Roger L. Simon

Obama vs. Palin: "Are You Experienced?"

I don’t know what Jimi Hendrix would say, but the debate du jour via Drudge (of course) is who is more experienced – Obama or Palin?  Obama insists he is, claiming that running a giant political campaign is just the background necessary to deal with natural disasters like hurricanes (real or hyped).  Maybe so.

Of course the nature of experience is complex.  As Jimi told us,

If you can just get your mind together
Uh-then come on across to me
Well hold hands and then well watch the sunrise
From the bottom of the sea

Not great news in a hurricane. But then he added…

But first, are you experienced?
Uh-have you ever been experienced-uh?

Well, that depends, doesn’t it, on what the meaning of “experience” is.  Obama’s is almost all about running for office.  He has done that well, but it is (italics mine) about himself, about winning. That’s experience  of a sort, of course, but not exactly what you want in a situation that is about others.

Palin, on the other hand, is a small town girl (now woman obviously) without a lot of global experience.  Of course, she has a lot of obvious life experience and a fair amount of executive experience.  Still, I would rate her a toss-up with Obama, except for one thing.  Obama is a product of Chicago machine politics. (Rezko, Ayers, Wright – they’re all part of that machine in different ways)  Palin is a fighter against corruption (the Alaska Republican machine) in her home state.  For now, I’ll go with that.