Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 29, 2008

LET'S DEFINE 'FOREIGN POLICY'.... During the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush would occasionally claim to have foreign policy experience, by virtue of the fact that his adopted-home state of Texas bordered Mexico. Four years later, Howard Dean half-heartedly tried the same thing, reminding people about Vermont-Canadian relations.

With that in mind, I guess it shouldn't come as too big a surprise that Republicans now want to claim that Sarah Palin has foreign policy experience, thanks to Alaska's proximity to Russia.

Earlier, Kevin joked, "Isn't Alaska a central front in the new Cold War? That's foreign policy experience right there!" Proving once again how difficult satire is in an age of Fox News, this video shows Steve Doocy making the identical argument, only he was serious.

"[T]he other thing about her, she does know about international relations because she is right up there in Alaska right next door to Russia," Doocy said.

Note to Fox News: proximity to a foreign country has nothing to do with "knowing about international relations."

Steve Benen 3:39 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (50)

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Comments

Well, but Obama lives in Chicago, which is just upstream from Canada!

Posted by: rea on August 29, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Note to Fox News: proximity to a foreign country has nothing to do with "knowing about international relations."

But if it did, then Illinois' proximity to Canada would trump her "experience" by several hundred miles.

Posted by: brent on August 29, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

McCain: Obama Lacks Experience Running 5,000-Person Town in Alaska (AP)

Senator John McBush used the announcement of his vice-presidential pick, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, to blast the experience of his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill), arguing that Sen. Obama has never been the mayor of a 5,000-person town.

"The Presidency of the United States of America is the toughest job on the planet," Sen. McCain said. "And my friends, the best testing ground for that job is being the mayor of a 5,000-person town in Alaska."

Sen. McCain unleashed a savage attack on Sen. Obama, claiming that his Democratic opponent would be "at a loss" when faced with the challenges of running a 5000-person municipality in Alaska.

"Let's say a constituent calls you and says that a caribou has wandered onto his front lawn," he said. "My friends, Barack Obama wouldn't know what to do."

He used the hypothetical situation to draw a sharp contrast with his vice-presidential choice: "Sarah Palin would take out her gun and shoot the caribou."

Mr. McCain said that an understanding of foreign affairs, Congress, and other issues that a president has to deal with is "overrated," adding, "That's what ‘Presidency for Dummies' is for."

While saying that her "vast experience" was the main reason he selected Gov. Palin, Sen. McCain said that she also had the other three qualifications he was looking for in a vice president: "She is pro-life, pro-drilling, and willing to housesit."

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on August 29, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

2nd note to Fox: Being close to a camera and microphone doesn't make you a news station either.

Posted by: tomeck on August 29, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

So, they must have been praising Hillary given her proximity to the Presidency for 8 years.

Posted by: GBBound on August 29, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

They're literally insane, aren't they?
Remember all the chatter about "the grownups being in charge again," back in 2001?

Sigh.

Posted by: SteinL on August 29, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Michigan, very near Canada, and I recently ran an art sale for my Temple. Pick me!

Posted by: myproxy on August 29, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'd be curious to know, has she ever been outside the country ?

Posted by: GMF on August 29, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, there are people who regardless of the mountain of evidence still actually believe that one can polish a turd.

Posted by: sparrow on August 29, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is doomed. He's completely unmoored, adrift. This is actually very sad.

Poor hotheaded, mavericky POW with the experience to lead. He just flushed his own brand down the shitter.

What a sad bastard.

Posted by: The Lucky Sea Men on August 29, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't that she doesn't have "experience". It's more a question of wondering how she's going to be able to evaluate the advice she's given. As W has shown, it isn't enough to have good advisers because advisers disagree and the top person has to be able to pick among them (or even set their own course.) Having the right set of attitudes or beliefs (and an attractive face) isn't really enough. She's desperately unqualified. It isn't really funny, and it betrays and absolute recklessness on the part of John McCain.

Posted by: Jeffey Davis on August 29, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

I recall that the proximity of Texas to Mexico was cited as proof of George Bush's foreign relations experience.

Posted by: VOR on August 29, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Remember though, once again, anything negative you have to say about Sarah Palin is raci.. I mean, sexist! You evil mean woman haters will never stop her incredible experience of being neighbors with the Sovie... I mean, Russia. Puhhleeeeeezze, shoot me now before I say something racis... I mean, sexist! Really, Rove has put everything into this one. This is 500x more powerful than gays getting AI.. I mean, married. "Buy" the way, when I lived in inbred Transylvania (San Diego) I was the Assbast.. I mean, Ambassador to Mexico!

