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As usual, Peg, you have missed the point.

"I want a vice president who is better, wiser, well-traveled, has met world leaders, who three months ago had an opinion on Iraq. Someone who doesn't repeat bald- faced lies about earmarks and the Bridge to Nowhere. Someone who doesn't appoint Alaskan politicians to "study" global warming, because, hello! It has been studied. The returns are convincing enough that John McCain and Barack Obama are darned near in agreement."

Of course, you also don't believe in global warming or evolution. So it's no wonder that you're in love with a fundamentalist like Palin. What's sad is that you used to be a smart gal.

John Pepple

I concur, Peg. I didn't take my first plane trip till I was 30, though I've traveled a lot since then.

As for the curiosity that Ebert talks about, that stops once it comes to foreign sports like soccer and cricket. Suddenly, such people have no curiosity whatsoever.

Then there are the people who are at the other extreme. I mean the liberals and leftists who go abroad thinking that foreign travel is exciting and fun, and end up in jail in a foreign country. Somewhat less extreme are the people who go to Europe thinking it is wonderful, but get disillusioned once there (like my socialist friends who went to Sweden and came away hating the place).

Finally, there are the liberals I know who have reached their mid-40s and yet haven't left the country.



Jammen - you are drinking the Kool-Aid.

The Earth's temperatures have changed for hundreds of thousands of years. Why should NOW be any different?

If you think that "global warming" is a settled issue by the experts, then I am afraid it is you who used to be a "smart guy."

As for evolution - because Palin believes that a classroom should be a place of open ideas, discussion and a lack of censorship only highlights that "so-called" liberals are often anything but.

Of course I believe in evolution. That does not mean, however, that I want to stop the free flow of ideas and have kids learn how to discuss, debate and weigh.


Check this out, Jammen:


John Pepple

jammen, I too believe in evolution, but not global warming.

When people raise objections against evolution, I look at the answers given in reply, and they have engaged with the objections and are scientifically convincing. But when people raise objections against global warming, the replies given never actually answer the objections, but simply repeat the evidence in favor, or else declare that the debate is over.

Why am I supposed to be impressed with that?


If you were a stockholder in General Electric, and a candidate for Chief Financial Officer was proposed who didn't have a business education or any background in accounting and finance, but had run a lightbulb store for a few years before managing a Home Depot for a year and a half, you'd probably be pretty concerned. If people said this candidate was insultingly underqualified for the job, you probably wouldn't take it personally, even if you or your good friend owned lightbulb stores, too.

Maybe there are good reasons why Palin hasn't travelled or spent any time outside of small towns in Alaska and Idaho. Maybe there are good reasons she left UOP for a fifth rate junior college in north Idaho and had such an extended and undistinguished academic career. It doesn't mean she's a bad person, but neither does it show the kind of extraordinary intellect, drive and work ethic necessary for her desired job.

It absolutely means she doesn't have the experience with and perspective on the broader world necessary to be Vice President of the United States. Not many people do. It doesn't mean they're bad people or bad Americans. It just means they're not prepared for the second hardest and most important job in the world. Most of us aren't, and Palin especially so.

Don't take it personally. I wouldn't vote for me for VP, either, and I wouldn't trust a Presidential candidate who proposed me.


Brad - we obviously have very different standards for how we judge who is capable to be vice president.

What school an individual attended and what countries they have visited is literally of no importance to me. Truly - be they Democrat or Republican.

Sorry; but I know way too many people who failed to even attend college who are exceptionally capable, motivated and successful to ever hold this opinion.

The bottom line is that qualities like judgement, character, drive, energy, intelligence and leadership are far, FAR more important than whether you graduated from Princeton or Iowa State.

Of course, positions on issues are also important. On that matter, I do not agree completely with any of the four people running. All I can do is weigh everything overall - and weight what is important to me - and then come to a conclusion.


What matters to me is that Palin has chosen, for whatever reasons, to spend her entire life in tiny, isolated communities where she in all likelihood would never have had the opportunity and privilege to work, live alongside and be friends with people who were from a big city or another country, who were of a different faith, different races, a different sexual orientation or different culture. (except perhaps a handful of Native Alaskans)

She's spent her whole life in places where everyone's lives and beliefs are pretty much just like hers, and still earned a reputation among them as somebody who is not open to different ideas and as a holder of grudges.

