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Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin

Since 2006 I have been a big fan of Joe Biden. Well, He ran and he lost and he is back as Obama's running mate. But in the last few weeks he and even Obama have been completely eclipsed by the media phenomenon called Sarah Palin. In my opinion Sarah Palin is nothing but a street smart politician. Comparing Palin to Biden would be akin to comparing Pinaray Vijayan to Karl Marx. Nonethless I am fascinated by the buzz she has generated and the fan base she now has. I am particularly fascinated by the fact that her fan base continues to grow despite what she really is, or how prepared she is to be a VP.

Following is an OpEd from NYTimes written by the famous conservative (yes! conservative) author David Brooks.

What is prudence? It is the ability to grasp the unique pattern of a specific situation. It is the ability to absorb the vast flow of information and still discern the essential current of events — the things that go together and the things that will never go together. It is the ability to engage in complex deliberations and feel which arguments have the most weight.

How is prudence acquired? Through experience. The prudent leader possesses a repertoire of events, through personal involvement or the study of history, and can apply those models to current circumstances to judge what is important and what is not, who can be persuaded and who can’t, what has worked and what hasn’t.

Experienced leaders can certainly blunder if their minds have rigidified (see: Rumsfeld, Donald), but the records of leaders without long experience and prudence is not good. As George Will pointed out, the founders used the word “experience” 91 times in the Federalist Papers. Democracy is not average people selecting average leaders. It is average people with the wisdom to select the best prepared.

Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she’d be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness.

Here is a clip from her ABC news interview:




Do you still think she is better than Joe Biden ?

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