Experience is no substitute for judgement


The hallelujah chorus of the Democrat National Committee and the mainstream media could hardly hide their glee at immediately condemning Gov. Sarah Palin as “lacking experience.” They noted that “less than two years ago Palin was the mayor of town of 9,000.”

The attitude of the DNC reflects the attitude of its candidate Sen. Barak Obama when he condemned people in small towns, clinging to their guns and religion. It is the recurrent perspective of liberal elites that those of us born, raised or living in small towns and rural areas are too dumb to know what is best for them, or their nation.

But, while experience can be a significant marker in determining the capabilities of a person, the real test is the quality of their judgment. In this instance, Gov. Palin rises head and shoulders over Sen. Obama.

The irony of the DNC’s condemnation of Palin as “lacking experience” is that Sarah Palin has more experience than the Democrat’s Sen. Obama does. Whereas Palin has been a mayor, an ethics commissioner and a governor — all demanding executive experience — Obama has been a “community organizer”, a state legislator and a freshman United States Senator. There is not one instance of executive experience that Obama or his supporters can point to as evidence of how Obama will govern, particularly govern under pressure.

Let’s understand the difference between judgment and experience. Experience is simply exposure over time to a set of problems. You can have experience without a single instance of problem solving. You can have experience without a single instance of accomplishment.

For instance, public employee unions (including the teachers’ unions) resist every attempt at evaluating the performance of their members. Instead, they demand that union pay be based on experience — longevity. Most public employee union contracts have annual salary increases PLUS a “step” increase which is an additional increase based solely on being employed for another year. The net result is that you routinely have underperforming public employees who are not only shielded from discipline and termination but who are rewarded annually for simply lasting another year. The top performance of other employees is ignored and, in fact, often times they are paid less than are those who have “experience” but no accomplishments.

While neither Gov. Palin nor Sen. Obama has extensive “experience” each has had opportunity to demonstrate their respective judgments. So let’s see how they stack up.

Gov. Palin twice ran against and beat incumbents — first as mayor and then as governor. In both instances she ran on a clean government, reform promise. Sen. Obama ran for the state legislature out of a safe Democrat district in Chicago and won his first contest by managing the disqualification of all of his primary opponents. Obama won his United States Senate seat in a fluke election in which his odds-on-favorite Republican opponent, Jack Ryan, got caught in a sordid sex scandal including allegation that his actress wife, Jeri Ryan, refused to participate with him at sex clubs. Ryan was forced to withdraw leaving the Illinois GOP in shambles and Obama coasted to his only win on the national stage.

When confronted by corruption in the oil and gas industry in Alaska, Palin, then a state oil and gas commissioner and ethics commissioner, resigned in protest over then-Gov. Frank Murkowski’s failure to address what she perceived as institutional corruption by fellow Republican members. She followed through by filing complaints against Commissioner Randy Ruedrich (then Chairman of the Alaska Republican Party) and the Alaska Republican Attorney General Greg Renkes. Both were forced to resign and Ruedrich was forced to pay the largest ethics fine in Alaska history.

When confronted with corruption in the public housing industry in Chicago by developer Tony Retzko, Sen. Obama turned to him as one of his primary fundraisers. Obama’s state legislative district contained at least eleven of the “housing projects” that were involved in a complicated scheme that left hundreds of Obama’s constituents living in squalid conditions and netted Retzko millions of dollars. Later, after Retzko was under indictment, Obama utilized Retzko’s wife to aid in the purchase of his multi-million dollar home in Chicago.

When confronted with the questionable actions by the leaders of Alaska’s Republican Party who sought to groom her for higher office, Gov. Palin publicly rebuked Sen. Ted Stevens, demanding that he clean up the corruption in his office for which he was subsequently indicted. She then ran against and defeated then-Gov. Murkowski.

