Palin: A Brilliant Pick, Indeed

Sarah Palin, while an unlikely pick, is really shaking things up.  And while Stephen Nichols, my colleague at Static News, is adopting recent democratic talking points in his statement that her candidacy could be disastrous, I couldn't disagree more.  America is built upon ingenuity.  Our nation has often been led by individuals without extensive experience -- individuals who promise a new "hope" or "change" -- a "new kind of politics."  This is exactly what the Democratic party saw in Barack Obama.  His fresh perspective led to his nomination for the Democratic ticket, despite his lack of overall experience.

Now, Stephen mentioned two reasons for Sarah Palin's candidacy: 1) She's a woman and 2) She's young.  Both reasons are definitely a factor (more the forme

r than the latter), but her selection goes way beyond those demographics.  Sarah Palin is a maverick in her own regard.  She has fought corruption in Alaska and as governor -- she has worked to cap out of control government spending.  In many ways, her positives are reflective of McCain's (they have both fought for reform).  Now, let's take on some of Stephen's assumptions:

We have talked and talked about Obama’s inexperience to be president. But the Obama-Biden ticket as a whole offers the country 40 years of combined senatorial experience + the 8 years that Obama spent in the Illinois State House. The McCain-Palin ticket gives us 26 years congressional experience (all from McCain) + the 2 years experience as Governor of Alaska. - Stephen Nichols

First, what about McCain's military service and Palin's other accomplishments outside of her role as governor?  Twenty-six years is hardly a fair assessment.  Furthermore, the Obama-Biden ticket possess experience collectively, but most of that experience is bottom heavy.  Americans are uncomfortable with Obama's ability to lead on a number of issues (specifically, national security), so Obama went out to find someone who is capable in his areas of deficiency.  Allow me to present Biden's own words when he was debating Obama in the primaries:

"I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training." (On Obama's viability as president)

"Would I make a blanket commitment to meet unconditionally with the leaders of each of those countries within the first year I was president? Absolutely, positively no." (On Obama's promise to meet unconditionally with rogue world leaders)

"My impression is he thinks that if we leave, somehow the Iraqis are going to have an epiphany. I've seen zero evidence of that." (Biden on Obama's Iraq plan)

And then there are Hillary Clinton's words about Obama:

“I have a lifetime of experience I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he made in 2002.”

These comments clearly show ideas that contradict the love and support that Biden and Clinton are throwing behind Obama today.  It's really sad to see individuals depart so forcefully from the truth -- and all for political purposes.  Stephen continues:

When a President Obama requires advice from Vice President Biden, he can expect to get accurate and thorough coaching in foreign policy and national defense. When a President McCain requires advice from a Vice President Palin, what advice shall she offer him? - Stephen Nichols

Again, what Stephen doesn't mention in his above statements are Sarah Palin's other modes of experience prior to becoming governor; she has practical and mayoral experience as well.  Furthermore, a president Obama should never "require" advice from Biden.  He should, however, seek it when it is needed.  Unfortunately, Obama's lack of experience makes "require" a painful reality.  The problem with this entire comparison of Palin and Obama is the fact that they actually have similar levels of experience.  The difference?  Sarah Palin is a VP nominee and not the presidential nominee.  And to answer the question presented in the latter: Palin can offer experience as much as Obama can.  She can provide insight on energy, the economy, etc.  Acting as though Obama is more experienced borders on the absurd.

Also, let's note that no president relies entirely on his vice-president.  A team of experts and cabinet members provide oversight and guidance.  Furthermore, the vice-president is typically little more than a figurehead with limited tasks as it is.  If McCain died -- God forbid -- Palin would be fine.  The Democrats aren't worried about this being a disaster for the American people; they're worried about 1) Not making history first by placing an African American or a woman in the White House and 2) Losing the election now that the McCain camp has solidified its dream team. 

Sarah Palin is an American success story.  A hockey mom turned politician, her life showcases how a typical American can rise up to become a great leader.  Palin was surely the right decision.