Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Palin: Neither accomplished or experienced.

I'm getting a lot of noise from various Republican punditry that McCains VP running mate, Sarah Palin, is every bit as experienced as Sen Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton and, strangely enough, it appears that this sort of ridiculous propaganda spin is going without opposition.

That is as ridiculous a statement as can be made and it's strange to think anyone would believe such nonsense. If we narrow the comparison to Hillary vs. Palin (thereby sidestepping any potential woman-bashing liabilities), we can illustrate just how crazy using the words Palin and Hillary in the same sentence really is.

When we cast ballots for a first-time running candidate, we are voting for that candidates accomplishments as a human being. To say that the accomplishments of Hillary (or Obama) are equal to that of Mrs. Palins is to denigrate the qualities of the accomplished and elevate the status of the common.

Hillary Clinton Accomplishments.
  • In 1969, Hillary was the first student to deliver commencement address as Wellesly College where she majored in Political Science. Wellesly College, the original 'Seven Sisters', is consistently ranked among the top five liberal arts colleges in The United States and is highly selective. Not too shabby for Hillary, the daughter of immigrants.
  • Attended Yale Law School where she served on the editorial board of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action. While at Yale, Clinton took on cases of child abuse at Yale-New Haven Hospital and volunteered at New Haven Legal Services to provide free legal advice for the poor.
  • First female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979.
  • As first Lady, forwarded the Clinton Health Care plan, though did not gain congressional approval. Advocated for the State Children's Health Insurance Program, Adoption and Safe Families Act, Foster Care Independence Act.
  • Elected as Senator for New York State in 2000 and was reelected by a wide margin in 2006
Sarah Palin Accomplishments
  • 1984, Palin won the Miss Wasilla Pageant and was second runner up in the Miss Alaska pageant, where she won a college scholarship as well as an award for "Miss Congeniality".
  • Palin attended college in Hawaii Pacific College, North Idaho College, University of Idaho finally receiving her BS six years after starting college in communications-journalism from Matanuska-Susitna College in 1987.
  • She worked briefly as a sports reporter for KTUU-TV in Anchorage.
  • She began her political career in 1992, when she won a three-year term on the Wasilla city council (pop 7,000).
  • Served two terms as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.
  • Was Ethics Supervisor of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004 after losing bid for lieutenant governor of Alaska in 2002.
  • Served twenty months as Governor of Alaska (pop 600,000).
Frankly, to put Palin & Hillary in the same sentence requires a great deal of justification because the only thing these two politician share is a Y chromosome.

Hillary Clinton, has proven herself an accomplished academic with a good mind and was accepted into two prestigious universities. Unlike Bush, Kerry or other sons of privilege, Hillery was not granted the luxery of "Gentleman's C's" in either university. She had to work for it. Furthermore, Hillary has a long record of community volunteer work and her achievements as a lawyer earned her a partnership with her law firm. Being the wife of President Bill Clinton certainly didn't hurt her chances of being elected as senator, but nobody can say she didn't earn her rightful place in the halls of the senate.

Palin's accomplishments, on the other hand, appear to be exclusively centered around the skills one learns as a beauty pageant contestant. Speaking well in front of a microphone looking good doing it. If there are any other skills on her resume, I am hard pressed to find them. If being a two term mayor for a town of 7,000 people is impressive, that would be a first for me. If being governor of a state whose population is half that of the city of Dallas, Texas for less than two years is impressive, I'm not exactly sure what to say. We're talking apples and oranges.

We vote for people who are accomplished people because we except something to be accomplished when they are in office. Personally, I like the idea that elected officials are smarter than me, though I understand some people find that a little intimidating.

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