Posted by: on August 29, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

I just posted this video. It's a hilarious clip of basically Palin calling the interviewer crazy when he asked her what she thought of a potential vp nomination. At least between her and mcCain, one of them has a little grounding in reality!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4_vvDewm-A

Posted by: cntblvitsbutter on August 29, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I grew up in Miami, which is very close to Cuba, and I actually have experiencing in managing multi-million dollar federal projects. If Palin bails, pick me! (OTOH, I definitely don't qualify on the beauty queen criteria, so I guess I better not wait by the phone)

Posted by: dcsusie on August 29, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

OT, but here's an interesting article about how folks are being treated in St. Paul in advance of the GOP convention:
http://www.twincities.com/rnc/ci_10330115?nclick_check=1

Posted by: Hannah on August 29, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

-William the Trollop said that! I refuse to load Roboform or any of that spam-magnet trash!

Posted by: William the trollop on August 29, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Experience won't matter: Republican voters didn't care about Bush's lack of experience for a second. And she wears the largest flag pin I've ever seen.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on August 29, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

I live in southern California, which is not only close to Mexico it essentially is Mexico. I'm tan, fit, and ready!

Posted by: Bush Lover on August 29, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

An artist lives across the street from me and he even keeps some of the art in his yard. That makes me fricking van Gogh.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on August 29, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Being mayor of a town of 9,000 in Alaska is roughly the equivalent of managing a Wal-Mart in the lower 48.


Posted by: Proud Native Alaskan on August 29, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

I had international relations when I was in the army. Pick me!

Posted by: bwick on August 29, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Ms. Palin's career trajectory is obvious. Ted Stevens (indicted) plucked her out of complete obscurity to make her governor. John McCain (borderline senile) plucked her out of semi-obscurity to make her a VP candidate.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on August 29, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how the Big Boys of the Repub Party feel about his choice. Do you think they helped him make it? Do you think there is any possibility of disunity at the upcoming Convention? Neither have been confirmed yet. I wonder if other names will be entered for consideration.

Posted by: FILLPHIL on August 29, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Fox News should follow McCain as he follows Bush to the gates of hell.

Posted by: Danp on August 29, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

We're going to hear lots of Alaskans telling us how great she is. Palin's claim to fame and "success" is simply due to handing out oil money to the citizens of Alaska. She even admitted it in her speech today. Why does that money belong to Alaska by the way, why doesn't it belong to all of us. Wait until Louisiana hears about this. Everyone who's ever lived in New Orleans is going to start questioning this a bit don't ya think.

And the biggest target of terrorists is that hundreds mile long oil pipeline and these fuknut republicans in Alaska or in the White House haven't done one damn thing to protect it. One bit of explosive and that pipeline turns the ground into the world's largest chapstick. Try cleaning that up in subzero weather. Another secret that the media won't ever disclose to America.

Posted by: Jan in Stone Mtn on August 29, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, which is totally surrounded by water, which gives him experience in the Navy. In fact, I'm surrounded by air right now, which makes me an astronaut.

Posted by: DonBoy on August 29, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

"[T]he other thing about her, she does know about international relations because she is right up there in Alaska right next door to Russia," Doocy said.

Well hell, by that standard Obama's a foreign policy PhD because he actually lived not next to but actually in a foreign country! And his father was foreign!

Of course, McCain will just counter that by reminding us all of his extensive foreign policy experience he gained while held prisoner in North Vietnam for five and a half years.....

Posted by: Stefan on August 29, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

What's next? Harriet Miers being nominated to the Supreme Cou... oh wait, never mind.

Posted by: DaveInPa on August 29, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

The Mommy & Mummy, Change you can Depends on!

Posted by: GovtFlu on August 29, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell keeps writing words, but when I read his comments it just looks like 'Oh, shit!'

Posted by: doubtful on August 29, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Alaska is next to Canada, too. So Palin has twice the foreign policy experience of George W. Bush!

Posted by: Minerva on August 29, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Oh!! Oh!!! Did she live next door to an economist while she was growing up? Maybe she has economic experience at the graduate level, as well!

Posted by: Mark on August 29, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

DonBoy wins the thread.

Posted by: nolo on August 29, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

I was the biggest head on my block when I was a teenager. Will McCain make me his drug czar? I got my own Ray Bans.

