could be treated like the terrorists themselves.

Nevertheless, I agree that she's ignorant of foreign affairs.

There's something wrong with an election process that prefers tyros like George Bush ( in 2000), Palin and Obama to Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney and Al Gore.

How did Romney get into that club? Romney was a single term governor from Massachusetts and, like Obama, spent the last 2 years of his term preparing to run for President. I can think of a lot of Republicans who'd qualify as foreign policy experts, but he's not one of them.

Jinchi, it's true that his government service was shorter than many others, but his accomplishments were superior to most candidates' .Romney is regarded as having done a super job of saving the Salt Lake City Olympics, a chore that demonstrated many skills including negotiating successfully with people from other countries. His business career was also outstanding (and outstandingly lucrative.) His combined MBA/law degree from Harvard gives him unusualy broad educational background.

David, spare us the B.S.

Obama was or is:

president of the Harvard Law Review, in which role he acted as editor-in-chief and supervisor of the review’s staff of 80 editors; magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School; community organizer on Chicago’s South Side; member of the board of directors for several philanthropic/social improvement organizations; professor of constitutional law for 12 years at the University of Chicago; civil rights attorney for many years; two-term state senator in Illinois, representing heavily populated areas of a major metropolis (in contrast to, say, Wasilla, AK); U.S. senator for nearly 4 years.

Here is how Wikipedia summarizes his involvement with various Senate Committees: “Obama held assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans’ Affairs through December 2006. In January 2007, he left the Environment and Public Works committee and took additional assignments with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. He also became Chairman of the Senate's subcommittee on European Affairs. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama has made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa.”

And here is a brief summary of highlights of his legislative career:

In the Illinois state Senate, he authored about a half-dozen "major laws" on issues ranging from ethics to education. The best example of his leadership style was bipartisan legislation to require the videotaping of police interrogations, which is now a national model. Obama brought together police, prosecutors and the ACLU on a win-win bill that simultaneously increased conviction rates and all but ended jailhouse beatings. In Washington he has his name on three important laws: the first major ethics reform since Watergate; a much-needed cleanup of conventional weapons in the former Soviet Union, and the "Google for Government" bill, an accountability tool that requires notice of all federal contracts to be posted online. [Jonathan Alter, Newsweek, Sept. 13, 2008]

Also, Obama’s unique background has endowed him with unparalleled gifts of diplomacy toward people of all types -- a background which includes firsthand familiarity with all of the various cultures, religions, and languages he was exposed to growing up (with an anthropologist mom, white grandparents from Kansas, black dad from Kenya, Indonesian step-dad, and foreign residence and travel). And Obama has undergone an intense vetting for nearly two years now while running for president defeating the Clinton political machine.

To compare Sarah Palin’s qualifications to Obama’s the way some Republicans have done is a joke. And the Republicans are, of course, overplaying the “executive experience” card regarding Palin. After all, BUSH had “executive experience” before he became president, for god’s sake. If anyone doubts that Obama is far better prepared than Palin, I challenge them to watch any interview with Obama and compare it to Palin’s interview with Charlie Gibson. Obama is clearly more knowledgeable, more articulate, more reasoned, a deeper thinker, more able and comfortable to go beyond robotic talking points, etc.

(And by the way, Palin's cluelessness about one of the signature "doctrines" of Bush's foreign policy was not the only problem with that interview. Read Fred Kaplan's analysis: http://www.slate.com/id/2199937/

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