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Sarah Palin, meet Teddy Roosevelt

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Wide White: Sarah Palin, meet Teddy Roosevelt

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin, meet Teddy Roosevelt

I got an email forward today noting similarities between Palin and Roosevelt. I thought it was worth taking a second look. Here's what I found.

Palin's experience in 2008: city council (4 years), mayor (6 years), governor (2 years)

Roosevelt's experience in 1900: state assembly (3 years), Asst Sec. of the Navy (1 year), governor (2 years)

Palin's age: 44

Roosevelt's age: 42

I don't know how anyone can find a huge difference in the experience that the two had. Both served on various commissions as well, but neither had very extensive experience to draw from, particularly international experience.

Roosevelt, one of our most popular presidents, became president after just 6 months as a vice president. It could happen again...


Blogger watchman declared,

I just finished two wonderful bios of Teddy. So, your e-mail got me a little fired up.

A couple of minor things your email missed about Roosevelt -

- Police commissioner for New York City

- that whole Rough Riders on SanJuan Hill thing

- published historian

- published naturalist

- Governor of New York was exceptional, because it was by far, the largest population in the union

- T. Roosevelt was a progressive, almost to the point of being liberal. Ask Booker T. Washington.

The above resume is much more exceptional than what the RNC email would lead you to believe.

So, the comparison is phail. However, I don't buy into the idea that experience is the number one factor. You could say that T.Roosevelt was inexperienced. However, he was a great president. The same is certainly true of Lincoln. He had only served one term in the House of Reps and had failed in a Senate bid, yet he was a GREAT president.

9/23/2008 9:28 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

I thought someone might make that point, and it's a valid point. I'll respond to each bullet point.

Police commissioner - good experience for sure. Also very short-lived, and Palin was the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commissioner, for what that's worth.

Rough Riders - agreed, excellent experience. But that lasted less than a year and entailed just one major battle. "War hero" is a great resume-builder for sure and something Palin doesn't have, but I don't think it radically sets his experience apart from hers.

Published historian and naturalist - I've never seen either experience used as a qualification for a presidential candidate. Additionally, some of the historical articles he published about the American conquest of the frontier would shoot down a campaign for city council in today's world.

Governor - Yes, NY had the largest population and Alaska doesn't. He'd still been at the job for less than 2 years. That's meaningful.

Progressive - very true, but I fail to see how that is relevant to a comparison of his qualifications with Palin's (unless you think that being progressive is a prerequisite).

There are differences between Teddy and Sarah to be sure, but regardless, Teddy was pretty darn green. Put his resume up in today's world and he'd receive blistering criticism for inexperience.

9/23/2008 12:48 PM  

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