McCain camp can’t cite any Palin foreign policy experience.

Courtesy of Josh Marshall, here’s a brutal video of CNN’s Campbell Brown attempting to get McCain-Palin campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds to provide a shred of evidence that Sarah Palin has foreign policy experience:

Though I would adore seeing it happen, I just don’t see any way that McCain can keep Palin on the ticket, not after today’s news. Realistically speaking, they’re going to have to jettison her within days. But, like I said, here’s hoping she stays on board.

Two points to the first reporter who asks her to spell “potato.”

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

25 replies on “McCain camp can’t cite any Palin foreign policy experience.”

  1. No, no, she needs to stay on the ticket long enough to be nominated. That way we can put down the entire Republican Chancellery, not just the campaign “team”. Carpe Diem y’all!

  2. pfftt…. don’t you know that Alaska is the closest state to Russia? That alone equals foreign policy expertise. Especially when you’ve been governor of the state for nearly 18 months. Then add on the fact that Alaska borders Canada. Dang, Palin basically runs the UN and NATO combined. Nevermind that Palin just her first passport last year.

    On a serious note, how does Tucker Bounds sleep at night? And I really wonder what the majority of RNC delegates are thinking about Palin.

  3. From the look of the Republicans on Larry King last evening – it is pure panic. James Carville was suited up and clearly enjoying his job. It is a great time to be a fighting Dem! The battle has moved from the Congress to the street. Our street.

  4. This is not going to hurt Palin anymore than Obama’s dearth of foreign policy experience seems to be hurting him. Not trying to be snarky, but, really, you guys must be in a bit of a Democratic feedback loop if you think she’s on the verge of being dropped from the ticket.

  5. I’d been missing the part where she just got her first passport last year.

    You’d think she’d be curious enough to travel, what with being right next door to Russia and all . . .


    No, Jon, she’s not going to be dropped from the ticket, tho’ there’s a good way to do it. Blame undue scrutiny of her family by those evil evil Dems, concern for her daughter, etc. That could turn her into a martyr. And for once, the interests of both the country AND Republicans would be aligned. But sadly, it won’t happen. Just one more demonstration of the utter bankruptcy of the Republican party.

  6. The Republican Party appreciates your sage advice, MB. :) I’m sure they’ll implement it about the same time the Democrats get around to acting on all those memos from the Republicans vis-a-vis Obama.

  7. Well, I’m 99% fine with that, since the GOP will be the ones suffering for it. It’s just that remaining 1% chance that she might actually end up in charge that keeps me from being thrilled, as a political result. Because unlike McCain, I’m more concerned about the country than myself.

  8. It remains to be seen whether the GOP will be suffering because of Palin. What I see is that a party that was largely lukewarm to McCain is now energized in a way they haven’t been this election cycle. Who knows what the next 60 days hold, but for now things are looking up for Republicans.

    The trepidation you feel about the possibility of a Palin presidency is probably akin to what conservatives feel about an Obama presidency. Of course, each side thinks its better to choose the inexperienced candidate that they agree with rather than the inexperienced candidate who makes all the wrong decisions.

  9. Not trying to be snarky, but, really, you guys must be in a bit of a Democratic feedback loop if you think she’s on the verge of being dropped from the ticket.

    That, BTW, is something that I appreciate hearing, Jon. As I am ensconced in the world of Democrat-ness, you are presumably ensconced in the world of Republican-ness, and have a perspective on how party members feel about and are inclined to feel about these developments. FWIW, I wouldn’t claim that she is on the verge of being dropped from the ticket—that’s just not knowledge that I have access to—just that she shouldbe.

  10. How much you want for that McCain/Palin button Jon-boy? I’m a busy man, make up your mind! My Palin-is-toast Hedge position is gaining friends. It’ll be dust in a fortnight!

  11. It made me ill when Sen. Clinto would take a shot at Sen Obama’s lack of experience. I just wanted to yell “hey lady, how the hell is he any different from your husband”

    While not my choice Palin has much foreign policy experience as Bill Clinton did. No Governor has foreign policy experience. Reagan, Clinton, Carter and Bush II governors all.

  12. No Governor has foreign policy experience.

    BTW, remember what Tim Kaine was doing when the Virginia Tech shooting happened?

    He was in Japan on a trade mission.

    In the global economy, there actually are Governors with (modest) amounts of foreign policy and global macro-economics experience and expertise. We just happen not to be talking about one of them regarding McCain’s VP pick.

  13. That, BTW, is something that I appreciate hearing, Jon. As I am ensconced in the world of Democrat-ness, you are presumably ensconced in the world of Republican-ness, and have a perspective on how party members feel about and are inclined to feel about these developments.

    Waldo, as an aside, I actually give you credit for being an incredibly well-informed guy with regard to all sides of an issue, regardless of which side you end up building your house on. Right now is a critical time to frame the Palin selection, and on one side I see Republicans and conservatives jumping up and down with real excitement, while Democrats are counting the days until her seemingly inevitable dismissal from the ticket. The only people who seem to be vocally unhappy about Palin are already on the Democratic side, aside from some moderate Republicans (in contrast with the oft-cited Miers comparison, in which the Republican base was unhappy with her nomination from the start).