When confronted by a controversial, race-baiting, hate mongering Chicago minister, Sen. Obama sought him out, joined his congregation and remained a member of his fold for over twenty years. When the controversial sermons and speeches of Rev. Jeremiah Wright threatened to derail Obama’s presidential bid, and only then, Obama first attempted to defend Wright, then denied he ever heard Wright spew the filth and hate that became national news. That left Obama as only one of two people in the congregation — the other being his wife, Michelle – to have professed ignorance of Wright’s routine condemnation of white America. Obama finally threw Wright under the campaign bus, declaring that “this Wright” was not the Wright he knew in his twenty years as a member of his congregation.

When confronted with a nationally known and recognized terrorist and former leader of the radical Weather Underground, William Ayers, Sen. Obama sought him out, joined various boards of directors with him, funneled charitable monies to his projects, and imposed upon him to host his announcement of candidacy in his home. Ayers remains unapologetic about his role in the bombings of the Pentagon and police stations and asserts that his only regret is that they did not bomb more. When his connection to Ayers was made public, Obama sought to minimize their relationship by declaring him simply to be “a person who lived in his neighborhood” and whose children went to school with Obama’s two daughters. Subsequent disclosures about the extend of Obama’s friendship and association with Ayers and the fact that Obama’s daughters did not attend school with Ayer’s children have resulted in a stony silence from the Obama campaign and a reluctance by the mainstream media to inquire further of their preferred candidate.

When confronted about the issue of abortion, Gov. Palin, knowing that her most recent child suffered from Down’s Syndrome, chose to remain true to her belief in the sanctity of life and bring the child into the world. Her son, Trig, joined her in her introduction as Sen. John McCain’s running mate and while introducing her children she chose to ignore his disability, celebrating instead his addition to their family.

When confronted about the issue of abortion, Sen. Obama became the only member of the Illinois legislature to vote against a measure that prohibited the medical community from withholding care for a child born alive during an abortion. When confronted with his radical position and the cruelty of his stance, Obama chose to lie about his justification for his vote. When subsequently confronted with his lies, Obama chose again to invoke a stony silence, trusting that his allies in the mainstream media would inquire no further.

Yes, experience can be an asset, but there is no substitute for judgment. Gov. Palin has demonstrated a remarkable and consistent ability to make the right judgment. Sen. Obama has demonstrated a remarkable and consistent lack of judgment and a willingness to run from responsibility for his own actions.

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  • RinoWatch

    The left has taken their shot, missed their target and will be field dressed on Prime Time Television tonight!

  • Gullyborg

    and less than four years ago, Obama was a community organizer…

  • Rob Hale

    Thank you to Larry Huss for an informative and well presented article. Of course, as it supports my opinion, I like it better than some would. I would certainly like to have the political arena in this country to be more civilized and respectful, as your article is. Let us elect McCain and Palin and move forward!

  • Joey Link

    Great post 😉

  • Larry

    Hey, where’s the sleeze? What happened?? Did I miss the memo????

    Oh, wait a minute… dean, eagle eye, etc have not yet joined the conversation to include their ‘factual’ analysis.

    Two things will happen in the next 2+ months.

    First, the records of McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden will get indepth exploration and exploitation by the MSM (in reverse order, respectively).

    Second, the American public will see through the smoke, watch the debates and see who “walks their talk” , get really pi$$ed off at the water-carrying the MSM does for the Dems, and then vote for change in Nov.

    And for the third time in less than a decade, the left will wonder what actually happend in November (racists population, vote machine errors, polling errors, vote fraud, and other liberal excuses of their failure to nominate an electable ticket). Oboma/Biden, the #1 and #2 most liberal do nothing but pontificate Senators, are not electable.

  • JesseO

    Palin supported the Bridge to Nowhere.

    How does supporting a $230 million project to serve a town of 50 people show good judgment, especially to fiscal conservatives?

