Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A well-oiled election machine in action

The McCain campaign is going to have to get better at explaining itself.

I almost felt bad for them while watching this exchange between CNN talking head Campbell Brown and campaign spokesperson Tucker Bounds.

Running a small state national guard = 'foreign policy experience'. How interesting. You learn something new every day.

A few worthwhile comments also available at Obsidian Wings on the 'experience' meme.

Palin was mayor of a town that has a fraction of the people present at an NFL game. She was also governor of a thinly-populated state — following an anti-incumbent reaction against corruption — that doesn’t have to struggle as much with limited budget revenues because of the state’s natural resources. She’s never been in the national spotlight, never operated under extreme stress, and just hasn’t had the type of responsibilities that even a governor of say Florida or California would have had.

Obama, by contrast, has had a much tougher time. He became a state legislator by navigating the local politics of a major urban center. He’s been a Senator. And most importantly, he’s been under unrelenting scrutiny for years — managing a presidential campaign masterfully and knocking off a Democratic President’s financial and political machine.

He’s also had to master the national spotlight, and respond to a million different type of questions. He’s also developed extensive policy positions and has defended them in debates and to the public for years. And he’s never lost his cool, showing calm judgment coupled with far-sighted strategic planning (e.g., early organizing, hesitancy to chase the news cycle).

In short, Palin’s “experience” trumps Obama’s only by elevating arbitrary categories over underlying factual realities. Now, it might be different if she had governed a state of many millions (like Reagan) and had won re-election. But she hasn’t — and the idea that calling everything “executive” trumps Obama’s accomplishments just doesn’t work.
As a commenter at the site points out: by a similar definition, Palin has more 'executive experience' than McCain.


Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. Is this interview what you would consider a normal CNN interview? I’m asking because whenever I happend to watch CNN I only ever thought "that’s something John Stewart could use" and I cannot remember ever seeing anyone on CNN asking all the right questions and being so tough.

Then again, it was pretty obvious that the answers given were not exactly on topic. But I have seen interviewees getting through with just that.

The Wife said...

"Tucker Bounds" - Abounds with sweet chocolate flavour!