It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. The Democrats and the Obama campaign are accusing Sarah Palin of being too inexperienced to be Vice-President.
This would be an excellent plan of attack—after all, she is relatively inexperienced for that high office— if it weren’t the case that Obama is clearly even less experienced, and he’s running for an office far higher.
If elected, it’s highly unlikely that Palin will have to serve as President, even given McCain’s age, which is really not all that advanced. But if Obama is elected, he will most definitely have to serve, and from Day One.
Democrats deal with this problem in one of two ways, or sometimes both. They ignore the elephant (donkey?) in the room by failing to mention the huge holes in the Obama resume; and/or they say that, with the Palin nomination, the same sort of contradiction is now present in Republicans who criticize Obama for his inexperience. The latter argument conveniently ignores the all-important fact that the Vice-Presidency is qualitatively different than the Presidency, as well as the fact that Palin’s somewhat meager experience is actually more relevant to an executive position such as POTUS than is Obama’s (unless you count the Presidency of the Harvard Law Review, which I don’t).
A wonderful (that’s sarcastic) example of the genre is this piece by Gail Collins in today’s NY Times. From it’s condescending and witless title (“McCain’s Baked Alaska”) to its snarky tone, it is typical in trashing Palin for being unprepared for the office and having been nominated only because of her gender—utterly ignoring the fact that this is pretty much the same argument that got groundbreaking former Democratic VP nominee Geraldine Ferraro into deep do-do with Democrats for daring to suggest the same about Obama’s race and inexperience.
Not smart. And it’s also not smart to assume, as Collins and others do, that Palin was picked solely to appeal to disaffected Hillary voters. There are plenty of other reasons, and they are good ones: she reinforces his maverick and reformer image, she is a charismatic and forceful person in her own right, she has more blue-collar appeal than Scranton-born Joe Biden, and she helps fire up the previously lukewarm Conservatives and evangelicals in Republican ranks. These pluses are formidable, and the Democratic Party ignores them at its peril.