Sunday, September 21, 2008

Palin is an insult to the American people - Hagel

Politics is not for the weak minded or easily upset.

These days we see politicians tiptoeing around issues, being evasive and ambiguous, and giving us party lines that obscure the real issues. There are a few exception however.. one of them is Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE).

I give a minimal amount of respect to every elected official then I either add or subtract admiration based on their behavior. For the gold standard in today's political world for a true statesman, I turn to Senator Chuck Hagel. That being said, I listen to what he says.. and boy, did he say a lot!

Sen. Hagel may be a close personal friend of Senator John McCain but Hagel doesn't pull punches when it comes to his views on the McCain campaign and especially, as we found out, about Gov. Sarah Palin's readiness to take the No. 2 job in the Executive Branch of the US Federal Government.

His major bone to pick with Palin was that she was trying to appear knowledgeable on foreign policy and international relations. I suppose Hagel, like the rest of reasonable Americans, doesn't believe that the proximity of your state to another country counts as "experience". He had this to say:

"I think they ought to be just honest about it and stop the nonsense about, 'I look out my window and I see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia,' that kind of thing is insulting to the American people."

Next, he slammed her so-called international experience which includes a visit to Kuwait & Germany (to visit the Alaska National Guard troops), and a fueling stopover in Ireland. [After this interview it was confirmed that, at the request of John McCain, Sarah Palin will meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in New York] Senator Hagel definitely wasn't impressed with her 'traveling experience' with that either:

"She doesn't have any foreign policy credentials," Hagel said. "You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don't know what you can say. You can't say anything."

His argument against Palin was definitely not one based on her domestic issue understanding or social values but more about her ability to lead. These next two quotes say it all:

"But I do think in a world that is so complicated, so interconnected and so combustible, you really got to have some people in charge that have some sense of the bigger scope of the world," Hagel said. "I think that's just a requirement."

"I think it's a stretch to, in any way, to say that she's got the experience to be president of the United States," Hagel said.

Think about it... and tell me if you agree/disagree.


Sen. Hagel doubts Palin's ready - Omaha World Herald


nukeit said...

You have to applaud any public figure with Chuck Hagel's reputation that is willing to put himself on the line like that with his party.

Speaking of which, RON PAUL!

joel said...

Nows that's what I call a maverick. political accommodations for the sake of election is a form of regression. If Hillary was named by Obama, I'm sure the GOP wouldn't even consider Palin. If the Republicans would like to genuinely serve the people, they must choose a candidate that is not a traditional politician. He will reinvent himself a thousand times just to get elected. That said, McCain is such. Flip-flops are worn on the feet, not elected in to office.

Josie said...

I am glad to see someone raising real concerns rather than the petty slamming that has been going on.

RearVuMirr said...

Well, In all honesty ~ given this 2000 BusinessWeek article

It's easy to see why Hagel may see Palin as a threat to his own political ambitions.

Strong Moderate said...

@nukeit - Ron Paul.. man, he gets into every conversation whether he is relevant or not!

@joel - Maverick is exactly right and unlike McCain, Hagel has never changed being just that from day 1 in the Senate into his last few months.

@josie - Right on Sister! There have been so many ageist, sexist, racist, petty attacks in this cycle already. Time to say ENOUGH and focus on the ISSUES!

@rearvumirr - first.. I don't know if you noticed but your article was from EIGHT years ago. Second, just to show you how outdated that is they are talking about W. Bush thinking about taking Hagel as his VP.. crazy in retrospect. Furthermore, Hagel gave a promise to the people of Nebraska while he was campaigning in 1996 - two terms in Senate (max) then I'm gone. He honored that promise and no sane Neo-Con Republican would choose him as his running mate. Lastly, since when is being pro-business a bad thing? Isn't the entrepreneurial spirit what makes America flourish?

Doug said...

I have to agree with Hagel on Palin's weak qualifications and readiness to be President. These negatives comments from a member of your own party have to hurt McCain. I imagine the left-leaning press will publicize this to the hilt.

Matt said...

I won't disagree with Palin's lack of experience in several areas, but someone needs to tell me where to find the book that outlines exactly what qualifications are necessary to become President OR Vice-President of the U.S. Because if it leads to another V.P. like any of the last three (and many others) I will go with an unproven like Palin. At least she has the potential to learn quickly, and she sure as hell won't take any crap off the like of Pelosi and Reid.

Furthermore, I wasn't aware that being in the senate for four years, but mailing in your vote the majority of the time, and using the last two years to run for President qualifies you for the job of President of the U.S. Oh, I forgot, he was a community organizer. Silly me!

Smith said...