There may well be brilliant, broad-minded, self-taught, small-town Americans out there who are ready to lead America on the global stage, but somebody like Palin, who found her calling in being a divisive culture warrior in a tiny town of 6000 people who have almost everything in common, is not one of them.


Oh, you are right, Brad! Sarah Palin should have been mayor of Chicago first - or perhaps Los Angeles or NYC. And governor of Alaska? Well. Let's just write off that entire state!

I do not for a second hold Barack Obama for his childhood. That was a function of his parents' preferences and choices. Neither do I hold Palin responsible for where she was raised, and circumstances that caused her to land in "tiny, isolated" communities.

As for the rest; I shout down lies about Obama, and I shall do the same for lies about Palin, like those you repeat above.

Elections should be decided on accuracy; you are not contributing to this.


What lies?

Have you lived in Alaska? I have. I've been to Wasilla. Chicago, NYC and Los Angeles are representative of the diversity of lifestyles and economies of modern America and the world.

You talk about disconnected coastal and urban elites, but Alaska couldn't be more disconnected from the lives of they mythical "average" heartland American, let alone the median American who lives in a city or suburb and works in the service sector, manufacturing or a white collar job.

Alaska's economy is all resource-based: fishing, oil, mining, tourism and subsistence hunting, plus a LOT of government handouts. There's a reason Alaskans call everybody who wasn't raised there "Outsiders".


Also, I don't hold the hypothetical lightbulb store owner "responsible" for being a lightbulb store owner. I'm not even sure what you mean by that.

What I would hold the CFO candidate responsible for is proving that he or she had the experience to handle the demands of the job! Experience with accounting, finance, running a BIG company, knowing how the industry works. I don't think Palin is a bad person or stupid. I just that she doesn't have the lifetime (not just political) experience to be ready for the job.


BTW, NYC has 12X and the greater NYC area almost 30X the population of the entire state of Alaska. NYC manages a budget 20X that of the entire state of Alaska, and 30X the GDP. Also, Alaska not only has no state taxes, it runs a huge surplus. It is totally unlike the rest of the US.

I love Alaska, I've lived there, I may retire there, but yes, I almost totally dismiss it as a qualification to run the country.

I might count it for more if she was running for President of Venezuela.


Teddy Roosevelt, who seved one yer as governor (granted, of New York) did OK. Not that I like everything he was behind.

Gov. Palin is not overqualified, but neither is she underqualified.

And yes, Alaska is not like NY state (or NYCity). Nor is it like Neveda, or Colorado, or Georgia, or Virginia. Living where I do, I know Portuguese, Russians, Vietnamese, Hispanics, and descendants of many other groups - so?

And I have problems with some of what is known about her. But not as many [yet?] as with the known positions of the three Senators at the top of the major-party tickets.


Teddy Roosevelt grew up in New York City but also chose to live for a time on the American frontier, traveled abroad to Europe and the Middle East as a child, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard where he edited a student magazine, attended Columbia Law School until he entered politics in the largest and most globally connected state in the nation and wrote 35 books on diverse subjects including military and political history and was famous for his vast range of interests and achievements.

That's EXACTLY the kind of experience Palin is lacking.


Translation of Brad's last comment: if you are not born into one of the wealthiest families in America (or wealth, per se, period) - please do not apply for high office.


No, I merely said that Sarah Palin is no Teddy Roosevelt.

Barack Obama had an immigrant father and was raised in Kansas by single mother who was on food stamps. He has distinguished himself in his life and achievements, as did Bill Clinton, another poor kid from a small town raised by a single mother.


Brad - there is no end to arguing with someone who doesn't wish to look at facts. Whether Obama's mother received food stamps or not for a few months when he was a baby does not mean that he grew up in poverty. He no more grew up in poverty than I grew up in a Roosevelt mansion.

While I would agree with you that Obama has achievements in his life that are worthy of admiration and respect - so do Biden, and McCain and Palin.

