The angry left: Daily Kos, Atlantic Magazine; Maureen Dowd have their long knives (and claws) bared and ready for Alaska Governor and McCain V.P. pick, Sarah Palin. Faked pregnancies, hair criticism; breast pump references…ugly, ugly, ugly. They had plenty of practice slapping Hillary around, so it got nasty rather quickly. Apparently, beating up on a woman comes easier with practice.
Barack issued words of restraint to the army of left commentary that constitutes a kind of isolated-from-the-chain-of command militia for his campaign. That’s a gimme. He had no other options. However he blew it comparing his CAMPAIGN staff to Sarah’s mayoral staff. Dumb. He had to jump to her previous job in order to get his resume to surpass hers in experience. He has a campaign staff of 2,500 in his current job, he told CNN, while she ran a mayoral staff of 50. The problem is that she currently runs a state with a payroll of 15,000 state government employees. And state government is a far tougher management environment too: civil service and unions. I’m quite sure all of Barack’s employees are ‘at will’, so no lawsuits alleging improprieties every time you let someone go. Her employees make life and death decisions: arrest bad guys; fight floods; put out fires. His employees issue press releases; call donors; put up banners.
There’s a big difference between a Senator and a Governor. Senators go to Washington. They breathe DC air and drink in the DC mindset. They take a Chevy Suburban a couple of blocks down the street to enter a studio and be on a national talk show like Meet the Press. Governors are farther away, in Sarah’s case, much farther away, in fly-over territory. There’s a visibility gap.
There’s also an authority gap, in the other direction. Governors are more important than Senators: there are only 50 governors, but 100 Senators. It’s automatically a more elite position. Senators (like John Corzine) run for governor, generally, not the other way around. Senate is stepping stone to Governor; Governor is a stepping stone to President. Under normal circumstances he would be getting ready to run for her job, governor, in Illinois. Four of our last five presidents were governors; the fifth was the chief executive of the CIA.
Yes, Sarah is still in her first term as governor, but my friend, Larry Kudlow made a great point on CNBC this week about glass ceilings and experience. There’s no way you get women at the top if you make ‘experience’ the summum bonum of leadership. You need merit, not time-served to break racial and gender boundaries. Seniority is the oldest discriminatory trick in the book. When black workers started migrating north in the early 20th century, unions pushed the ‘seniority’ issue as a way of protecting white workers from harder working black new entrants. Irish, blacks, Jews, women and other leadership newcomers have been barred using the ‘experience’ excuse from the very beginning. Liberals used to know things like this, but the now seem to suffer from some kind of mass amnesia. The voters, however, are not.
For More Discussion about Palin and Media Criticism, See the Video
Jerry Bowyer is chief economist at Benchmark Financial Network, is a member of the Kudlow Caucus, and makes regular appearances on CNBC. He also writes extensively on finance and history for the National Review, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Crosswalk.com, and The New York Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.