Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Dems' Upside-Down ticket

There's a lot of fake hand-wringing over whether Palin has enough experience to take over if something happens to McCain. Yes, I think it is legitimate to ask the question, but it is absurd coming from the Obama camp, particularly when Palin's experience is comparable (or in some instances superior) to Obama's.

The real question: "Does Barack Obama have the experience to take over, if – God forbid – something happens to Joe Biden?"

As I mentioned before, it is not enough for a leader to have good advisors (assuming you want to call Joe Biden a good advisor).

The Democratic ticket is upside-down on experience. Question Palin's experience all you want, but our ticket is aligned correctly on that dimension. Our fall-back pick is as good as their number one. And your number two ain't so hot in my book either.


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

See below for quote regarding the Bridge to Nowhere from Anchorage Daily News 10/22/06 while Palin was running for governor.
"Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges? Palin: Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now—while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist"
Matt

Sockless Joe said...

Yeah, the honeymoon will end soon enough. There are at least a few issues I'm aware of that will be brought up. Of the ones I know about, I don't think any are deal breakers for a veep pick. She doesn't have any more 'splainin' to do than Romney would have.

Anonymous said...

Also - don't forget that people were fine having Bush be president even though something might happen to Cheney.

~MJA

Sockless Joe said...

1) That was admittedly not the greatest idea.
2) Why should we repeat that configuration?
3) Times were different in 1999/2000.
4) Kerry in 2004? The "Giant Douche" to Bush's "Turd Sandwich", backed up by The Silky Pony.

Samay said...

Let's not also forget that Palin's "authenticity" (whatever that means) only underscores what an out of touch elitist McCain is. The biggest thing she does is remind everyone of all of McCain's many weaknesses.
Flip-flopper, elitist, DC insider, old, doesn't share "heartland values", etc.

Sockless Joe said...

I'm by no means in love with John McCain. I think the elitist thing has some partial truth to it, though I'm of the opinion that he is mostly removed from the realities of how staggeringly rich his wife really is. During the primary it was Romney writing all the big checks to himself. Cindy's money is separate from John's, and he had to raise most of his own campaign funds.

"Elitist" is used in two slightly different ways. There is the familiar classist use, where it's a mostly a matter of pure wealth (Kerry's or McCain's houses, Romney's wealth) where the implication is that the person isn't grounded in the realities of the lower classes.

The second way has more of an academic flavor, as in "I know better than all you ignorant proles", as exemplified by Obama's "bitter" remarks.

The second meaning is where Republicans have done a lot of damage against Democrats over the years, and Democrats by and large don't understand that.

Anonymous said...

Which of those definitions includes when leaders at earlier points in their life get access/opportunities not available to similarly qualified "regular folks". This is certainly not unique to either side of the aisle. McCain's class rank of 894/899 @ Naval Academy suggests that perhaps he was not performing @ a level on par with his classmates. Do you think that perhaps being the grandson of a 4 star admiral, and the son of a 4 star admiral, may have helped gain admission? Do you think there are implications on the perspective that such a person might have? As for Palin - certainly not an elitist, but I would argue equally out of touch with "average" Americans (very in touch with the average Alaskan which is a somewhat different critter).
Matt

Samay said...

In addition to what Matt said, usually 5th from the bottom of an Academy class does not get you into a fighter wing, the hardest branch of the military to get into.
Unless your dad's the admiral.

Sockless Joe said...

There's no denying McCain's family background probably bestowed a certain elitism. Not sure if it more closely resembles the wealth/class or intellectual version of elitism. I'm guessing an admiral's family would be comfortable but not rich, but would also enjoy certain privileges normally reserved for Old Money.

From the limited exposure I've had, there's something to be said of the average Alaskan, and for the use of "dude" and "awesome" without irony.

I'm struck by Mark Steyn's description of Palin as "hyper American", which touches on what I and others would call authenticity.

