I was watching On The Record with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Channel when an Alaskan journalist explained that Sarah Palin’s approval ratings as governor were above 80% because she’d accomplished more in less than two years than the previous governor had accomplished in 12 years (spanning 3 full terms). She’s a “go-getter” who “doesn’t let the dust settle around her.” Apparently, she has a talent for multi-tasking, which means DOING things, not just talking on a stage with help from a teleprompter.
So for the Obama camp to belittle her accomplishments because she has less than two years experience as governor, with a prior stint as a small town mayor, fails to really capture what she can do for America. She took on the “good old boys,” but, unlike me, she actually won AND the “good old boys” were within her own party. She exposed their corruption, and that may partly be why Sen. Ted Stevens is under indictment right now. Besides policing the corruption, she ramrodded through ethics reforms, got a natural gas pipeline construction project off the ground, and trimmed earmarks out of the state budget through prodigious use of the gubernatorial veto power. She’s visited Alaska’s National Guard troops while they were deployed in Kuwait and Iraq. All departments of the state answer to her, and she makes decisions of great consequence many times every day.
Her 2 years equal more than her predecessor’s 12 years. Let’s not just look at this in a quantitative way. If we look at it in a qualitative way, you can begin to appreciate why the Republican base is so happy to have her on the ticket, especially the OHIO Republican base, which was demoralized by GOP scandals leading up to the disastrous elections of November 2006. This woman is not just a McCain gimmick, as the Obama camp so savagely derides her to be. She represents the solution to a problem that has plagued Ohio and has definitely plagued Washington. Much has been made of the President’s low approval ratings, but the ratings of Congress are even worse. Sarah Palin is the dynamic individual that represents the prescription for what ails us.
I don’t know what terrifies the Obama camp more: the fact that the Republican base is now unifying and getting motivated; or the prospect that if the McCain-Palin ticket is elected, Washington will have its secrets exposed and have to finally clean up their act. I think there may be a lot of shenanigans Sen. Biden might have some awareness of (since he’s been there for 36 years) that have to be straightened out.
I ran for state representative twice in Ohio’s 56th House District, in 2002 and in 2004. I had no prior experience holding elective office. The incumbent I was running against had nearly 30 years of experience in office. I remember having to debate the issue of experience with the editors of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, who place great importance on experience when weighing endorsement experience. I explained that qualifications for serving in the legislative branch are different than serving in the executive branch. I said that experience (and a resume) DOES matter for executive (and judicial) branch offices, but positions on issues should be the main deciding factor for choosing legislative candidates. Our constitution has checks and balances not just between the three branches of government, but also checks and balances between professionals and amateurs, in order to make sure we have government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Amateurs make the laws in order to make sure that laws are fair for everyone. It’s ideal to have a cross-section of people representing us in legislatures. You don’t want legislators to serve in office for too long because you don’t want them to develop an “inside the Beltway” mentality where they become less connected and less sensitive to the will of the people. But while amateurs make the laws, professionals in the executive branch enforce the laws. In the judicial branch, their are judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys that are all professionals, but there is still a check and balance by amateurs who form a jury of peers. Running for state representative has no qualifications other than residing and being registered to vote in the district where you are running. The relative brevity of legislative terms is another demonstration of how legislators were envisioned to be amateurs by the framers of the Constitution. I told the Chronicle-Telegram editors that I was fully qualified to run for the legislature, and that they were adding unnecessary criteria when making their selection.
I also spoke to the Chronicle-Telegram editors about the poor quality of experience of the incumbent. With all the quantity of experience, measured in years, that the incumbent had logged, there was a dearth of accomplishments. I not only talked about the volume (or lack thereof) of legislation produced by the incumbent, I also cited the condition of the 56th District (crime, blight, pollution, poverty, education deficiencies, unemployment, etc.) as evidence that the incumbent had really done very little to advance the cause of the people he represented. Why not take a chance on a newcomer when there’s a lack of productivity from the incumbent (despite the quantity of experience) and when I’m not running for an executive or a judicial branch office?
The office of U. S. President, however, is an executive branch office. One needs a resume. Being that it’s the highest executive branch office in the land, a candidate ought to have experience in a lesser executive role in order to make the case that they are up to the task of tackling the highest office. John McCain had a command within the U. S. Navy. Sarah Palin has been a mayor and a governor. As Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin was at the helm of a state that is larger than many nations, with a GDP greater than that of many nations. McCain and Palin have both been exemplary.
Senator Obama and Senator Biden have legislative experience. Legislators are amateurs that represent the people. Obama and Biden have, in a way, bastardized the legislative capacity in which they serve by way of becoming professional politicians. Professional politicians have a place in the executive and judicial branches, but a cross-section of common people, ideally, were to serve for relatively short stints. Legislators take stands on issues, write legislation accordingly, debate issues, gather support for issues, vote on issues, and serve constituents. They don’t carry out the law. They don’t enforce the law. They don’t administer the law. Administration requires professional specialized skills. Legislating requires skills any literate person can perform. The legislative experience of Obama and Biden, while appearing voluminous, really amount to virtually nothing when measured against the requirements of the executive branch, especially for the highest executive office in the nation–kind of like how cotton candy can occupy a large volume of space, but when you bite into it, there’s really not much of anything there.
So this is a masquerade. Obama and Biden are masquerading as though they really have the experience necessary to be President. The reality is that McCain and Palin are the ones who possess the quality of experience capable of suggesting that they are ready to tackle the challenge of the Presidency.
In the end, while Obama and Biden talk a good game of CHANGE, and mock Palin as being more of the same (along with McCain being more of the same), Palin has actually effected CHANGE. Talking change on the one hand versus accomplishing change on the other . . . I have to conclude that the McCain-Palin ticket is the superior ticket.
October 31, 2008 at 11:36 am
[…] written several blog entries about Palin that touched upon the topic of earmarks and reform here, here, here, here, here, and most recently, here and […]