Sunday, September 7, 2008

What Experience Sounds Like

Regarding Joe Biden's appearance on Meet the Press today, of which I caught a few moments: Tom Brokaw asked several valid and mostly substantive questions about Iraq and the so-called "surge" strategy, to which Biden responded in a way one would expect from a standing, experienced Senator. More than that, agree with him or not, his answers show that he's a longstanding member -- indeed the current chairman -- of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Barack Obama is also a standing Senator and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He's also a member of the Veteran's Affairs Committee and the committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. That is relevant and important experience of the sort that no small-town mayor or state governor can claim, and it goes above and beyond his experience as a community organizer.

Senators who sit on these committees take testimony from experts (some of it classified) and engage policy at the highest and most detailed level. They have a great deal of influence on the legislation that makes it to the consideration of the full Senate. In short, they have lot of say in the direction our federal government takes on the matters within their purview.

Sarah Palin is currently hiding from the press because even the McCain campaign realizes she is nowhere close to ready to give adequate answers to such questions.

If her "executive experience" as mayor of a tiny town and governor of a small state actually mattered to the job for which she's trying, she would not be hiding. She would be fielding the same kinds of questions Biden is fielding, speaking to the same substantive matters, and, agree with her or not, sounding knowledgeable and ready.

As it is, Palin has given a couple of snippy, frivolous speeches delivered to receptive audiences. Beyond that we have the churring of crickets, and no reason to believe she should be anywhere near the vice presidency.

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