The political buzz is not about Senator Obama’s nomination by the Democrat party last night. Instead it is about Senator McCain announcing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his Vice President candidate today. I don’t know what the polls will say, but I’ll bet that there won’t be much of a bounce for Obama as there will be for McCain.
Gov. Palin is younger than Obama, and has served less time as governor of Alaska than Obama has served as Senator, but there is a difference: Palin has seven years of executive experience as mayor and governor, while Obama has none.
Yes, liberals will bring up her inexperience, but that is a two-edged sword that can cut Obama deeper than it will cut Palin. If she is asked about her inexperience in a debate or news conference, she could respond in this way: “While it’s true that I am younger than Senator Obama, I bring seven years of executive experience to the position as compared to Senator Obama’s none. I would say I am better prepared for an executive position than he is.”
While I was completely wrong in my guess 20 months ago about who the Democrat and Republican candidates would be, I still stand by this paragraph:
Since the office of President is an executive position, it makes sense that people elect proven executives to that office. This could explain why so many state governors have been elected President (G. W. Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, F.D.R., Coolidge, Wilson, T. Roosevelt, McKinley). That makes nine the last time I counted them — nearly 50% of our Presidents since 1900. And whether the state is large or small, the office of Governor is an executive position. With all else being equal, I would prefer a candidate with proven executive experience over a legislator any day (but when do we ever have two candidates that are close to equal in belief and position?).
Of the Democrat and Republican candidates, only the Republican ticket brings executive experience to the job.