  14. Bill Richardson’s not short of foreign policy experience. FWIW.


    Jon, that “vocally” part is pretty important, I think. On either side, we’re talking about terribly small minorities of the electorate. I know that polling-by-anecdote is a pretty risky approach, but I think I’ve got a reliably deep pool of moderate/non-lifestyle Republicans to draw from, and to a person, their reaction has been “WTF?” (if not immediately, then definitely after a weekend’s worth of news). So yeah, it may jazz the day room (Janis, that was brilliant) in MSP, but I don’t think it’s going to be anything close to a net gain for McCain.

  15. Jon you are right about Richardson’s experience, it just didn’t happen because he was a Governor. I do notice how no one has argue the point about Bill Clinton- who I think is the “least qualified President of the 20th century” based on resume. Compared to GW Bush 41 the difference was breathtaking. Still think Clinton as a fair/good President.

    Experience only matters if people don’t think you can do the job. I don’t think it matters to most people about Obama because they have watched him on a grueling campaign trail and are impressed. The jury is still out on Palin.

  16. …but I don’t think it’s going to be anything close to a net gain for McCain.

    Very possibly true. I still don’t see McCain pulling a win this election — I don’t think ANY VP selection would ultimately change that — but it’s gotten a whole lot more interesting for the Republicans. I’ll be curious to see what the polls show this time next week.

  17. Why should she be dropped from the ticket, Waldo? Palin is easily as qualified as Obama to be POTUS. Neither has any foreign policy experience, and both have short tenures in state-level offices.

  18. I. Publius,

    Sorry to butt in, but I’d like to make one point. The Palin-Obama equivalency that is so popular amongst conservatives doesn’t hold water.

    Looking at just elected experience:

    Sarah Palin was mayor of a town of roughly 7000 people for six years. Following this, she’s been Governor of Alaska (population 683,000) for the last 18 months.

    Barack Obama was state senator for the 13th district of Illinois for seven years, with a constituency of 800,000. Following that, he’s been US senator for over two and a half years, sharing a constituency of 12,850,000 people with another senator.

    Now, I’m not suggesting that either is particularly experienced, and I’m not suggesting that the number of constituents is the only determining factor in the complexity of the job, but it just doesn’t pass the smell test to say these two have equivalent experience.

    But then, I don’t think experience is everything, and I don’t think Palin should be removed from the ticket.

  19. Palin is so nasty, so anti-McCain-like, so scandal-ridden, lies so freely and easily, and so inexperienced that she’s barely fit to be governor. We’ll see what the polling says over the next few days. I forecast that Palin’s performance last night is going to drive undecideds into the arms of Obama, unless McCain can stop them with his speech tonight (in which, so far, he’s espousing precisely the opposite of many of Palin’s views).

  20. McCain Message: After 26 years in Washington, I’m going to bring Change to Washington. That is how a maverick rolls my friends.

  21. Publius, after the last two days, I don’t think the left will be pushing the “Palin will be dropped” line anymore. It was implausible from the start and sounds downright ludicrous now.

    Regardless of who is better qualified for POTUS, Obama has already committed an epic fail (okay, not quite epic) by actually legitimizing the experience comparison with Palin and trying to win in it with the least convincing defense possible (i.e., my campaign budget vs. her mayoral budget). Next time he should consult Ben C. for a better response. :)

  22. Jon,

    Thanks for the complement. I can’t say I agree that the Obama comment was epic failure, but I agree that legitimizing this line of criticism, even engaging in the debate is a losing move for Obama. His campaign has largely not taken the bait, but it’s unfortunate that, in this case, they fell into the trap of comparing staff numbers and so on. I agree it’s not a good line of defense, and the Obama campaign should be allowing surrogate far removed from the campaign take care of this stuff. And no, I don’t count myself among the campaign surrogates.


    I don’t know that Palin’s speech last night will drive people away from the GOP, but I honestly think over the next two months, she will. I just don’t see too many up-sides for Palin with independents as they get to know her better than they know her now, and I’m skeptical that people will grow more comfortable with the idea of her being second in line for the presidency.

    However, I’ve been surprised in the past.

    On a side note, is anyone else following things on It’s really nice to find some people who’re doing rigorous statistical and historical analysis of current trends who aren’t trying to make the election into a even more of a horse race than it already is.

  23. In retrospect, I’m wondering whether Obama made a critical mistake picking Biden as his running mate — I wonder if he is starting to second guess himself. Part of the problem is that Biden is such a solid, safe pick. He adds foreign policy experience, but to me it highlights Obama’s inability to make bold decisions and whether its true or not it reinforces his willingness to just play it safe politically. In addition, his choice of Biden contradicts his campaign’s theme of ‘Change’ by selecting a Washington insider. The Democratic ticket would be so much more dynamic and compelling with somebody like Gov. Tim Kaine. Also, imagine an Obama-Hillary ticket — that would be really tough to beat.

    On the flip side, McCain takes a huge risk in selecting Gov. Palin. Some of you may say that you don’t want a gambler in the White House, but whether you agree with McCain’s policies or not he does deserve some credit for having ‘political balls.’ In a year when the Democrats seemingly had it in the bag, the Republicans pull one out of the bag. I know its still very early, but Gov. Palin is already resonating with Americans from coast to coast. Whether that will be enough to win the election remains to be seen, but my point is that Obama could have slammed the door on the Republicans by making a bold VP pick.

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