    • Davis

      She supported *A* bridge to better connect the town of Ketchikan (itself on an island, BTW) to its airport, as well as about 50 inhabitants, on Gravina Island. At the time of the Congressional earmark, Frank Murkowski was governor and was, no doubt, one of the powers behind Stevens and Young to push the funding through Congress. By the time she expressed her support for a bridge, during the general election campaign for governor, Congress had already sent the money to Alaska _with no strings attached_ AND the cost for the planned bridge was over $300 million (when finally killed by Gov. Palin, the cost was projected to be $398 million). Even while expressing support for a bridge, she also stated that less-costly alternatives needed to be examined to determine if they could provide equivalent benefit. As she stated in her Dayton speech, Alaska can build the connector on their own, as well they should.

  • Bob Clark

    I don’t think experience is totally off the table, either, as many want. Palin is running for the vice presidential nomination, and should have several years to gain federal executive experience through an orderly mentoring process. For the Dems, the mentee Obama is making the decisions, and will be taking input from more than mentor Biden.

    I hope Palin makes a good presentation, tonight.

  • eagle eye

    “Experience no substitute for judgment”. That is sure on the mark. What was McCain thinking? Obama seems to have pulled ahead in the polls. A week ago McCain was even with him. How will this disaster play out?

  • Anonymous

    Ah, there is eagle eye. I’m excited to see how this plays out. I hope she knocks their socks off.

    • dean

      Hope is not a strategy. McCain’s best hope at this point is the belief that people don’t vote for or against VPs.

      • Gullyborg

        Dean once again demonstrates his complete lack of insight into the American people. McCain is glad people will vote FOR Sarah Palin!

        • dean

          Dean and Gully are presumably equal American people, maybe with eaqual insight abilities, and maybe not. After all, there are a lot of American people. Sometimes they vote as I prefer, and sometimes as you prefer. It doesn’t make either of us smarter or dumber, it just has to do with timing. I suspect the timing is not on McCain’s side, given the record of the administration he is trying to succeed.

  • John in Oregon

    Along with experience and judgment is another question, does Palin have the steel to face down someone like Putin That she faced down a siting senior Senator and a Governor tells me Yes.

    Dean I doubt that hope is the strategy being used by the McCain campaign Particularly given the frothing at the mouth, furry, and slime of the last few days.

    When veteran journalist Cokie Roberts, who is normally fairly low profile, objects to liberal concoctions designed to dismiss Palin’s qualifications before the Governor has had a chance make her case to the American public that tells you something. Cokie was very direct about media misbehavior on both ABC News This Week and PBS’s Charlie Rose.

    Dean you said earlier > *I don’t think Obama said anything about Palin as a small town mayor. One of his staff did say somethign (sic) to that effect, but Obama congratulated her and left it at that.*

    *Fox News*
    Tuesday, September 2, 2008
    Barack Obama said
    QUOTE Well, my understanding is that Governor Palin’s town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We’ve got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made clear over the last couple of years. UNQUOTE

    And you commented > *Today he [Obama] asked everyone to stop dragging her daughter’s surprise pregnancy into this, and said he would fire any of his staff who did so.*

    It’s more than just the “surprise pregnancy”. Its Palin wearing a “fat suit”, rushing back to Alaska for the birth of the daughter’s defective mongoloid child. And all the rest of the slime.

    The facts are this:
    *Routers*
    Tue Sep 2, 2008

    A senior McCain official said its camp had no evidence that the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama was pushing the story, but said the blog rumors circulating on websites that appeared to support Obama had the effect of being “a real anchor around the Democratic ticket.”

    The Routers story made it clear that after nearly for days, and in response to the McCain staffer, Obama said:
    “We don’t go after people’s families. We don’t get them involved in the politics. It’s not appropriate and it’s not relevant. Our people were not involved in any way in this and they will not be. And if I ever thought there was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they’d be fired,”

    Since then I have noted in the news.

