Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Obama's Ethereal Experience Vs. Palin's Reality Of Accomplishment

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Obama's Ethereal Experience Vs. Palin's Reality Of Accomplishment

This election cycle for President of the United States is really fun and is beginning to feel like a ride in a “Bumble Ball” (if riding in a Bumble Ball were possible).

Take the recent media reaction to Senator John McCain’s pick for Vice-President of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin – WOW.

All of the pundits on radio and television (especially cable news television) seem to be making arguments for or against the wisdom of any potential candidacy based upon past “Experience” while the real measure of anyone’s experience actually lies in the value of their “Accomplishment”.

Even Barack Obama doesn’t get it … when confronted with Sarah Palin’s years of experience in chief executive decision making office positions (on the city council as Mayor of a city and then as Governor of the State of Alaska) he sites as a comparison his function as the leader of the Barack Obama campaign for President of the United States.

This excerpted from CNN and the Anderson Cooper 360 show –

Anderson Cooper interviewed Barack Obama Monday

From CNN Political Producer Ed Hornick - September 1, 2008 - Posted: 07:10 PM ET

Barack Obama defended his experience in dealing with natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, and took a swipe at newly minted GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

In an interview on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Monday night, Obama was asked about whether his experience in the U.S. Senate dealing with weather-related situations compares to Palin’s executive experience running the state of Alaska and as the small town mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

(YouTube type video of AC360 interview of Barack Obama by Anderson Cooper - Ctrl-Click photo to launch)

“My understanding is that Gov. Palin’s town, Wassilla, has I think 50 employees. We've got 2500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe 12 million dollars a year – we have a budget of about three times that just for the month,” Obama responded.

Our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made clear over the past couple of years and certainly in terms of the legislation I’ve passed in the past couple of years, post-Katrina.”

Reference Here>>

What is truly striking about the response and position that Barack Obama stakes out in his response to Anderson Cooper’s query is the depth of the ignorance that he has about the value of accomplishment in decision making a city manager and/or Mayor has in the lives of the people who actually live in a city or town … let alone a State – ANY State.

Banner graphic from the city of Wasilla website

Let’s examine for a minute the online Budget for 2005 published by and for the city of Wasilla, Alaska (Wasilla – for the Sarmatian god of the same name, see Wasilla (god)) – the city that Sarah Palin served for a period of two terms on the Wasilla, Alaska, city council from 1992 to 1996, then won two terms as mayor of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002.

The city hall of Wasilla ... the one that pundit James Carville describes as looking like a "bait shop" in Louisiana. Image Credit: City of Wasilla website

It is not the amount of money that is managed, it is the 256 pages of description, on where the money comes from and how it is used to the betterment of the community this organization is formed to serve, that concerns itself with the issue of accomplishment.

So, where does the money come from and what community does the campaign for President of the United States does the Barack Obama for President organization serve?

Is there any infrastructure upon which people are able to fly an airplane, drive to the city for goods and services, get help in an accident, report a crime, prosecute a criminal, get married, get an education, and have the trash picked up long after decisions are made on how to use the municipalities collected tax money?

A political campaign organization asks for money to be donated so it can be spent on activities promoting the candidate, Barack Obama, himself.

The money is spent on cardboard signs, printed paper with gum/glue on the back so that the paper could be affixed to a car or telephone pole, video production services so that YouTube and Television ads can be made and promotional time can be bought to play them, leased jet airplanes so that the candidate and his staff can be flown anywhere/anytime foe events where the candidate can be heard and seen by people at a gathering … and more.

All of the investment of donated money and the effort it pays for is designed so that the candidate, Barack Obama, can put himself in a place where he can make decisions for the betterment of the community he wants to serve – a place he has never been before as a community organizer in Chicago, a senator in the state government of Illinois, and finally as the junior Senator for the state of Illinois in the United States Senate.

Sarah Palin has been in a place where her decisions resulted into accomplishment for the better part of 10 years in a city community environment and for the state community for two and a half years as she chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004 while also serving as Ethics Supervisor of the commission, and as the governor of Alaska, becoming the first woman and youngest person to hold the office.

Barack Obama really does not know what he doesn’t know and to prove this fact here are a couple of facts about the state of Alaska that Barack Obama would not and could not compare his political campaign to.

Alaska is a fairly large state economically, for example; the state ranks as #6 in Gross Domestic Product Per Capita on the list of all 50 states (behind Delaware, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and ahead of California in #7 – Illinois by comparison ranks #17)

This excerpted from Wikipedia (pretty easy to find) –

Shortly after becoming governor, Palin canceled a contract for the construction of an 11-mile (18 km) gravel road outside Juneau to a mine. This reversed a decision made in the closing days of the Murkowski administration.[70] She also followed through on a campaign promise to sell the Westwind II jet purchased (on a state government credit account, against the wishes of the Legislature) by the Murkowski administration for $2.7 million in 2005. In August 2007, the jet was sold on eBay for $2.1 million.[71]

In June 2007, Palin signed into law a $6.6 billion operating budget—the largest in Alaska's history.
[72] At the same time, she used her veto power to make the second-largest cuts of the construction budget in state history. The $237 million in cuts represented over 300 local projects, and reduced the construction budget to nearly $1.6 billion.[73]

In 2007, the Alaska Creamery Board recommended closing Matanuska Maid Dairy, an unprofitable state-owned business. Palin objected, citing concern for dairy farmers and a recent infusion of $600,000 in state money. Palin subsequently replaced the entire membership of the Board of Agriculture and Conservation.
[74] The new board reversed the decision to close the dairy. Later in 2007, the unprofitable business was put up for sale. No offers met the minimum bid of $3.35 million,[75][76] and the dairy was closed. In August 2008, the Anchorage plant was purchased for $1.5 million, the new minimum bid. The purchaser plans to convert it into heated storage units.[77]
Reference Here>>

So again, let’s look at the off-the-cuff comment and comparison by Barack Obama while he was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN –

“My understanding is that Gov. Palin’s town, Wassilla, has I think 50 employees. We've got 2500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe 12 million dollars a year – we have a budget of about three times that just for the month,” Obama responded.

As Governor of Alaska for the last year, Sarah Palin ran the going concern that operated on an approved budget of 6.6 billion dollars, was the commander-and-chief Alaska’s National Guard, is aware on a daily basis the politics of Russia and Canada where the State of Alaska shares a border with both countries and the state and municipal government employ a total of 8,500 people to carry out the people’s business.

It is an insult to begin to compare the ethereal nature of experience to the reality of accomplishment an executive position in government begets.

What is even more odd is that the junior Senator from Illinois, who is running for the top executive governmental position in the United States, takes the time to compare himself in background and experience with the competitive choice for the back-up position for the same top executive governmental position.

I guess Sarah Palin said it best in her speech at the RNC Convention in St. Paul, MN when described what the job of a small town mayor was like --- "Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities.

I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco."

The person at the top of the ticket choose right for the good of the country and with the choice of Sara Palin as his running mate, John McCain had this to say in his speech that closed the RNC Convention:

"Let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming."

The Democrats are scared folks; they are scared that Barack Obama’s and Joe Biden's “experience” does not stack up to Senator John McCain’s and Governor Sarah Palin’s accomplishments and with good reason.

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