Stephanie's Political Arena

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Palin vs. Obama on Experience needed to become President

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After a brief hiatus following the release of her best-selling book, Going Rogue, late last fall, Sarah Palin has reemerged into the spotlight, refueling speculation that she may run for president in 2012.  “I would be willing to if I believe that it’s right for the country,” she told Judd Berger of FoxNews.com during an interview at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville this weekend. 

Mr. Berger then guided the interview toward the issue of experience when running for President of the United States in which he asked Palin if she believed that she is more qualified than Barack Obama to be President.  She then explained that during the 2008 election cycle, she and running-mate John McCain had more combined experience “managing huge multi-billion dollar budgets and thousands of employees” than Obama.  Whereas, Obama “had 150 days in the U.S. Senate where he was able to vote quite often ‘present,’ not have to make decisions, being one of many, not having to manage.”

Palin’s assessment of Obama’s experience prior to his ascent to the presidency is certainly shared by The Economist.  This week, the British publication took a critical look at the President’s 2011 federal budget proposal, which adds another $147 billion to the projected $1.27 trillion deficit for next year.  “The president’s challenge in the 2011 budget was clear—begin the push towards medium-term deficit stabilisation, with an eye towards a long-term budget fix. Here he has come up woefully short.”  The article also takes aim at the “unexpectedly bad performance” by Obama’s administration in getting the nation’s economy back on track through the $787 billion economic stimulus package that went into effect early in 2009.  At the time, the Administration had predicted the stimulus would prevent the national unemployment rate from exceeding eight percent and would “save or create” 3.5 million jobs.  Instead, the unemployment rate hit 10 percent by the end of 2009 and the number-crunching behind the job creation data has yet to be proven fully accurate.  Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department estimates that more than 15 million American workers remain unemployed.

With the promise he made in his State of the Union speech to make job creation his top priority going into 2010, Obama now faces the challenge of delivering on that promise while keeping the federal budget deficit in check for the sake of security within the bond markets. 

He may have missed that opportunity a year ago.

As the stimulus package made its way through both houses of Congress last year, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) fought hard for the inclusion of a temporary payroll tax holiday.  Additionally, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) worked to include $67 billion worth of tax benefits into the stimulus package to help the small business community retain and create jobs.  However, the payroll tax holiday was rejected from further consideration and the $67 billion in tax benefits was reduced to $4 billion.  Obama did not veto nor request that these final provisions be reconsidered.

“I think that President Obama, with all due respect, his lack of experience is really made manifest in the way that decisions are made in the White House today,” said Palin.

Whether they’re the result of his “lack of experience” or his loyalty to his allies in Congress, Obama’s decisions over the past year have had a significant impact on the economy.  Despite the criticism among those like Palin, however, Obama still has a team of experienced advisors who should be capable of reviewing the direction of the economy over the past year, listening to the predictions made by the world’s top economists, and factoring these into a budget proposal that won’t further damage our fragile country, particularly in the marketplace.  His advisors should be experienced enough to help him make the tough decisions he should have anticipated the day he took the oath of office in becoming President of the United States.  Yet, at this point, as The Economist writes, “Mr. Obama has not done anything to reassure (the markets)…that the United States will eventually make good on its obligations.”

Could we expect more from a President Sarah Palin after 2012?

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Written by Stephanie

February 7, 2010 at 6:38 pm

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