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Talent vs. experience

From the mailbag: John Frary (who by the way is running for Congress in Maine) provided this thoughtful comment (# 138) on my post of a couple days ago about Sarah Palin:

Frederick the Great on the value of experience: “A mule who has carried a pack for ten campaigns under Prince Eugene will be no better tactician for it, and… many men grow old in an otherwise respectable profession without making any greater progress than this mule.”

The experience argument, whether applied to Obama or Palin, is not all that conclusive.

Both have more experience than Lincoln had when he was first elected.

For me the most pertinent comparison is this: Palin clearly rose to prominence as an opponent of a corrupt Repbulican establishement in Alaska, while Obama nestled comfortably in the Chicago political sewer without ever causing a problem.