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Mar 31st
Home Columns Op-Ed Page Governor Palin Has More Executive Experience than Senator Obama
Governor Palin Has More Executive Experience than Senator Obama PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Op-Ed Page
Thursday, 18 September 2008 13:07
Editorial Against the New York Times’ Editorial: Governor Palin Has More Experience than Senator Obama

Don Azarias, a Filipino-American community leader from Chicago, posted the following comments about a recent editorial of the New York Times, excerpts of which are reproduced hereunder.

Mr. Azarias said: “This kind of editorial from the New York Times, a Democrat-leaning newspaper, does not surprise me at all. But since it is part of the mainstream media, its opinions, when presented to the voting public, can carry a lot weight and can sway a lot of undecided voters. For most part, the NY Times is doing the voting public a great disservice because it stops being objective and will only dwell on negativity concerning its perceived opponents. The NY Times Op-Ed writers presented their views that reek with lies and distorted half-truths and that, in my opinion, is tantamount to ‘prostituting the press.’


“After President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, his Vice President and successor, Andrew Johnson, a tailor with no college degree from the State of Tennessee, took over the presidency. The Civil War had just ended, but he was able to stand on his own feet and played an important role during the Reconstruction Era. True, he fought with the Legislative Branch and was almost removed from office. But, at least, he fought for his convictions. Doesn't he come to you as a strong leader? Yes, he was inexperienced and had no college degree.


“After President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died, his Vice President and successor, Harry Truman, a politician with no college degree from the State of Missouri, became the President of the United States. He was so decisive and he negotiated with our enemies from a position of strength. He ended World War II swiftly by dropping the weapon of mass destruction for the first time in the history of mankind. He fired General Douglas MacArthur just to show the military leaders that they should constitutionally subordinate themselves to a civilian leader. It was only in later years that the pundits ranked him as one of the best Presidents of the United States. Yes, he was inexperienced and had no college degree.


“Although I never voted for President George Bush, I subscribe to the Bush Doctrine: ‘Attack and destroy the enemy before they come to our shore.’ He had the support of 95% of the American people when he ordered the Iraq invasion. But, of course, as the war got longer and casualties rose, it became an unpopular war. The American people also have short memories. They have also forgotten that President Bill Clinton had a chance to kill Osama bin Ladin but he forgo that chance. Now they are blaming George Bush and the Republicans.


“Let us just hope that the best candidate wins this election. As far as those editorials and bloggers are concerned, they could stick their misguided opinions where they belong.”


Then Mr. Azarias sent in a follow-up commentary. He said: “As an addendum to my earlier response to the Democrat-leaning New York Times editorial questioning Governor Sarah Palin's qualifications and fitness to take over as President in the event of death or assassination of the incumbent, the simplest thing that those bozos could have done was to look back in time and analyze the past political events involving presidential succession in the Executive Branch of the Federal government.


“Four Vice Presidents succeeded to the presidency upon the assassination of the incumbent: Andrew Johnson for Abraham Lincoln in 1865, Chester Arthur for James Garfield in 1881, Theodore Roosevelt for William McKinley in 1901, and Lyndon Johnson for John Kennedy in 1963.


“Similarly, four Vice Presidents inherited the presidency after the natural death of the incumbent: John Tyler for William Henry Harrison in 1841, Millard Fillmore for Zachary Taylor in 1850, Calvin Coolidge for Warren Harding in 1923, and Harry Truman for Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1945.


“Of course, we all know that situations involving a Vice President taking over the presidency for whatever reason are not unprecedented. And as tragic as the events could be, the United States had lived through it all and emerged as an even stronger and greater nation and the leader of the free world.  


“Those eight Vice Presidents who succeeded to the presidency were able to fill the big shoes of the Presidents they succeeded. How they performed in office, be it mediocre or excellent, will be judged by historians in years to come. How strong or weak their administrations were will always be scrutinized and analyzed by pundits and critics alike in trying to define their legacies. 


“Except for Andrew Johnson and Harry Truman, the six other Vice Presidents who became Presidents were college graduates and most of them had experiences in the Legislative Branch of the government and served as military officers. Andrew Johnson and Harry Truman, however, had no college degrees to speak of but they took over the Presidency during those troubled and trying times for the United States of America. While Mr. Truman is ranked in the top ten of Best United States' Presidents, I am a firm believer that Mr. Johnson should have been accorded a higher notch in the standing.


“All those Vice Presidents who became Presidents are human beings with pride and honor. When called upon to perform a Herculean task, their natural instincts driven by their pride and honor will propel them to perform beyond their limited capabilities with their full measure of devotion. For their pride and honor and for love of their country they don't intend to fail because they know that not everyone is given that opportunity to face such an enormous challenge. That is a trait bestowed by God to everyone regardless of the level of his/her intelligence.


“And they doubt the abilities of Gov. Sarah Palin, a college graduate and a former town mayor to take over as President of the United States. I wouldn't bet on it.


“And to the New York Times Editorial Board, I think it's about time you replace your incompetent members.”


Our website shares the views of Mr. Azarias and we wish to add our belief that in fact and in truth, Gov. Sarah Palin has more executive experience than Sen. Barack Obama.