My original point is that one need not have traveled the world nor attended Ivy League schools to be a good vice president or president. Nothing you have written - even the falsehoods - have so far contradicted that.

Feel free to add further comments; I shall not.


Both the Democratic party's last President and current nominee came from lower middle class, single parent families and a chance at a world class college education, earned through hard work and seized with gusto, was the turning point in their lives and a gateway to the world.

Sarah Palin received a college scholarship, too. She used this great opportunity to spend six years jumping around among some of the most undistinguished schools in the nation in places exactly like her hometown.

The Republican party's last President is the grandson of a senator and wealthy businessman and the son of a wealthy businessman, former head of the CIA, ambassador to China, Vice President and then President. Their current nominee is the grandson and son of four star navy admirals, went to private prep schools from an early age and married an heiress.

But it's the Democratic party that's elitist. I see.

Mr. D

Let me help you with who is an elitist, Brad. A person who sneers at the colleges that Sarah Palin attended? Elitist.

Elitism isn't about where you come from as much as it is about how you treat others. I've met people from just about everywhere in the United States and someone's background doesn't always predict what their attitude will be. An old colleague of mine went to the University of Chicago for his undergraduate work and then graduated from Harvard Law. Elite background? Yep. Elitist? Not hardly - one of the nicest, most open and generous people you would ever meet. Never looked down his nose at anyone.

I moved up here to Minnesota 16 years ago. I've met people here who are absolutely elitist in their attitudes and their comportment and if you were to query their background, you would find out that they attended schools much like the ones that Sarah Palin did.

And in case you're wondering, I am an alumnus of Beloit College, a good but not great liberal arts school that was (and is) full of elitists.


Peg accuses me of saying only those born to wealth or privilege should apply for high office. That would indeed be elitist, but I can't say how I've said or implied any such thing.

I have said that a person's adult life and choices means something, and that experience matters. That is meritocratic, not elitist. I have much more respect, in fact, for someone who comes from humble beginnings and does great things through hard work and talent than somebody "born on third base" like George W Bush.

On merit and record though... Do you really think there's no difference in achievement demonstrated between getting a law degree from Harvard while editing the law review vs. taking six years to get a journalism degree at five different while never even working for a school paper, television or radio station? (Remember, she had a scholarship, so she didn't spend six years working through school.)

Can you really say with a straight face that both of those experiences are equivalent preparation for and demonstration of ability to be President? I'm not asking whether one makes you a better person or not - I'm talking about preparing for and demonstrating ability to do the most demanding and important job in the world. You really think the two experiences are equivalent, and that it's "elitist" to think otherwise?

I went to a non-elite public school too, and I got a good education, but I have no illusions that it was better, harder and an experience that pushed my boundaries more than some other schools I could've gone to, but less so than if I'd gone to some others.

Doug Williams

"Do you really think there's no difference in achievement demonstrated between getting a law degree from Harvard while editing the law review vs. taking six years to get a journalism degree at five different while never even working for a school paper, television or radio station? "


Are we talking about qualification for elective office or for something else? Because I think Obama's Harvard law credentials are excellent. The question is how they... in context of the rest of his resume... qualify him above others for the highest office in the land.

All things being equal... high marks at Harvard law are a plus. But all things are not equal. And Peg did a pretty nice job explaining an aspect of this.

Obama's post-Harvard public life is remarkably unaccomplished. He didn't achieve anything notable as a community organizer, State Senator, or U. S. Senator - save for promoting himself. If he's supremely qualified, he's well overdue to show a record of accomplishment for it.

Snipe as they will (and lord knows they will) Palin's appeal is in great measure because she does have a record of accomplishment, where Obama has none. It's interesting to see the effort to discredit any accomplishment Palin is credited with in light of the utter lack of boasting about Obama's own accomplishments. It's interesting, but not hard to understand. Obama hasn't yet accomplished anything of note in elective office. To the extent they can make it seem like Palin hasn't done so either, Obama's supporters seem to think they can neutralize this threat.

But shouldn't he be contrasted to McCain just as much... er.. maybe even more? And doesn't Obama seem remarkably shallow and unready when he's having trouble lifting himself above the level of McCain's (liberal attested unready) running mate?

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