    *TOP OBAMA {CAMPAIGN FUNDRAISING] BUNDLER Attempts to Storm Stage During Palin Speech*

    “Jodie Evans, one of a group of about 500 top financiers who have bundled tens of thousands of dollars for the Obama campaign was seized by the Secret Service after she had made her way to side of the stage and started to yell at Palin. ”

    And this

    *John McCain’s Mother and Daughter Abused By Leftist (Video)*

    Huffington Post writer Max Blumenthal harassed John McCain’s 95 year old mother and daughter at the RNC Convention last night.

    • dean

      John…my comment about what Obama said was prior to your September 2 quote, which anyway I don’t read as anti-small town mayor. He apparently was comparing their experiences running operations. Both of their resumes are fair game for criticism and comparison.

      I believe Obama’s comments were about leaving family members out. And you can’t hold him responsible for every wild internet rumor can you? Otherwise he should hold McCain responsible for the rumors that he (Obama) s a Muslim.

      The election should be about the policies each team would pursue, and their capabilities to lead. All the rest…who said what that might have offended whom…is just distraction. In a year or 2 one or the other of them will be president, and no one will care about some internet rumor mill, but we will care about our economy, our foreign relations, our wars, our energy policies,a dn so forth. Don’t you agree?

  • Anonymous

    “Hope is not a strategy”

    I’m so glad you agree with Palin.

    You might want to write speeches for her in the future.

  • John in Oregon

    Thanks Davis

    Your facts about Palin and the bridge to nowhere are precisely correct.

    I posted the details on this in a previous post. Including the source, dates (2005 and 2007) and who was involved, including the former Governor and Senator Stevens.

    For some facts don’t matter and truth doesn’t make a good bumper sticker.

    By the way, did anyone notice?

    The claim is that Palin is a terrible choice and will cost McCain the election. To prove this the pro Obama left is taking a page from the sliming of Bork and Thomas to knock her out.

    I would think if true, that Palin is a terrible choice, then the better tactic would to wait to the general campaign and let Palin pull McCain down.

    The frenzy of the Obama left makes clear they know she is an asset.

    Go barracuda.

  • John in Oregon

    Dean you commented > *[M]y comment about what Obama said was prior to your September 2 quote…*

    True, the FOX report quotes Obama from late Sunday or Monday (wasn’t clear in the story). However your point was to dismiss the statement as just a staffer. Here the statement is repeated unquestionably from Obamas own mouth. There may be earlier news items but that wasn’t necessary to make the point.

    > *He apparently was comparing their experiences running operations. Both of their resumes are fair game for criticism and comparison.*

    Compare and contrast of both resumes is fair. Revisionist resumes is not. For Obama to snip, edit and remove the post of Governor of Alaska, Alaska Ethics Commission, bringing down corruption, defeat of a standing Governor, and negotiation of an international pipeline is far from compare and contrast.

    > *I believe Obama’s comments were about leaving family members out. And you can’t hold him responsible for every wild internet rumor can you? Otherwise he should hold McCain responsible for the rumors that he (Obama) s (sic) a Muslim.*

    First, McCain publicly squashed using Obama’s middle name. It took him all of 4 minutes to do so.

    Second, I know some think that Obama is Muslim although I find no basis for this belief.

    Third on a regular basis I consult a large number of information sources. If there were an organized or even a disorganized Obama is a Muslim smear campaign I would have seen it and I saw NONE. In fact I see conservative, religious and Republican sources saying Obama is NOT a Muslim.

    SO, McCain has been on the right side by opposing smears.

    As for Obama on this issue, a McCain campaign spokesman;

    “A senior McCain official said its camp had no evidence that the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama was pushing the story, but said the blog rumors circulating on websites that appeared to support Obama had the effect of being “a real anchor around the Democratic ticket.”

    Who are these websites the McCain staffer referred to? The dailykos which both Clinton and Obama aggressively courted, the Huffington Post operated by Arianna Huffington , former California Governortorial candidate, and Blue Oregon come to mind.