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong - I dig on Alaskans - I grew up here after all. What I would say is that we owe more to the Oil Industry than anywhere else in the country. Of the total revenue for FY 2007 - Alaska had 5.2 billion dollars of oil revenue (of 12.3 billion dollars total, including Federal spending). On top of that - every Alaskan gets a check that is ultimately tied to earnings on Alaska's Oil revenue (~$2000 this year/alaskan). Her husband works for BP - and they view the income from BP indispensable (her income as Governor didn't cut it). While I don't think any of this is wrong, I don't think it leaves her independent when it comes to oil. In her 20 months as Governor she's had to balance one budget (she did make cuts but the overall budget rose) - and that in the setting of huge budget surpluses related to the quadrupling of oil prices after the war in Iraq. As for her experience in governing Wasilla - it's important to remember that this is a town of 6500 with many of those (I think it's like 20%-30%) being commuters to Anchorage (meaning outside income) with a capital budget of $11,000,000 (as of FY 2004 the last budget I could track down online)

I don't really know what "Hyper American" means. What I do know is that the last time we elected someone who was marketed as regular people (President Bush) - it didn't work out well. I don't want a soccer (or a hockey) mom as Vice President (or President). I want someone who is better than almost everyone. There's an inherent element of elitism in anyone who runs for public office @ a national level - they genuinely believe that they should run America - and that's a crazy thing for anyone to think. I think that for different reasons both parties should carefully consider the VP candidates (Reps: electing oldest president, Dems: First Black President).

I guess the other question I have is whether there is any data on how much a particular president (rather than party) drives policy. For example, how much of Bush's policy was driven by behind the scenes advisers, Cheney, Rove, etc. Beyond this - what happened to fiscal conservatism - how do you cut taxes while fighting 2 wars? Would you rather have a tax and spend liberal or a tax cut and spend "conservative"?
Matt

Sockless Joe said...

On the whole normalcy bit, I don't think that the criticism can be made both ways, that McCain is too rich and that Palin is too average. And you're right when you say "marketed".

Yeah, Palin's experience is thinner than I'd like. I would have preferred Jindal, who has less time as Gov, but was a member of Congress and did a few other things too. (I wonder if the hurricane affected this choice.)

McCain had probably maxed out on the whole experience kick. Palin does undercut that message to an extent, but maybe this will refocus some people on just how thin Obama's experience is too. Mayor of a piddly town still beats community organizer in my book. And again, in this case the comparison is Prez vs VP.

Fiscal cons are not happy with Bush. In principle you can borrow for a war, which theoretically has an end point and is not a perpetual expense. (The longer it drags out the less sustainable that borrowing becomes.) Bush might not have been reelected without Medicare-D, but we are paying a very heavy price for it. (And that IS a perpetual expense.)

Anonymous said...

In terms of experience, I think we should watch Alabama very closely over the next decade. Charles Barkley could very well make good on his promise to run for governor there and stands a real shot at winning. As long as he manages not to completely screw up the state, it doesn't seem like too far a stretch to see Sir Charles Barkley running for president in 2016 or 2020. And that would be awful for the other party, since none of the traditional attack ads would work. He readily admits to his past actions. In fact, it's a large reason why he's so beloved.

We'll see what happens...

~MJA

Anonymous said...

What I would say is that McCain is not too rich to be president, but he's too rich to act like he's not rich - he is not a regular joe. Whether it's his money or his wife's money, doesn't matter - dude's got bank. I think Palin is too "normal".

I guess the other thing I'm experiencing is I'm so damn tired of both sides. Both are taking the high road to the low road, and no-one is offering solutions. The fact that everyone has ~50% support suggests that neither sides hard liners are right - the Pelosi's are wrong and the Obamas are wrong and the McCain's are wrong and the Bush's are wrong, and Cheney is actually in league with the devil. Both sides end up pandering to their extreme base that rationality and reason get shot to hell. America's education system is collapsing. Our economy sucks. We aren't competitive and will never be competitive with the Chinese when it comes to wages. American industry is burdened with health care costs that aren't in place on foreign competitors. The overhead cost for government heatlhcare is 1/3 the overhead for private insurance. Global warming is a fact (whether Palin or Bush believe it or not). Changing our energy policy drastically and agressively away from oil/natural gas/coal (but not towards corn based ethanol cause that's just medicare part D type boondoggle pandering to special interests). As for Medicare D - the biggest failing in my mind is doing this through private insurance so there are 50 gajillion plans with different formularies and no bulk buying (which the govt does for IHS, VA) which would be where costs savings could come in. It's the worst of both worlds - big govt ala dems and big business ala reps. Train wreck. Neither party has done a damn bit of good for America as a whole, and no one has the long view - and in our current system none will. Having said that - my two cents is for the guy who's talking about multilateralism, it's for the guy who has the capacity to bring people together, and I could be just as wrong as the Bush supporters were in 2000 - but that's just where I'm at. Werd
Matt