Obama: “I have more experience than Palin”

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Barack Obama took his first opportunity to tackle Sarah Palin’s experience and claim that he has more experience than she does.

First, the first video from Monday night:

Report from Political Ticker:

(CNN) — Barack Obama defended his experience in dealing with natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, and took a swipe at newly minted GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

In an interview on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Monday night, Obama was asked about whether his experience in the U.S. Senate dealing with weather-related situations compares to Palin’s executive experience running the state of Alaska and as the small town mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

“My understanding is that Gov. Palin’s town, Wassilla, has I think 50 employees. We’ve got 2500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe 12 million dollars a year – we have a budget of about three times that just for the month,” Obama responded.

Our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made clear over the past couple of years and certainly in terms of the legislation I’ve passed in the past couple of years, post-Katrina.”

You can watch the full interview on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

One wonders if the Obama campaign wants to venture down the “experience” road considering how many of his Democratic colleagues plastered him over experience during the primary, including his own vice presidential nominee.

Waiting for a response from the McCain camp..

  • I just read this, and am still laughing! *ROFL*

    Here was McCain Camp’s response:

    “John McCain’s spokesman called the suggestion “laughable.”

    “For Barack Obama to argue that he’s experienced enough to be president because he’s running for president is desperate circular logic and its laughable. It is a testament to Barack Obama’s inexperience and failing qualifications that he would stoop to passing off his candidacy as comparable to Governor Sarah Palin’s executive experience managing a budget of over $10 billion and more than 24,000 employees,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds.”

  • Dreadsen

    Karl Rowe says it all right here.


    May the Hypocrisy continue

  • Grey

    I find it odd that Obama focuses on her experience as mayor and not as governor. His argument here is fairly weak overall, although overall, I personally believe that his experience with legislature is more pertinent experience with regards to the presidency than Palin’s twenty or so months as governor.

    Aside from that, it’s interesting how Republicans are continuing down this line of attack, bringing up experience as an issue once again. Frankly, looking at the poll averages, I don’t think the American public resonates with their line of argument.

    I can’t help but find the American people’s reaction to Palin a bit humorous. As a result of picking Palin, people have accused McCain of caring more about winning the election than about what’s best for the American people. Ironically, looking at the RCP poll averages, this has added to his unpopularity, which means that picking Palin has actually lessened his chances of winning the election.

    Well, at least I find it a bit funny.

  • I find it a bit funny that people keep comparing the VP choice’s experience to the Presidential candidate’s experience. Obama is running against McCain, not Palin.

    And Grey, I don’t think there’s anyone around who will agree that governing a state is less qualifying than voting “present” on bills in the Legislature. Obama himself is touting his executive experience here to be that of a campaign manager, which he says makes him more qualified than Palin – a comparison he shouldn’t even stoop to, that is comparing himself to the VP pick. He just lowered himself to the VP level by doing that. He should have ignored CNN asking him such a question.

  • Grey

    Babs, I think you misunderstand me when I say I find the situation humorous. I find the people’s take on McCain’s VP choice humorous because their reason for disliking her is stupid and counterintuitive- people believe he chose Palin to give himself a leg up in the election which obviously isn’t the case- he lost about 5% to Obama ever since he announced his choice. It’s ironic that when people criticize McCain for pandering to popularity, they weaken the very basis of their own criticism by making him unpopular because of his choice. It’s a self destructive argument.

    Personally, I think rather highly of Palin, and I thought that McCain made a good choice. I would really consider voting for McCain because of it.

    In terms of qualifications, I don’t believe that either legislative or governing experience is more valuable than the other, but the actual duration of time Palin spent as a governor in comparison to Obama makes me believe that Obama is more experienced, even if by a relatively small margin.

    Now, I would think rather little of him if he started making unprovoked attacks on Palin based on experience, but I think it’s a bit harsh to claim he’s “touting” his experience just because he defended himself when Republicans tried to claim Palin has a leg up on him in terms of experience.

    His answer to CNN’s question was really weak, and I agree that it’s stupid to bring up campaign managing experience in his defense, but that still doesn’t give credence to the Republican’s attack on his experience. Also, looking at the RCP poll gains he’s had over the last couple of days, I would say that America doesn’t agree with them either.

  • Todd

    Grey are my eyes so partisan that all I have heard since the Palin pick is the Democrats yelling about McCain being a hypocrite ? I mean it started as soon as it was announced. They went after McCain for picking a mayor instead of saying Governor. They are now asking if she can be VP with 5 kids, I thought that was what the Dems have been fighting for forever (equal rights) I mean I am seeing the Dems doing all the attacking on the experience issue lately not the Republican’s.

    The only democrat I have seen who actually said he thought she was qualified was Biden and he did that today while in Fla. He actually said and I’m paraphrasing. That he did not know enough about Palin to say anything negative right now. He said he expected a difference of opinion on policy but that from what he knew she was a very nice person who was qualified to be VP. I saw this with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears. Interestingly the question from the Democrat in attendance was about Palin’s daughter being pregnant. Biden also said kids were off limits. Maybe this is where Obama/democrats should listen to Biden and his experience.

  • Grey


    I won’t deny that the Democrats are trigger-happy with the experience issue, but I think that here we have to draw the line between the Democratic populace and the Democratic politicians. So far, I’ve seen relatively few upper echelon Democrats attack Palin on anything- in fact, I’ve seen a couple praise McCain for his choice.

    Actually, watching the news and reading the news articles online have given me the impression that both Democrat and Republican politicians have mixed feelings about Palin, even if the general populace is leaning towards viewing Palin as a bad pick.

