I know the Alaska Governor is a bright spot in the GOP right now, and her story is compelling, but it’s inconceivable to me that a 103-year-old candidate running on experience would pick such a political newcomer as his Veep. Palin is arguably even less experienced than the guy J-Mac is running against.

Here’s what Politico had to say:

Sarah Palin

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may be nationally unknown, but in her state she is nothing short of a political phenomenon.

Palin, 44, would add youth to the GOP ticket. As governor she has shown a willingness to veto some of the state’s large capital projects, no small plus for fiscal conservatives. But it’s her personal biography, which excites social conservatives, and reformist background that might most appeal to McCain.

She’s stridently anti-abortion, and recently brought to term her fifth child — who she knew would have Down syndrome. A hunter, fisher and family woman with a rapid professional rise, Palin is a natural for Republican framing.

In 1982, Palin led her underdog high school basketball team to the state championship, earning the nickname “Sarah Barracuda.” Two years later she won the beauty pageant in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska — and was also named “Miss Congeniality.” By her early thirties, she was the mayor of Wasilla.

In 2003, as ethics commissioner on the state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she risked her rising political star by resigning her position in protest of ethical misconduct within the state’s Republican leadership as well as then-Gov. Frank Murkowski’s acceptance of that impropriety. Though this briefly made her an outcast within the party, within a year several state Republican heavyweights were reprimanded for the conduct she’d decried.

Her reputation with the party thus redeemed, Palin defeated Murkowski in the 2006 Republican primary on the way to being elected governor.

As governor, she’s continued challenging the state’s powers that be, even winning tax increases on oil companies’ profits. Her approval rating has soared as high as 90 percent, making her one of America’s most popular governors.

“Palin is becoming a star in the conservative movement, a fiscal conservative in a state that is looking like a boondoggle for pork barrel spending,” said Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who specializes in women’s politics.

“She’s young, vibrant, fresh and now, and a new mother of five. She should be in the top tier,” Conway continued. “If the Republican Party wants to wrestle itself free from the perception that it is royalist and not open to putting new talent on the bench, this would be the real opportunity.”

But several top Republican Party leaders, who asked that their names be withheld so they could speak frankly about vice presidential options, said that Palin remains out of the top tier for now. “Too unknown and inexperienced,” said one GOP insider. Others pointed out that she is not only based far from the continental 48 — and in a state with just three electoral votes that should already be in the bag for the GOP — but also has no foreign policy credentials or experience.


  • AWB

    I actually agree with both sides of this argument, as I think Palin has more relevant experience governing than Obama, but I still have doubts that it is sufficient to be reassuring as the running mate to a 72 year old skin cancer survivor.

  • Lawson

    to clarify ; by Obama’s positions, I meant legislative back bencher not his issue stances

  • Lawson

    Obama’s positions have always been fluff. If we are talking about true politically responsible jobs they are either in the executive branch or as a committee chair. Otherwise there is no real accountability for your decisions.
    Was Obama a committee chair in the St Senate? I don’t know. Anyway Palin is great, but won’t happen.
    I do think a female choice would be good though.

  • David Kaiser

    If she was Governor of Colorado or Missouri, she’d be a slam dunk.

  • http://www.politicalderby.com/ Jason Wright, Editor

    And Obama was a community organizer and member of the state house. Please.

  • http://www.politicalderby.com/ Jason Wright, Editor

    Run a government? She’s been governor 18 months. Let’s not overstate it.

    My issue with Palin has nothing to do with her position on social issues. It’s all about politics.

    • AndDru1

      She was mayor before she was governor.

    • RedstateEddio

      18 months as CEO= Palin
      0 months as anything = Obama

      Who’s got more?

  • AndDru1

    Nice post Jason, though I disagree with your introduction. She has more experience than the freshman senator, and has actually run a government.

    I honestly think that alot of people attack Palin and Jindal on the basis of experience because they don’t like their social conservatism. No Guiliani, no Romney, no Ridge, no Crist, and no other softball conservative.

    If we can’t have Huckabee, at least give us a Pawlenty, Jindal, or Palin type. I think it frustrates some people that McCain is actually leaning towards a Sams Club Republican, and not somebody who only represents Wall Street.