Waiting for Presidents to die

I’ve said before that Biden’s best benefit is foreign policy experience and Palin’s is her hotness, so I don’t substantively disagree with Tom:

Easy to imagine McCain as president (Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog)
And I have a real problem with that, when you’re talking a 72-year-old man with significant health issues. To me, it was simply a disrespectful choice, hard to square with putting country-before-self thinking. She simply isn’t the best the GOP has when it comes to accomplished, experienced, maverick women. Snowe? No discussion. Hutchinson? No discussion. But Palin strikes me as a very partisan, non-mainstream, poorly equipped choice for the most important job in the world. McCain dies his first year in office: does Palin strike you as the best we could do as his replacement? I just can’t see doing that to America.

The angle about the death of Presidents and inexperience is interesting.  Tom points out that in a McCain-Palin administration, we’d be waiting for a stress-induced stroke to give the office to someone with only a few years of executive experience.  Likewise, in an Obama-Biden administration, we’d be waiting for a sniper’s bullet to give the office to someone who has more than a few years of legislative experience.

9 thoughts on “Waiting for Presidents to die”

  1. you have a far higher opinion of Biden than I do. If I have anything to thank Obama for it is preventing the possibility of a Biden Secretary of Stateship.

  2. “Snowe? No discussion. Hutchinson? No discussion.” yes, because the discussion would have been academic if mccain had chosen one of them.

    ” But Palin strikes me as a very partisan, non-mainstream, poorly equipped choice for the most important job in the world. ” i don’t know much about barnett, but i’ve read several variations of the above from certain republicans (noonan, murphy, stein, etc) and the phrase seems to me to be code for: since she didnt go to an ivy league school she must be a dumbass. as if SAT score were the sole determinant of leadership ability. clinton supposedly had a bazillion IQ points — didn’t see how it made him great.

  3. ElamBend,

    Obviously you disagree with me on Biden. 🙂 What are your grounds for criticizing him on foreign policy?


    Interesting thought on code-speak…

    Generally I agree with the substance of the criticisms (besides having a generally good orientation, Palin’s great asset is her looks and that she is a woman). Still, the point is to win, not to have a theoretically brilliant team that loses.

    Regarding Tom’s clarification [1], Obama is still no more qualified than Bush was in 2000, with his campaign itself being both of their greatest achievements. Both Bush, Obama, and now Palin are where they are because (a) they’re not stupid (b) they’re pliant to the party establishment and (c) they were born politically correct

    [1] http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2008/09/a_clarification_on_my_posts_ab.html

  4. i agree. if we were putting together a “brilliant team,” the first order of business would be to replace mccain. possibly with palin! if fox news this morning is to be believed, Sarah Style is sweeping the nation!

  5. I think he has an undeserved reputation for knowledge in foreign affairs, based mostly, as far as I can tell, on two things a) he says so and b) he’s been around a long time.

    He’s been in the senate for three decades, yet has never had any real leadership position other than those that seniority gives him. Nor has he been asked by any administration to assist. He was sort of ahead of the curve on allowing weapons into Bosnia so that they could fight the Serbs.

    On Iraq, he proposed a plan for loose federalization (though sometimes he sounded as if he were calling for something closer to a preamble to partition). His Plan had five main points:

    “First, the plan calls for maintaining a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis their own regions. The central government would be left in charge of common interests, such as border security and the distribution of oil revenue.

    Second, it would bind the Sunnis to the deal by guaranteeing them a proportionate share of oil revenue. Each group would have an incentive to maximize oil production, making oil the glue that binds the country together.

    Third, the plan would create a massive jobs program while increasing reconstruction aid — especially from the oil-rich Gulf states — but tying it to the protection of minority rights.

    Fourth, it would convene an international conference that would produce a regional nonaggression pact and create a Contact Group to enforce regional commitments.

    Fifth, it would begin the phased redeployment of U.S. forces this year and withdraw most of them by the end of 2007, while maintaining a small follow-on force to keep the neighbors honest and to strike any concentration of terrorists.”[1]

    On first reading it sounds great, all except for magical step 2.5: We wave a wand and violence goes away. His solutions were the kind that you get in the Model UN. They were useless, though without some kind of effort to control violence. Yet, he did not support the surge. [2] Even more amazingly, just this Sunday, downplayed any real benefit of the surge, and even at one point tried to say some of the success came from following some of what he’d been saying. [3] When someone else asked him if he still supported a triparte solution he gave a long, incoherent answer that didn’t answer the question, seemed to take some glory for the success of the surge tactics and, well, rambled on about a whole bunch of stuff. [4]
    Actually, I think that’s how he impresses people. He has the ability to ramble off a bunch of facts, so he sound fairly knowledgeable, but once you listen to the guy several times, I think he comes off as a dilettante, just repeating stuff he’s heard or read.

    Add to that all the stories about his weirdness, back handed dealing with people, claiming to have a hgher iq than a reporter, puffing his academic record; I think the guy is faking it. Worse, I think he may believe his own b.s. I don’t. He’s a lightweight.





  6. Dan,
    I had written a fairly sizable response earlier today, but it got eaten by the machine. sorry.
    bottom line: I think Biden is a light weight who just parrots things he’s heard, with no real understanding.

  7. ElamBend,

    You’re summary of Biden’s Iraq plan is fair.

    The violence in his plan would be part of an ‘ethnological reboot,’ which I at the time supported [1] as the best way to make the war a net-positive for us.

    The Surge is to Bush as Palin is to McCain… an inexplicable success that came in the knick of time.

    It’s too soon to call victory for either, but it shook up both games to both players’ advantage.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2007/10/15/the-benefits-of-ethnological-reboot.html

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