Palin’s Experience -- Useful Comparisons

by Jonathan H. Adler

Those who are focused on Palin’s experience (or alleged lack thereof) should compare her experience with other recent presidential contenders.  Gov. Howard Dean, for example, held two part-time political jobs before he was Governor of Vermont, a state less economically consequential than Alaska.  While he addressed health care there, he certainly did not have to deal with the energy, federal lands, or native populations issues that face an Alaska governor, and while he had been Leiutenant Governor, he had no experience comparable to Palin’s time on the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservaiton Commission.  Or take Senator John Edwards.  He was a one term Senator and . . . . well, and nothing else.  Yes, he was on the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his legislative record was not particularly distinguished.  I’d also suggest that Gov. Palin’s experience is not signfiicantly less than that of our current President before he entered the Oval Office. So, my question to the experience hawks out there (and I’m not one of them) is where were you when these other folks were on the national stage?  Was Gov. Dean’s lack of experience a source of concern?  Or does something else explain the obsessive concern with Gov. Palin, such as an elitist, urban, east-coast bias or (perhaps) just a whiff of sexism?  Just a thought.

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