Oh My, What Hath John McCain Wrought?

Up front I want to say I disgree with Sarah Palin on many issues including her stances on global warming, drilling in ANWR, a woman’s right to choice, creationism, and probably a few more once we learn more about her. 

I also feel empathy for her and her family and the abuse they will endure in the coming days, weeks, months.  This process will undoubtedly be ugly, personal, and will hit her and her family completely by surprise.  Or that is my suspicion.

There are already stories flying right and left about Palin, some of which will ultimately turn out to be true, others that will not.  By all accounts John McCain and his campaign did not properly vet Palin.  His choice was impetuous and apparently done in a calculating manner to woo certain voters.  He made his campaign slogan, “Country First”, the laughingstock of the country and world.

So today you can read stories and see videos online that catch Palin telling lies and trying to cover them up.  This video on aerial hunting of wolves and bears will make you cry and this is a practice Palin supports.  You can learn that she was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it.  You can read what Alaskan politicians who know and work with Palin think of her abilities.  You can read that her own mother-in-law isn’t sure who she’ll vote for.  You can listen to her being interviewed by two right wing radio hosts who call Lyda Green, a cancer-surviving, Republican State Senator, a bitch and a cancer on the State of Alaska.  Palin’s response is to laugh and to tell the DJs she’d be honored to have them come to Anchorage Juneau for her State of the State address.  You can read stories about her apparent abuse of power and the talk in Alaska of a possible impeachment.  And most bizarrely, you can read stories and see pictures suggesting she is not the mother of Trig, the Down Syndrome infant, but the grandmother.

So yes, she has some executive experience.  But beyond that we need to dig into that experience.  Was she good at it?  What did she accomplish?  What did she mess up?  Does she get along with coworkers and subordinates?  For me, George W. Bush is the biggest argument out there about executive experience.  He had plenty of it, but guess what?  Everything, everything he touched turned into a disaster.  Look how well that turned out for the US, for Iraq, for the world.

As a comparison, although Obama does not have similar executive experience, I want to point out what kind of job he has done running his campaign.  His campaign is larger now with more resources, but last December, even before the first Iowa caucus, the campaign consisted of 500 employees and a $100 million budget.   He has run a drama-free campaign and was able to beat, what was thought to be, the formidable Clinton machine with all its apparent advantages.  He had the vision, that the Clinton campaign lacked, to campaign hard in caucus states.  He’s mobilized unprecedented numbers of volunteers, effectively used the Internet to raise campaign funds and communicate with the American public.  He was put detailed information about policy issues on his website.  Does no one think this is evidence of Obama’s ability to lead?  He’s shown me what a leader is.  He’s shown how disciplined he is by staying on message.  How unflappable he is when mud and innuendo are thrown at him.  Aren’t these some of the characteristics we want in a President?

I don’t want to compare and contrast Obama with McCain here.  But anyone who says there isn’t a choice in this election, hasn’t been paying attention.

UPDATE:  This post by publius at Obsidian Wings is the best I’ve seen on the talking point that Sarah Palin has more executive experience than Barack Obama.  It’s a must read.  Here’s an excerpt:

For instance, let’s say Apple is deciding whether to hire me or Bill Clinton to be its CEO. And let’s say I was a manager at a Burger King, while Clinton never worked in business. In this respect, I have more “business experience” than Bill Clinton — in a world where arbitrary labels rule, I win. But I’m clearly less capable of running a major transnational corporation than he is. That’s because the nature of Clinton’s experience makes him a better fit — he’s led an executive branch and two presidential elections under extreme scrutiny and has become knowledgeable of, well, everything.

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4 Responses to “Oh My, What Hath John McCain Wrought?”

  1. GYMA – what a brilliant post!!! YOu just taugh me tons and tons — THANKS!!!

    You have a great Blog – I’m glad I ‘bumped’ into you.

    Cheers!

  2. Paulette, I’m glad you found it useful, and welcome!

  3. excellent post… and i really like your assessment of the need for executive experience. obama’s campaign has been near flawless and i think the country would be doing itself a favor by electing him our next president!

  4. […] Oh My, What Hath John McCain Wrought?, 2008/08/31 at 2:58 […]

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