Experience and Change

Thomas Jefferson. James Monroe. William McKinley. Theodore Roosevelt. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Jimmy Carter. Ronald Reagan. William Clinton. George W. Bush. What do all of these President’s have in common? That’s right, they were all Governor’s before they were elected President of the United States.

So why is it now that we hear all of this rhetoric about Sarah Palin’s lack of experience? It’s quite simple. There is nothing that the media or the Obama campaign can criticize her on. Up until this point, Barack Obama as well as Joe Biden have gotten a pass from most of the major news outlets who overwhelmingly have thrown soft balls to them. Never mind all of the shady characters that have surfaced from Obama’s past or the fact that Obama comes from one of the most corrupt states in the country; to the media it was more important to probe personal relationships of the Alaskan Governors family, specifically that of her daughter.

Enough of the small talk though, let’s breakdown presidential facts by the numbers. Of the 43 Presidents that have served, 19 of them were governors, 18 were congressmen, and 15 were senators. That’s right; more governors have been elected President than senators. The last senator to be elected President was John F. Kennedy. In fact the two most beloved Democrat presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and William Clinton, were not only governors, but they also did not have any military or for foreign policy experience with the exception of Roosevelt’s job as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Woodrow Wilson also had very little or no military experience.

What happened to change? I thought Barack Obama was all about change. He talks about uniting the country when he can’t even unite his own political party in his own state. In three plus years as a U.S. Senator, Obama has also demonstrated very little, if it all, that he is willing to reach across party lines. National Journal ranked Obama the number one liberal senator in 2007 when it comes to voting in the senate. Since he was elected in 2004, he has voted down party lines 88 percent of the time. Obama had a chance to show everyone that he was really for change, but what did he do? He picked Joe Biden as his running mate, who has been in Washington since 1972 as a Senator from the state of Delaware. That’s ten years longer than John McCain has been in Washington.

Where is all the experience on the Obama/Biden ticket? If they are going to lecture Sarah Palin about experience, they better be able elaborate on their own experience. Joe Biden we know has been a senator since 1972, but what about Barack Obama? There is a reason you do not hear Obama running on his past record the same way that Palin has been able to run on her record in Alaska. It is because there is nothing of any importance he can highlight as an experience that prepared him to be the leader of the free world. The only thing he was able to accomplish in the Illinois State senate was the ability to show up and vote “present”, one hundred and thirty times! If he can’t take a stance on simple state legislature issues, how is he going to be able to take a stance on major world events, or on foreign policy? His first reaction last week, instead of heading back to Washington to help in this bailout mess, was to stay in Florida and get lessons on debating, occasionally making phone calls to other democrats inside the beltway. He was not even going to show up and vote present, until President Bush called him back to Washington.

John McCain in the past has been referred to as an Independent because of his unwillingness to vote along with republicans, and his many differences with traditional conservative values. Sarah Palin took on the corrupt Republican Party in Alaska in order to become Governor. When did Obama ever challenge any of the corruption in Illinois? Answer: Never. It seems to me that the McCain/Palin team is the real ticket for change. The balance of a senator and a governor on the ticket also works to their advantage. The unfair and unethical treatment of Sarah Palin and her family from the cable news channels, left wing blogs, and New York Times is going to come to haunt them. Their only issue with Sarah Palin is that she is a conservative woman, not a liberal feminist. Biden may have mastered the art of being an elite politician, with deep Washington connections, but that is the exact kind of vice presidential candidate the American people want a change from.