Of 'Executive Experience' and Stupidity.

As the GOP has settled on a narrative for Sarah Palin, a phrase which keeps getting thrown around is: “she has more executive experience than Obama.”

According to Merriam-Webster, ‘executive’ is defined as the following:

1a: of or relating to the execution of the laws and the conduct of public and national affairs b: belonging to the branch of government that is charged with such powers as diplomatic representation, superintendence of the execution of the laws, and appointment of officials and that usually has some power over legislation (as through veto)

2a: designed for or relating to execution or carrying into effect <executive board> b: having administrative or managerial responsibility <executive director>

3: of or relating to an executive <the executive offices>

According to this definition, Sarah Palin does, indeed, have ‘executive experience.’ And so does every other governor and mayor in this country. But, I ask you, are all mayors and governors now qualified to be vice president of these United States?*

The obvious answer to this question is ‘no, all mayors and governors are not qualified to be vice president of these United States.’

And this is the point where McCain surrogates and supporters retort: “but, she has MORE executive experience than Obama does!”

And that makes about as much sense as comparing Palin’s qualifications to McCain’s. By the measure of ‘executive experience,’ McCain is less qualified to lead the U.S. than Palin. She’s also much more dynamic, and less likely to die in office. Perhaps she should be at the top of the ticket?

Some people believe that the years Obama spent as a constitutional law professor at a top university, as an Illinois state senator, and as a U.S. senator aren’t equal to Palin’s years on a small city council, mayor of a city with a population of 6,000, and (20 months) as governor of the 47th largest state in the union. Some people think that Obama’s experience outweighs Palin’s.

Ultimately, as he mentioned in a recent press conference, Barack Obama isn’t running against Sarah Palin. He’s running against John McCain. This attempt to sidetrack the race from one between two presidential candidates, to a cage match between a vice presidential candidate appointee, and a person who received 18 million votes from the people is stupid.

Moreover, this snarling fight about arugula, elitism, experience, patriotism, hockey moms, and what have you (all narratives introduced by the GOP) are a distraction from the issues. Issues, which, even Republicans admit, they have to avoid because they simply can’t win based on their platform.

*Or maybe just the mavericky ones?

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  • aisha

    Only two senators have been able to go straight to the top of the ticket in the history of this country. Knowing that, is it any surprise that McCain picked a governer? The people have been picking the person with the executive experience for years. They knew what they were doing.

    Controlling the narrative is what the GOP does. Remember George Bush Jr. is a cowboy rancher. So the DNC needs to control their image.

  • quadmoniker

    Aisha, you’re right. The only thing here is, look how quickly the Republicans adopted the message of “Change.” Just a few weeks ago, the message was “experience” and “change” was an empty word. I think, in some ways, the Democrats have more of a hold on the narrative this time and the Republicans are following.