Monday, September 01, 2008

Palin vs. Obama

I was going to write a blog post about McCain's selection of Sarah Palin but Gerard Baker pretty much made all my points for me:
Political experience

Obama: Worked his way to the top by cultivating, pandering to and stroking the most powerful interest groups in the all-pervasive Chicago political machine, ensuring his views were aligned with the power brokers there.

Palin: Worked her way to the top by challenging, attacking and actively undermining the Republican party establishment in her native Alaska. She ran against incumbent Republicans as a candidate willing and able to clean the Augean Stables of her state's government.

Political Biography

Obama: A classic, if unusually talented, greasy-pole climber. Held a succession of jobs that constitute the standard route to the top in his party's internal politics: "community organizer", law professor, state senator.

Palin: A woman with a wide range of interests in a well-variegated life. Held a succession of jobs - sports journalist, commercial fisherwoman, state oil and gas commissioner, before entering local politics. A resume that suggests something other than burning political ambition from the cradle but rather the sort of experience that enables her to understand the concerns of most Americans.

Political history

Obama: Elected to statewide office only after a disastrous first run for a congressional seat and after his Republican opponent was exposed in a sexual scandal. Won seat eventually in contest against a candidate who didn't even live in the state.

Palin: Elected to statewide office by challenging a long-serving Republican incumbent governor despite intense opposition from the party.
Think about it: while Obama worked his way up through the establishment and has hardly made any waves within his party, Palin has led the charge against fellow Republicans in an effort to clean up political corruption. While Palin was out rejecting federal pork for the state and selling the state jet in a bid for fiscal responsiblity, Obama was voting in favor of ethanol to help the farm lobby and urges an end to secret ballots on union membership to please big labor.
Who is the real candidate of change here? Who really represents a break from the ordinary? Who is from the establishment and who is the real outsider?

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