You know, when the Obama campaign released the (since disavowed) initial reaction to Sarah Palin’s selection as John McCain’s running mate, I thought it was just the product of a hastily-written and ill-conceived statement that referred to her as the “former mayor of a town of 9,000″ rather than “Governor of the State of Alaska.” Then, when Obama’s surrogates repeatedly responded to the completely accurate fact that Palin has more executive experience than their entire ticket combined by belittling the town of Wasilla, I started getting irritated with their refusal to even acknowledge Governor Palin’s current job. After all, Former Community Organizer Barack Obama has been campaigning for President for less time than Palin has been Governor (got that, Former State Senator Barack Obama? She’s a Governor. Seriously.), and that allegedly counts as “experience,” right? Now apparently Former Law School Professor Barack Obama is getting in on the act:
As I’m typing this, Obama is being interviewed by Anderson Cooper about Gustav. Anderson’s last question was how he would answer those who say that Gov. Palin, as mayor of a small town and Gov. of Alaska, has more experience than he does. He didn’t miss a beat. He smiled and said Palin’s town of Wasilia, Alaska had 50 employees. His campaign has 2500. The town’s budget is about $12 million a year. His budget is 3 times that per month. He cited the legislation he’s passed on emergency management post-Katrina and that many recommendations he made were adopted and are being put in place as we speak.
Interesting that you should claim that the total annual budget of your campaign is approximately $432 million a year, Mr. Former Harvard Law Student. The Alaska State Budget is roughly ten times that amount. Interesting that you should mention that your campaign employs 2500 individuals. The government of the State of Alaska (which Sarah Palin is Governor of – I hate to keep mentioning this, but you and your supporters keep forgetting it) has approximately six times that many. And, just in case you’re forgetting, she’s been doing it for longer than you’ve been running your campaign (which was not nearly always as large as it currently is).
So, from my perspective, there are basically two reasons that Barack Obama and his supporters refuse to even acknowledge Sarah Palin’s current job (in favor of focusing on the job she held two jobs before her current job): the first is that it makes Obama’s claim that running his campaign counts as “experience” clownish. The second is that they simply have some sort of problem acknowledging that a person like Palin could be in a position of that much authority. I’m not here to take sides on that particular debate; I report, you decide.
UPDATE: Biden acknowledges that Palin is governor and that this is “no mean feat.” Apparently, it is for the press to decide if Palin is qualified; Biden expresses no opinion on the matter. There is still no indication that anyone in the Obama campaign is willing to include Palin’s experience as Governor of Alaska when comparing her experience to that of Obama.
This entire exchange, of course, illustrates the folly of the Obama/Biden campaign. Biden can afford to be gracious about Palin’s experience because he’s been in Washington for 36 years (he’s been wrong about virtually everything during that time period, but this apparently counts for “experience” that no one questions). Obama, of course, can not, and so he is forced to ignore Palin’s tenure as Governor as though it has not happened. This really illustrates the fact that Biden ought to be running for President and Obama Vice President, and we ought to be having a conversation about whether Obama is qualified to be Veep. Instead, the Democrats nominated Obama, and it’s painfully clear that he isn’t the slightest bit qualified next to our Veep candidate, so Biden gets to be magnanimous while everyone else ignores that running Alaska is a much, much bigger job than anything Barack Obama has ever done.