In this regard, Mr. Azarias writes further: “While Governor Sarah Palin is also perceived as someone lacking in experience like Sen. Barack Obama, let me tell you this: All things being equal, Barack Obama is no Sarah Palin. Ms. Palin put her career on the line because she is a no-nonsense politician. After being elected governor of Alaska, she put those Republican Party stalwarts on notice that she would not tolerate any more of their shenanigans at the expense of the taxpayers. She made it clear to them that it would no longer be business as usual the way politics was being played in other cities and States. She might also have both, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago, in mind during that time. Throughout her political career, she had always been a maverick and an independent-minded politician.


“In the case of Sen. Barack Obama, he looked the other way when John Stroger anointed his son, Todd Stroger, to replace him as Cook County Board president. Since when did the position of Cook County Board president become hereditary? He didn't have the guts to question Mayor Richard M. Daley with regard to illegal hiring practices at City Hall. He is so beholden to Illinois Senate President Emil ('I need a raise') Jones that he seems to condone Mr. Jones' outrageous conduct in the Illinois Senate. Mr. Jones is also in the process of anointing his own son to succeed him as Senate president. Since when did the position of Senate president become hereditary? He doesn't even have the nerve to show his displeasure to Rod (‘The Unreformer’) Blagojevich, the incompetent governor of Illinois. He had never been forthcoming about his true relationship with convicted felon, Tony Rezko. And it was only after intense pressure from the Democratic Party's hierarchy that he finally severed his relationship with his fiery pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And Senator Obama wants to be the leader of the free world? And all of the above are supposed to be his examples of the ‘change we can believe in?’


“As Chief Executive, Sarah Palin was a former mayor of the town of Wassilla and is now the governor of Alaska. At least she has some managerial experience to brag about. And Barack Obama? Aside from voting "present" most of the time when he was a State senator, he doesn't have any managerial exposure at all. Yes, he is a U.S. senator but he was always absent when Congress was in session because he had been campaigning for the presidency of the United States since day one. Maybe he should reimburse the Federal government or the State of Illinois for the salaries he collected during his absences.


We at the Opinion-Editorial section of this website believe that in the final analysis, both Governor Palin and Senator Obama are like entry-level aspirants. But the problem is that Mr. Obama is running for the presidency while Governor Palin is eyeing the vice presidency. Many doubt whether a rookie can ably serve as President. A rookie Vice President of course has the time to be tutored, especially in the field of foreign affairs, aside of course from attending state funerals in foreign countries, where she (or he) could brush up on foreign-relations tutoring.


Here is the link to the New York Times’ editorial:

Excerpts from the New York Times’ Editorial
Gov. Palin’s Worldview

Published: September 12, 2008

As we watched Sarah Palin on TV the last couple of days, we kept wondering what on earth John McCain was thinking.
If he seriously thought this first-term governor — with less than two years in office — was qualified to be president, if necessary, at such a dangerous time, it raises profound questions about his judgment. If the choice was, as we suspect, a tactical move, then it was shockingly irresponsible.

It was bad enough that Ms. Palin’s performance in the first televised interviews she has done since she joined the Republican ticket was so visibly scripted and lacking in awareness.

What made it so much worse is the strategy for which the Republicans have made Ms. Palin the front woman: win the White House not on ideas, but by denigrating experience, judgment and qualifications.

The idea that Americans want leaders who have none of those things — who are so blindly certain of what Ms. Palin calls “the mission” that they won’t even pause for reflection — shows a contempt for voters and raises frightening questions about how Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin plan to run this country.

One of the many bizarre moments in the questioning by ABC News’s Charles Gibson was when Ms. Palin, the governor of Alaska, excused her lack of international experience by sneering that Americans don’t want “somebody’s big fat résumé maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state.”

We know we were all supposed to think of Joe Biden. But it sure sounded like a good description of Mr. McCain. Those decades of experience earned the
Arizona senator the admiration of people in both parties. They are why he was our preferred candidate in the Republican primaries.

The interviews made clear why Americans should worry about Ms. Palin’s thin résumé and lack of experience. Consider her befuddlement when Mr. Gibson referred to President Bush’s “doctrine” and her remark about having insight into
Russia because she can see it from her state.

But that is not what troubled us most about her remarks — and, remember, if they were scripted, that just means that they reflect Mr. McCain’s views all the more closely. Rather, it was the sense that thoughtfulness, knowledge and experience are handicaps for a president in a world populated by Al Qaeda terrorists, a rising
China, epidemics of AIDS, poverty and fratricidal war in the developing world and deep economic distress at home.

Ms.. Palin talked repeatedly about never blinking. When Mr. McCain asked her to run for vice president? “You have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission,” she said, that “you can’t blink.”

Fighting terrorism? “We must do whatever it takes, and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.”

Her answers about why she had told her church that President Bush’s failed policy in
Iraq was “God’s plan” did nothing to dispel our concerns about her confusion between faith and policy. Her claim that she was quoting a completely unrelated comment by Lincoln was absurd.

This nation has suffered through eight years of an ill-prepared and unblinkingly obstinate president. One who didn’t pause to think before he started a disastrous war of choice in
Iraq. One who blithely looked the other way as the Taliban and Al Qaeda regrouped in Afghanistan. One who obstinately cut taxes and undercut all efforts at regulation, unleashing today’s profound economic crisis.

In a dangerous world, Americans need a president who knows that real strength requires serious thought and preparation. # # #


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Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2008 13:36

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