So there's a meme going around that it might not be smart for the Obama campaign to attack the inexperience of GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin, because he's not a typical long-time national pol himself. Well, I don't know, hell, maybe it's smart advice, but check out the differences between the two candidates according to On the Issues.Org. The site looks at the records and public statements of candidates on 24 different policy issues. Here's Sarah Palin's. You'll note that of the 24 categories, she has no issue stance on 13 of them (including such obscure issues as "Foreign Policy," "Free Trade," and "Jobs.") On the other 11, it doesn't appear that she's made public statements on any of them more than twice. Now here's Barack Obama's. You'll note that not only has he made public statements about every issue, but that he's done so on each issue between 8 and 150 times. It's not that I think experience itself means that much; John McCain has plenty of experience and I think it's pretty self-evident that he'd be a craptacular president. But--and you can call me old-fashioned--I would like my potential president to have at least thought through many of the issues he or she will face, and what's more, made plain their conclusions about these issues in the public record. It's not clear that Sarah Palin has done that. UPDATE: I mean, come on. Take a listen to this. Her "plan" for Iraq is that it's important for us to have one. This just isn't serious.
Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.