    Also, while I’ve seen a couple of Republican politicians on the attack in regards to the viability of Palin’s experience, I haven’t seen too many, so I agree that the Democrats are using the experience card a lot more these days. The only reason I remarked about the Republican’s recent attacks on Obama is because it’s addressed in the CNN video Nate posted in the article, not because I believe the Republicans have been playing the experience card more.

    Just as a sidenote, I have yet to see Obama himself play the experience card once (honestly, a defensive response to a question doesn’t count), and Obama has also said that family was off limits, not just Biden.

  • Christopher Schwinger

    What a dumb argument (over who has more experience)! Ultimately, character quality and an appreciation for freedom matter more than experience. Hillary Clinton and John McCain have experience, but both of them are as deceitful as I’ll get out! Obama doesn’t have “experience” OR integrity, but he, at least, is not pretending to be what he’s not. McCain IS pretending.

  • Michael

    I have to concur with Babs here. It was a tactical mistake on Obama’s part to compare himself to the Republican VP nominee. He should be contrasting himself with McCain, not Palin. Leave that to Biden.

  • Lisa

    The Republicans need to stop calling Palin the face of a new generation. Her views on the issues do not represent the majority of the ‘new generation’. Its the same old republican, ultra-conservative, christian beliefs wrapped up in a new package. Is this really someone you want defending your country in times like these?

    She is a joke!


  • Todd


    I have to assume that you are a liberal with your post. Only a liberal would lay claim to the “new generation” mantra. Apparently you think republican’s have been nominating women for years. The new generation is a worldwide thing it’s not specific to the U.S. or the democrats it includes women and minorities from all walks of life and political mindsets not just your party.

    The truth is you cannot face the simple fact that Obama is the same old liberal. I don’t expect you to see that since you have been blinded by the light, but the fact is liberals have been calling for the wealthy to be taxed more, for years. Liberals have been calling for socialized medical care since Hillary in 1994, Liberals have demanded equal pay for equal work (which now you are apparently against) for years, liberals have demanded more money for the needy for years, liberals have inferred it’s America’s fault that war exist while turning a blind eye to the other side who apparently likes to fight also, for years.

    Just because Obama says it doesn’t mean it’s so and just because you chose to exclude conservative women doesn’t make you the “new generation”

  • Robert

    Obama wants to compare his experience of running his _campaign_ with Palin’s official executive experience? That’s just silly, and I don’t think he really wants to emphasize that the bulk of his political experience comes from running from President, not actually serving in office.

  • Michael, thanks, we’ll agree on this. And Chris, I agree with you that character quality is the issue, not experience. And that’s the point we’ve been trying to make about Obama for a year. Glad it’s finally sinking in for you. 😉

  • Grey

    Once again I’m completely lost on everyone’s reasoning.

    I’ve read and seen nothing that makes me believe that Obama willingly played the experience card. Nothing I’ve read or seen makes me believe that he even wants to compare himself to Palin. My understanding is that CNN brought up how the Republicans were comparing his experience to Palin’s and saying that Palin had a leg up.

    What in the world would you expect him to do? Concede and say that Palin has more experience? Ignore the question?

    Honestly, I’m really confused here. I feel as if there’s some part of the article or the video that magically I can’t see.

  • nyth

    Honestly, I read this differently. I took it as Obama saying he had more experience in managing his campaign alone, than Palin has from her time as mayor.

    Still, not the best argument for Obama to make, and he probably should have chosen better wording to lessen the back-lash.

  • Dreadsen

    Well it does defeat the he has ZERO executive argument.
    Maybe to some it isn’t in the same ball park as being Governor. But it is SOME executive experience to do a comparison.

  • Todd


    I thought you were a Ron Paul supporter ?

  • Paul

    I really liked what Carl Rove had to say last night about the unintelligent comparison’s the drive-by media are making between Mrs. Palin and Barack Huessein. Barack has NEVER goverened, he has shown up to Congress..sometimes… and voted…SOMETIMES lol. McCain & Palin ‘8

  • I liked the way Rudy said it, too, Paul. He was “present” 130 times, the President has to be more than “present”, he has to actually DO something!

    But my favorite from Rudy was the three different stances over 3 days from Obama on Georgia, with his 300 foreign policy advisors, to finally arrive at McCain’s opinion. Next time, he said, just ask John McCain. 😉

  • Gina

    Palin’s speech was a home run!!! All you left wing democrats who have been smug and presumptuous, acting as if Obama has already won, are about to be given your rightfully deserved comeuppance. Keep America strong … No Wright, no Farrakahn, no Ayers, no Rezko, no mean Michelle, NOBAMA !!!

  • Here we go, another nutty Republican.

  • Todd

    Hey Pudding at least ya’ll can share a room at the nuthouse, unless it’s a partisan one, then you will be in a private room.

    (I’m patting myself on the back right now, that was an awesome response)

  • Annette

    I am a resident of the state of Illinois. When Obama became a US Senator he said he would not seek an office for which he had no experience and then said that he would NOT run for the office of president because he had no experience (his words). Besides that, why would anyone across this nation vote for someone who is in the pocket of the Chicago political machine (John Stroger,Emil Jones, Mayor Daly, etc.)? If you look at the track records (and criminal records) of the Governors and other state officials of Illinois why would you vote for someone who is so closely tied to the corruption of this state? There is no character and integrity with Obama. He goes with the breeze on most issues and touts the party line, especially if that part of the party is getting him elected. 130 present votes?, almost no time in Washington in the past 4 years? I want my tax money back, he isn’t doing the job the people of Illinois sent him to do!