Governors or Senators?

This is an old blog from my previous site, but I think it helps explain some of the inexperienced issues that Obama is having such as organizational and vetting problems: 


The 2008 Presidential Election is a good example to analyze as to who makes a better candidate for President. We can look at both Barack Obama (Senator) and Sarah Palin (Governor). Although Palin was the Vice Presidential candidate, many considered her ability to be President since John McCain is already 72. What makes the comparison between Obama and Palin interesting is that both have had a very limited amount of political experience. Although Obama has been a Senator two more years than Palin has been a governor, their actual experience time is in effect equal since Obama has spent half of his time campaigning, instead of governing. I have said this before and I will say it again: Experience as a governor better prepares a person for the White House than a Senator. First, it is not a coincidence that President Elect Obama is the first Congressmen elected to the White House in over 40 years. The previously elected Presidents had been Governors. Secondly, governors run a state and Senators run nothing, except for perhaps a Congressional committee. Governors are Executives, Senators are not. The Presidency is an Executive job. Consider some of Obama’s major campaign promises: A 1000 dollar tax rebate to every family making fewer than 250 thousand dollars, energy independence, and ethics reform. Palin has already implemented these policies in Alaska. She has given over 3000 dollars back to every family on revenues received from oil profits this year alone. She has also been pushing a 40 billion dollar “clean” natural gas pipeline that will benefit everyone in the U.S. She has been pushing for drilling in the Alaska Arctic, which has been stopped by Congress including by both McCain and Obama. Palin has taken on her Republican Party in Alaska that has been corrupt. Face it, what has Obama done to clean up the cesspool of political corruption in Illinois or Chicago for that matter? He has done nothing. Obama may not be corrupt, but it does not look good that he tolerates shoddy Chicago politics. Palin is doing such a good job, she has an amazing approval rating of higher than 80%. That is almost unheard of especially today, with all the polarization in this country. They both have about the same amount of foreign policy experience – practically nothing. Palin runs the Alaska National Guard, while Obama has done some travel to key regions of the world.


Obama has valuable community service as well as Illinois State Senate experience. Palin has experience in the Wasilla Alaska PTA, City Council and Mayor. She also ran the Alaska Energy Department, and lost an election for Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. Once again I see this as about a tie. Overall, I do not see any difference in experience, but I give the nod to Palin because she has valuable experience as an executive. And more importantly, what she has done as an executive has been exceptional, as shown by her high approval ratings. Besides, as a legislator in Congress and Illinois, Obama has not authored very many pieces of legislation. In fact, there may only have been one or two laws in the Illinois Senate he co-authored. Considering his job is to legislate, Obama appears to be more of a follower than leader. Now, as a President he is proposing a lot of legislation. The question is why did he not try to implement any of his Presidential proposals in the Illinois or U.S. Senates? I guess the millions he has made in campaign contributions enabled him to employ foreign and economic advisers to tell him how to do his job, and what legislation to propose. In other words, Obama either did not think of his proposed legislation on his own or avoided trying to implement it. It reminds me of what my first boss told me after I got in trouble for being too aggressive in getting my job done: “Unfortunately, only those who do the work ever get in trouble”. That is so true. Maybe Obama was afraid to hurt his record by generating controversy, so he avoided creating any legislation. He has basically avoided doing anything controversial to hurt his political career. Unfortunately, this approach works. I have seen hundreds of “oxygen thieves” skate through the corporate world and seen hard workers shown the door for “asking too many questions”. It seems to be the American way of rewarding mediocrity or incompetence. This Presidential race is no different. The nation is enamored with a “do nothing” Congressman. Just like all the “oxygen thieves” I have dealt with in the past, Obama is a good talker who talks a big game that impresses everyone. People listen to all his fancy rhetoric instead of looking at what he has actually accomplished. Maybe this explains why Obama votes “Present” on any controversial legislation he has seen. Can you imagine a Governor or President voting “Present” on legislation? They cannot do it. They must enact or veto the legislation, there is no middle ground. The only other explanation for Obama to vote “Present” is because he is incompetent. This is not the case. In fact, he is pretty smart to be able lay low and get away with having a limited voting record on controversial issues. Here is the new American Dream: If you are a smooth talker and do not rock the boat, you will succeed and move up the corporate and political ladder.


Governor Palin has been portrayed by the media as incompetent and unfit to be President. Yes, she did poorly in a few interviews, but remember, Obama had made many blunders along the way in his campaign. The media failed to scrutinize or magnify his mistakes. He said he would sit down without preconditions with our enemies. He said he would bomb Pakistan. He said he would leave Iraq immediately. He scolded both Georgia and Russia, when Russia invaded Georgia. All positions he has clarified and backed away from. In fact, he changed his position on nearly every issue during the campaign. He conveniently did this to be seen as a moderate, such as his stance on drilling and nuclear power. In his nearly two years on the campaign trail, Obama had learned the nuances of politics. If Palin had two years of campaigning, she too could have been as savvy a politician as Obama. It is not that she is incompetent; as a Washington outsider she has not yet learned how to play the political game. Once she masters how to play the political game, she will be seen as a viable candidate. Unfortunately, it is her political naivety that makes her an attractive candidate to me. I like the fact that she is Washington outsider, because I think that is what it is going to take to fix the partisanship in Washington. It is going to take a person with no allegiance to lobbyist or other political persons to turn things around. Obama claims to be that man. However, Obama has over a decade of experience in both Chicago and Washington politics. Chicago and Washington are arguably two of the worst cities for partisan and controversial politics.


When I see Palin, I see an everyday mom. This to me is refreshing. Palin represents every mother in this country. To see her go blow for blow with one of Washington’s most experienced politicians in the Vice Presidential debate, gave me hope that an ordinary person could actually get elected to office. A person that actually understands what it is like to be a struggling family in this country. It is unfortunate that feminist and the media painted her as an evil person that had to be destroyed. The bottom line is if Barack Obama is qualified to be President, Sarah Palin is certainly qualified as well. 


To Obama’s credit he never attacked Palin for her shortcomings. He knew that would only make him look like a sexist. He could not attack her limited experience since he too, did not have much experience. However, he did not need to attack Palin since he could count on his media parade to take care of this dirty business for him. It was a brilliant plan. He could attack Palin as if he never had anything to do with it. If he thought the media coverage was unfair, he could have told the media to back off Palin. On the campaign trail, he could have stated the media’s coverage of Palin was unfair. He did not do this because he was all for the media’s effort to ruin a genuinely good person. This is politics. However, McCain time and time again corrected any ignorant supports that thought Obama was an Arab or a Muslim. However, if he did not correct these ignorant people, he would be painted as a racist, and rightly so. On the other hand, how the media and Obama are not treated as sexist for their false attacks on Palin is still a mystery. 

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