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Palin Comparison

If she's unready, what on earth is Obama?

By Petrarch  |  September 3, 2008

In what must rank as one of the slickest schemes of political timing and thunder-stealing of recent years, John McCain managed to overshadow Obama's Speech of a Lifetime through adroit manipulation of the Washington rumor mill concerning his choice of vice-presidential running-mate.  Then, when whiplash and speculation were at a fever pitch, he made all the pundit's heads explode by anointing... the Alaskan lady governor and ex-beauty-queen, Sarah Palin.

Sarah who?  Until last week, nobody had ever heard of her.  One look at her rather un-politician-like photo, and the mainstream media jumped in a single bound to the conclusion that she was there purely as an affirmative-action hire to try to appeal to disillusioned Hillary voters.

If that were the only reason, it wouldn't be a bad one.  With Obama and McCain basically tied in the polls, and the number of Hillary voters who refuse to support Obama not shrinking but growing, collected even a quarter of them will win McCain the White House.  If Paris is worth a mass, surely the Oval Office is worth an unorthodox veep pick.

As a weekend's panicked research reveals, however, Sarah Palin is not just a pretty face.  She is the popular governor of America's largest state.

What's more, though small in population, Alaska has an outsize economic influence as America's major source of domestic oil: in a time when oil prices are the number one issue, she has experience in both negotiating with and regulating the oil companies that supply that need.  When environmentalists bleat of the inevitable despoliation of pristine wilderness that comes from oil exploitation, Gov. Palin is able to reveal their lies.  As Governor, she bears the political responsibility for any disasters; it's been her job to ensure that operations are conducted in a safe and clean way.

The Democrats are already casting her as close to oil interests.  Perfect!  That's just what we need at the top, as our economy runs on oil and we need as much of it as we can get.

Every time a Democratic ad complains of this link, it reminds Americans of exactly which party it is that does not want us to have the oil we need.

Throughout his campaign (and, really, his career), conservatives have viewed McCain with respect for his heroism of old tempered by a feeling of nausea for many of his stands today.  Amnesty for illegals, unconstitutional restrictions on campaign finance, support for the global-warming fraud - reasons abound for their displeasure.

Although there's no possible chance of conservatives actually voting for Obama, if they but sit on their hands and vote for nobody McCain has no chance.  Other veeply calculations aside, McCain had to pick somebody at least acceptable to conservatives, and preferably someone who would be eagerly embraced by them.

With Sarah Palin, he has accomplished this goal in spades.  What is the single most important issue for the religious right?  Abortion, without question - and it would be hard to imagine a more staunch defender of the rights of the unborn than Gov. Palin.  Not only has she supported it legislatively; not only is she a firmly devout Catholic; but she has unimpeachable personal credibility of the most compelling kind.

When pregnant with her fifth child, the doctors determined the baby to have Downs syndrome, meaning inevitable retardation.  The overwhelming majority of women in this situation opt for an immediate abortion, as her doctor recommended.  Even many conservatives who generally oppose abortion would be understanding in such a case.  Gov. Palin rejected her doctor's advice, kept the child, and Trig Palin took his rightful place as a member of the family.

Picture for a moment what will ensue when the abortion question arises in the vice presidential debates.  Normally, the Democratic side accuses the Republican of being too elitist, too wealthy, too male to possibly understand the pressures on women that demand abortion as a solution.

How, exactly, is that going to work when the Republican is Sarah Palin, a woman who has personally wrestled with the decision herself and stood true to her beliefs at great cost?  The best Joe Biden will be able to do is hem and haw; more likely, though, he'll ramble on at great length, shoving his foot further into his mouth with every syllable.

We see a glimmer of this problem with the current lefty attack-points on her, questioning whether a mother of five shouldn't better spend her time home with the kids.  Hah!  Talk about a change of sides; isn't it feminists that believe women can do, be, and have it all?  Or is it only liberals who're supposed to have it all?

We see the same genuineness even in her family scandals.  This week's explosive revelation is that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant.  Shock!  Horror!  Surely this will offend the social conservatives?

Well, yes, social conservatives don't believe in teenage sex.  However, they do believe in personal responsibility; and the latest reports are that the young Ms. Palin will shortly be marrying the father of the child.  What better example could there be of accountability for one's own mistakes?

Obviously the Palins, as parents, had their weaknesses; but they weren't total failures: their daughter and her boyfriend had at least enough moral dignity to step up to the plate as adults, rather than succumb to the tempting captivity of welfare.

It is in the area of experience, though, that the true genius of McCain's choice reveals itself.  No sooner did Palin step onto the stage with McCain than the media, insulted by the selection of someone they'd never even considered, began to attack her as unqualified.  She's only been a governor for two years!  Before that, she was a mayor!  How could such a person ever be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

And you know what?  They're absolutely right.  Sarah Palin is, indeed, not ready to be President.  She has no time in national office.  She has not been vetted at the major-league level; she does not personally know the movers and shakers with whom a President must deal.

She surely does not have the credibility, the years of experience, to fill the office from Day One.  Fortunately, she won't have to - she's not been tapped for that slot just yet, she will have at least a little while to learn the ropes as understudy.

But a focus on Sarah Palin's experience is the most fantastic gift to John McCain's candidacy that one could imagine.  For where Palin boasts a mere two years as Governor in charge of America's largest state, Barack Obama has never been in charge of anything at all.

He's served four years as just one of one hundred United States Senators, two years of which have been spent running for president; he is not the chair of any committee, but of a mere subcommittee, in which he has accomplished nothing of note.

While Sarah Palin was holding executive authority as mayor of a town, Barack Obama was one of a couple dozen Illinois state senators, where again he smoothly left no legislative wake.  Where Sarah Palin's husband is a small businessman - a commercial fisherman, as manly a job as one could imagine, and one brutally exposed to the full panoply of government over-regulation and taxation - both Obamas are and have always been lawyers who feed at the public trough.  This is a discussion the Republicans are fully prepared, nay eagerly panting, to have.

The Republican vice-presidential nominee is, indeed, a little skint on the experience side.  What does it say then that her experience, limited as it is, runs rings round the Democratic nominee for the Big Job?

Let the media compare experience to their heart's content; Obama pales in comparison.  The closer they get, the better she looks, and the worse for him.

Sen. McCain is a very lucky man as Pres. Reagan was a very lucky man.  Mr. Obama is a very smart man.  When it comes to a leader, we'll take luck over smart any day of the week.