Tuesday, September 2, 2008

CNS: ‘Ludicrous’ to Say Palin Has Less Experience Than Obama, McCain Says

REPORT: Is Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin the best choice to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? Many Americans are asking that question, and Sen. John McCain answered it with a resounding “yes” on Sunday.

“The facts are funny things,” McCain said in an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams.

“She’s been in elected office longer than Sen. Obama. She’s been the chief executive of the state that provides 20 percent of America’s energy; she has balanced budgets; she has had executive experience as governor, as mayor, as a city council member and PTA.

“So she was in elected office when Sen. Obama was still a local community organizer. He’s never had one day of executive experience.”

Palin served two terms on the Wasilla (Alaska) City Council, from 1992-1996. She was elected mayor of Wasilla in 1996 and served two terms there as well, until 2002, when she ran for lieutenant governor and lost.

She chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for one year, until 2004, and was elected governor of Alaska in 2006.

“I think it’s almost ludicrous to compare her experience in elected office and as a leader of one of the most important states in America -- certainly one of the largest -- to compare her experience with his. It’s no contest,” McCain said.

McCain said Palin is the best person to be his running mate “in every way.”

“She has experience, she’s been an executive, she knows how to balance budgets, she knows how towns and cities work.”

McCain also said Palin has set an inspiring example of “home, family and service and putting her country first.”

Obama’s experience

Barack Obama’s campaign Web site, in a “meet the candidate” section, mentions that Obama graduated from Columbia University in 1983, moved to Chicago in 1985, and “became a community organizer with a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment.”

(Elsewhere on the page, he says he “worked for Christian churches in Chicago, helping communities devastated when steel plants closed.”)

Obama earned his law degree from Harvard in 1991, then-- after turning down “lucrative jobs” in law firms, he returned to Chicago to practice civil rights law and teach constitutional law. During this time, he mentions that he led a “successful voter registration drive.”

Obama says his advocacy work finally led him to run for the Illinois State Senate, where he served for eight years. In 2004, he became the third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate.”

“His first law [as a U.S. Senator] was passed with Republican Tom Coburn, a measure to rebuild trust in government by allowing every American to go online and see how and where every dime of their tax dollars is spent,” the Web site says. The Senate passed that law two years ago -- in September 2006.

-Susan Jones, Senior Editor

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