Posted by: heykidgetoffthatgrass on August 29, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

I vote for GovtFlu. Change you can Depends on - damn, that's funny.

Disrespectful of John McCain's time as a POW, but funny.

Posted by: Mark on August 29, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, I was BORN in another country, which means I've more foreign policy experience than McCain and Palin combined! Oh, and I'm Jewish, which makes me a consummate economist. (Move ovah, Krugman!)

And I will never, EVER get an abortion... oh wait, I'm a guy...

Posted by: FreeProton on August 29, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't that unusual of an argument for the Republicans. After all, Giuliani's argument for being President was his proximity to a terrorist attack.

Posted by: Kevin on August 29, 2008 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Proving once again how difficult satire is in an age of Fox News, this video shows Steve Doocy making the identical argument, only he was serious.

These guys have completely lost higher brain functions. They are right-wing chatbots.

Posted by: mark on August 29, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

According to Ed Rollins, these are her quals for going head to head w/Joe B.: (I can't wait!)

"She is blunt, outspoken and charming. And don't assume she can't stand toe-to-toe with Joe Biden. She is a great debater. And she was runner-up for the Miss Alaska title, won Miss Congeniality in that contest and plays the flute."

Hope she held onto that flute!

Posted by: Forrest on August 29, 2008 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

"And she was runner-up for the Miss Alaska title, won Miss Congeniality in that contest and plays the flute."

I wonder what will be the equivalent this time around of "a guy you'd like to have a beer with."

Posted by: Econobuzz on August 29, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's a toss-up for me between donboy and GovtFlu. But I definitely think doubtful gets the thread oscar for Best Poster in a Troll-Obliterating Role for his response to orwell at 4:20.

Posted by: DrBB on August 29, 2008 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Not sure how the Obama campaign can focus on this issue. Here's a cite that's being used by conservative blogs on the foreign policy experience issue:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/10/us/politics/10obama.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Excerpt: To counter opponents’ accusations that he lacks experience in foreign policy, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois often cites his ties to relatives in poor villages in Kenya and the years he spent growing up in Indonesia. Now he has added a new personal detail to that résumé: a trip to Pakistan while a college student.

Needless to say, this is generating gobs of sarcastic commentary.

Posted by: pencarrow on August 29, 2008 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Minerva: "Alaska is next to Canada, too. So Palin has twice the foreign policy experience of George W. Bush!"

Good point. IIRC, the only other state with dual international boundaries is Florida. Alaska is also a member of circumpolar international associations -- though I don't recall Palin mingling with too many dignitaries in her 20 months in office.

Jose Padilla: "Ted Stevens (indicted) plucked her out of complete obscurity to make her governor."

Incorrect. Palin did indeed rise to prominence because of her opposition to the GOP establishment in Alaska. Stevens and Rep. Don Young are openly contemptuous of her.

Jan in Stone Mtn: "Why does that money belong to Alaska by the way, why doesn't it belong to all of us."

Because the revenue comes from oil under state land. Alaska isn't some colony for the rest of the US to exploit. (You can ask why it therefore belongs to all Alaskans in common, but that's a separate question.) Alaskans are also supposed to get 90% of revenue from mineral leases on federal land -- it was part of the deal to make the state self-sufficient -- though that has often been ignored.

Posted by: Grumpy on August 29, 2008 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

IIRC, the only other state with dual international boundaries is Florida.

Uh...say wha?

Posted by: Stefan on August 29, 2008 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

I had thought before that Hon. Sen. McCain would be more like a President Dick Cheney than a President Bush. His VP pick looks like he's trying to sell America the "change" from the last eight years of Bush/Cheney to (at least) four of Cheney/Bush.

Posted by: jhm on August 29, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Uh...say wha?

Cuba and Bahamas. They're called maps.

Posted by: Grumpy on August 29, 2008 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK
Cuba and Bahamas.

Florida doesn't have a "border" (even in the sea sense) with Cuba, and I don't think it does with the Bahamas either. The US Exclusive Economic Zone isn't Florida (or even US) territorial waters.

Posted by: cmdicely on August 29, 2008 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't there a TV movie about her? "Sarah Palin and Tall," with Glenn Close?

Posted by: navamske on August 30, 2008 at 6:00 AM | PERMALINK

Cuba and Bahamas. They're called maps.

Ah. So then in the same sense that Hawaii borders Russia, China, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mexico, Nicragua, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Chile, among other?

Posted by: Stefan on August 30, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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