Posted by Sal on September 11, 2008
There has been much talk of experience and qualifications in regards to Sarah Palin and the VP slot. While one looks at the person of Sarah Palin, both as a person and from her experience, one finds that she :
- is young (under 45)
- has a reputation as a Republican Reformer
- has taken on Republican Party Establishment
- has a large family with many children
- is a lover of outdoor sports
- is a Hunter
- was chosen as VP Candidate with less than 2 years experience as Governor
While this describes Sarah Palin, it also describes Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt was Vice President for one year when William McKinley died. Yet with a similar resume to Palin’s, he became one of the most influential Presidents in American history. Leadership is not about any kind of Government experience, it’s about having the right ideals and philosophy, and having those intangible characteristics to lead. Truth is, one can never be sure who will be a good or great President and who will be a disappointment, but it is ideology and worldview that help give the best indication. President George H.W. Bush was probably one of the most qualified presidents in history, but he did not perform in a way that made him one of the greats. Lincoln was probably one of the more “unqualified” men to ever occupy the White House, but was arguably one of the greatest, if not the greatest, President. Palin’s Washington “experience” may not match that of Biden and McCain’s, but she has the right ideology, and at least so far, she appears to exhibit that intangible leadership quality that can effect real change in government.
(The above bullet points are a paraphrase of an item that is all over the Internet in various forms).
Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: Barack Obama, Experience, Joe Biden, John McCain, Leadership, Sarah Palin, Teddy Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt | 7 Comments »
Posted by Ryan on July 13, 2008
Well, the first part of that isn’t entirely true, but I did spend fifteen months writing a rather long historiographical thesis on Theodore Roosevelt back in college. In that work I used some of John McCain’s campaign rhetoric from early 2000 as evidence of TR’s increasing influence amongst politicians of both parties today (I also quoted from BJ’s 2000 State of the Union Address where he name-drops TR). Back in February 2000 McCain unsuccessfully tried to make himself out to be the heir of both TR and Ronald Reagan, and he’s trying it again in 2008.
We can laugh at McCain’s “Reaganesque” boasts as shallow and empty, but why’s he stuck on TR? Most people only know a few things about TR: trust-buster, Mt. Rushmore, those teeth, the “Teddy bear,” conservation. Like his Reagan comparison, McCain is being very selective with how he chooses to connect himself to TR:
- TR’s domestic policies laid the philosophical foundation for modern “big-government” in his cousin’s New Deal two generations later — not very Reaganesque in my opinion.
- TR was a “conservationist” not a “preservationist”, meaning that TR would have been OK with drilling in ANWAR since the footprint is so small (preservationists, on the other hand, want humans completely out of undeveloped areas). McCain’s still being difficult on that issue.
- TR was described as a “maverick” for bucking the era’s MSM by not fitting their typical Republican stereotype. Yet, TR understood politics, alienated some, but still had most of his party enthusiastic about him and mostly adhered to the party’s platform. No conservative is enthusiastic about McCain and McCain doesn’t seem to care — he’s more interested in growing the party 1970s-style by making it resemble the Democrats. Plus, TR’s being a “maverick” eventually led to a party split in 1912 which gave Wilson the presidency. Why should any self-respecting Republican embrace a maverick like that today? McCain’s obviously being selective here.
- Instead of trying to get along with fractious immigrant groups, TR firmly believed and articulated that “hyphenated Americanism” is un-American and unpatriotic. McCain wants to coddle 12-15 million illegals and still hasn’t proposed making English the official language of government, a highly popular position with the general public.
However, TR had an unabashed pro-American foreign policy like Reagan. Maybe that’s an area where McCain’s rhetoric can get away with the comparison. But don’t be fooled! McCain does not have the clear vision of a Ronald Reagan, nor the vigor or political climate that made TR such an influential politician. We have a Ford, not a Lincoln; we have a McCain, not a Reagan.
AP photo. National Photo Collection, Library of Congress.
Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | Tagged: Abraham Lincoln, ANWAR, Bill Clinton, conservation, Gerald Ford, John McCain, maverick, Mt Rushmore, New Deal, Preservation, Ronald Reagan, State of the Union Address, Teddy Bear, Theodore Roosevelt | 1 Comment »