Wow Matt - if you still would consider Palin - maybe I should run and you would definitely vote for me. I've been overseas more times than my fingers and toes. I'm Fluent in 2 languages. I have a Masters Degree. During my undergrad, I was student body President - we had over 9,000 registered students. Today, I'm a parent of 3 kids and just been made senior corp manager for my Division. Last year, I spoke out against the COO of our corporation and had him reprimanded for documentation misconduct.
And I give money to missionaries.

Hmmm, I deserve your vote. I make Sarah look kindergarden.

Matt said...

Wow, you even have more experience than the community organizer, and you have accomplished more than his sidekick, Biden. Maybe I SHOULD write your name in. I wouldn't feel any worse about it than voting for Obama.

U.S. Common Sense said...

I always find it interesting how people get so bent out of shape over the "lack of foriegn policy experience" by a Vice Presidential candidate when the Presidential candidate of the competitng party has the same lack of experience. However, with Hagel being an indirect supporter of Obama, I can understand his failure to address the parallel's there. Obama tapped Biden to cover his weaknesses on forieng policy just as McCain tapped Palin to help on the domestic side. When people realize that they are voting for the person on the top of the ticket, and if foriegn policy is their big concern, McCain will most likely be the candidate they are voting for.

Nancy Swider said...

After browsing this blog I do not understand why you call yourself a moderate. You are clearly a democrat. Why not just own it?

Jay said...

And, of course, Nebraska is the center of international politics.

Sounds like he's just pissed he didn't get nominated for prez or even get the VP choice. I personally would rather have an executive in that surrounded themselves with experts rather than assume he or she was one and made decisions in isolation. said...

To be fair, as governor of Arkansas, how much foreign policy experience did Bill Clinton have?

Or what about his military background?

Yet Democrats laud Clinton as one of the best presidents of our generation.

Why the double standard?

Strong Moderate said...

First, THANK YOU ALL! Considering the mostly respectful tones and great content of each comment I'm glad to have all of you here and hope you return to state your opinions and facts.

I'll respond to theses posts in two comments.. this one is to respond to the actual debate:

@matt, smith, U.S. Common Sense - While there is no "book" outlining what kind of experience is needed for either President or VP but there are certain characteristics that most of the American public would like to see in either of those positions. There are certainly many who only care about the little letter next to the name on the ballot and will defend that candidate no matter what. The smart voter however weighs different factors like character, judgment, political experience, values, education, leadership, intelligence, life experience, and so much more!

That's why I think it is fair to attack a candidate's lack of any of those things as long as there is reasonable evidence. U.S Common Sense is just right, the VP is meant to cover your weaknesses (and appeal to voters you haven't captured). So it is no big mystery why the Presidential candidates chose their running mates.

On the other hand, U.S. CS is wrong. We are no longer voting for just the Presidential nominee. Ever since this Bush Administration showed us just how much power can be exacted by a VP the concern is greater. That is why Sarah Palin and Joe Biden are being scrutinized by the media (sometimes fairly, sometimes not).

As for that media bias charge.. this debate is so wonderful I might just blog about it all separately in a new post!


Strong Moderate said...

Next.. time to deal with the "haters":

@Nancy Swider: I'm glad you owned up to not "understand[ing]" why I call myself a moderate. I am a moderate Republican. I might encourage you to 1) browse a little deeper and 2) understand what being a Republican (moderate or otherwise) is really all about. I have conservative values - find me an instance where I have not shown that. I'll give you an excellent example: here. Next, I believe in conservative fiscal policy and realist foreign policy. Those two positions were long held as Republican until this past Bush Administration was taken over by Neo-Conservatives who perverted the party and turned it into a party based more on ideology, beliefs, and rhetoric than on common sense and real solutions. That is why I will NEVER own up to something I am not. I can never be a Democrat. Their values run directly against my own. I can tolerate a democrat if s/he is the better of two evils however. Let me stress that again, I can NEVER EVER be a Democrat.

@jay: What part of the US is the center of International politics? Doesn't being on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years count? Doesn't being a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations count?
Next your bit about "being in charge" and being surrounded with experts runs contrary to reality. It is John McCain who makes a lot of decisions personally based on his "gut" (according to himself and his advisers) and it is Obama that surrounds himself with a lot of experts and consults them. Ponder this: Obama actually took more than a month of research and input from over 250 experts/Democrats/pollsters/friends/etc... on his VP pick and McCain picked his VP after remembering that he had a great gut feeling about Palin after meeting her several times. Two types of leadership, both with advantages ( caution vs. speed) and disadvantages (indecision vs. brashness). You decide which you'd rather have in the White House.