Posts Tagged ‘Paul Begala’

Democrat Says Sarah Palin Choice ‘Shockingly Irresponsible’

August 30, 2008

Democrat strategist and CNN commentator Paul Begala claimed that John McCain’s choice of Vice President is “shockingly irresponsible” and suggested that McCain is “out of his mind.”

He suggested that Democrats would launch an all-out attack on that basis.

Good.  Let’s make experience the issue.  Let’s make this years’ Presidential election a referendum over who has the most relevant experience.

I found Begala’s argument a classic example of concentrating so much on rhetoric that reality was discarded altogether.

On CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 program, Begala attempted to make the argument that Sarah Palin had no experience in foreign policy.  And that it was “shockingly irresponsible to place her a heartbeat away from the Presidency.  When it was pointed out that, if anything, Barack Obama had even less experience, and that Barack Obama is actually running for President, Begala did not bother to respond to that issue.

Instead, he framed it this way: 18 million Democrats voted for Obama, which is another way of saying that 18 million voters decided that Obama did have enough experience.  However, in the case of Sarah Palin, only one man made that determination.  Therefore Begala could rest at ease with Obama’s experience, and legitimately attack Palin’s lack thereof.

Well, apart from the fact that 18 million other Democrats essentially voted that Obama didn’t have enough experience, there’s another problem: Barack Obama in actual point of fact doesn’t have any more experience than Sarah Palin.  If 18 million Democrats decided the world was flat, it wouldn’t make it so any more than if merely one did.

Not only has Sarah Palin been to Iraq, but she went there in her capacity as the head of the Alaska National Guard.  Obama visited Iraq as the head of nothing.

Further, Sarah Palin as Governor has actually negotiated with foreign governments, most notably Canada, Russia, Japan, and South Korea.  Can Barack Obama point to an official negotiation with a foreign government?

And, if it isn’t already obvious enough, Sarah Palin as Governor of oil-rich (as well as other experience in the energy field) is vastly more aware of the key energy issues than Barack Obama.

And most certainly, as Governor, Sarah Palin obtained incredibly relevant experience as a senior executive.  Nothing Barack Obama has ever done is comparable to Palin’s governing.  Campaigning for President does not qualify one to be president any more than applying for medical school qualifies one to be a physician.

So in considering Paul Begala’s frankly stupid claims, it’s rather hard not to have Shakespear’s “sound and fury, signifying nothing” quote come to mind.

The big political knock on Sarah Palin is that she doesn’t have a great deal of experience.  But, amazingly, that may become her greatest political asset, as unhinged Democrats, in decrying a candidate for Vice President’s lack of experience, actually underscore the lack of experience of their candidate for President.

John McCain just turned 72 today, it is true.  And he’s had skin cancer.  But he’s been given a clean bill of health, his mother is 96 years old, and skin cancer is generally only fatal if is allowed to advance untreated.

Sarah Palin, if elected, would be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, it is true.  But no heartbeats would separate Barack Obama if he were elected.  Instead, the most inexperienced American President in the last century would immediately begin to run the country at one of the most critical periods in the nation’s history.

I have to laugh: an inexperienced Presidential candidate is fine.  But an inexperienced Vice Presidential candidate?  Well, there’s cause for all kinds of concern.

I don’t think John McCain minds allowing experience to be the central issue of the campaign.

One note: You can count on in-the-tank-for-liberals reporters asking foreign policy “gotcha” questions as a matter of routine between now and election day (something they somehow never got around to doing with Barack Obama).  Do you know who the President of Bolivia is?