    > *The election should be about the policies each team would pursue, and their capabilities to lead. All the rest…who said what that might have offended whom…is just distraction.*

    In an ideal world the campaign should be about judgment, policies, accomplishments, experience, philosophy of governance, and other tangibles the candidates offer.

    However, equally important, this discussion is about the campaign tactics intended to destroy Sarah Palin. Tactics intended to damage campaigns and move votes. No way can that be called just a distraction.

    > * In a year or 2 one or the other of them will be president, and no one will care about some internet rumor mill, but we will care about our economy, our foreign relations, our wars, our energy policies,a dn (sic) so forth. Don’t you agree?*

    Sorry I don’t agree, this discussion is about the political Dog Pile on Palin, the perception of voters and how it moves votes. Discounting “who said what that might have offended whom” as a distraction? Sorry. If you do not understand it, then you do not understand it

    Just the same the effects remain real. Disregarding the surrogates, the New York Times ran 67 articles attacking Palin in less than 36 hours. An average 20 attack articles per day.

    What have we been told about Palin? What do we know? The names of her children, the medical history of her children, the names of the boyfriend, her sisters divorce, in short every little person detail in less that 6 days. And, on the other hand Dean, what do you know about Public Allies?

    So what are the results?

    According to a Rasmussen pole taken before Palin’s Wednesday speech:

    > Over half of U.S. voters think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage.

    > 24% say those stories make them _more likely_ to vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in November.

    > Sixty-eight percent of voters now believe most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win.

    > In another survey, 55% said media bias is a bigger problem for the electoral process than large campaign donations.

    > In a survey taken after Palin’s Wednesday speech Palin’s approval rating was 58%, higher than Obama or McCain.

    _Internet rumors._

    Notwithstanding your attempted framing, this is a real rumor.

    Shay at bookerrising (after Booker T Washingtion) posted the following;

    “I took the shuttle bus back to Minneapolis, and I overheard a convention organizer named Phil telling a convention delegate that the protesters on Wednesday night got through because of media credentials that were traced back to MSNBC (he told her that each credential has an individual bar code for each convention invitee). They suspect MSNBC this time as well.”

    One independent fact I can add here comes from a FOX reporter providing a color segment on the Democrat Convention. He mentioned that they had met former Democrat presidential candidate George Magovern who could not get credentials to get into the convention. FOX provided Magovern one of their passes so he could attend. The media such as MSNBC do have passes to hand out.

    I have no doubt that Shay accurately reported his observations. This currently remains a rumor and the act of the organizer recounting the information to a delegate was its self a rumor.

    • dean

      McCain picked a VP who up until a week ago was unheard of by most of the American people. She is young, has a very thin resume, and no known policy positions on national and international issues. He wants her one heartbeat behind him. And…we live in the age of bloggers and instant news, not the age of ponderous reporting.

      Given all that, I have seen nothing to date that surprises me. We have about 10 weeks to figure out who this person is, what she thinks, what her positions are, and so forth. McCain apparently failed to do the in depth vetting normally done for VP candidates, no FBI interview, no search of public and private records about her, no interviews with her neighbors, family, and acquantences. So yes, we now have a media circus doing the vetting he did not do.

      Rumors are going to fly into the void. Most will be crap. Some will be mean spirited. A few will have some or substantial truth. It takes time to sort the wheat from the chaff. I say…get over it. She wants the numoer duo position of the United states government. Well she is not going to sneak in the back door unimpeded. She has subjecter her life and her family’s life to a degree of scrutiny she and they have never experienced. Crying “not fair” gets you and her about as far as it got Hillary. She is not going to win on a sympathy vote that the media was too hard on her. And she is not going to be inoculated from investigative reporting.

      “The media” has a job to do here, and it is to investigate, ask hard questions, dig beneath the surface, find out as much of the truth about Palin as they can in a short period, and report back to we the people. Let the wild rumpus begin.

      By the way, in an interview yesterday, it was apparent that Cindy McCain was not aware of Palin’s rather extreme position on abortion. Vetting? Not so much.

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