The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Don’t underestimate Palin

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In his Tuesday column “Country Second,” Brendan McPhillips writes about Sarah Palin as if she was actually just a hockey mom and not the governor of the largest state in the US.

It’s true that Palin is largely unknown outside of Alaska and there are other politicians who have more experience than her, particularly in foreign policy, and would be more qualified vice-presidents based on their political resumes. It is only reasonable to have doubts about someone who is in their forties and has held a significant political office for only two years.

But Obama is also in his forties, has only spent four years in the U.S. Senate (two of which he spent running for president), and has no substantial foreign policy record. At the Democratic National Convention, Bill Clinton supported Obama by noting that the Republicans said he didn’t have the experience, especially in foreign policy, to be president. But I think most Democrats agree that didn’t stop Clinton from having a successful eight years in office.

So, isn’t saying that McCain “shamelessly sacrificed the best interests of the American people, putting country second, not first, by choosing Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate” just a little bit unfair?

Also, I don’t think any current undergraduate anywhere is “more qualified for the vice presidency then Sarah Palin.” In her campaign for governor, Sarah defeated the incumbent Frank Murkowski overwhelmingly in the primary and then defeated the former two-term governor Tony Knowles in the general election. Her approval rating as governor has remained at 80 to 90 percent, the highest approval rating of any United States governor.

Palin has surprised a lot of people with her skills and perceptiveness as a politician, particularly those who have underestimated her, and she will continue to do so.

Jon Leiner

grad student

Fischer Graduate

Sept. 24