The pundits have been all wrong about the “experience” factor — thinking that by picking Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain made it impossible to raise Barack Obama’s inexperience.
In fact, the political result will be just the opposite. Every time the experience issue is raised, voters will be reminded that the Republican vice presidential nominee has as much or more than the Democrats’ presidential nominee.
Sen. Obama walked right into that trap Monday night in an interview with 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.
Sen. Obama made two huge mistakes here. First, like other Democrats he demeans Gov. Palin by ignoring the fact that she is actually Governor of a state right now, not a mayor. The similar comparison for Obama here is that in his last job, state senator, he probably had a staff of two or three people – not nearly as many as the 50 employees Palin managed. In fact, as Mayor of Wassilla, she probably had a larger staff than Sen. Obama has as a United States Senator.
So desperate is Sen. Obama to show executive management experience that he relies on his political campaign staff to show his leadership! This might be a first in presidential campaign history: “I am qualified to be president because I have a large campaign staff.”
By awkwardly attempting to prove he has more experience than Gov. Palin, Barack Obama is conceding the more significant point — his experience doesn’t come close to stacking up to the leadership, legislative and foreign policy experience of John McCain.