One week before McCain selected Palin to be his VP, I did some research on Sarah Palin. I blogged:
I don't think this is going to fly . . . The problem, of course, is that Palin appears to have had no foreign policy experience whatsoever. "Makes her no less qualified than George W.," supporters might retort. Which is to say she is hardly a credible candidate for your standby-president in the world of 2008.No new information about Palin has come to light that has caused me to change my own initial assessment of the candidate.
Nevertheless, I may have missed something. Therefore, I have invited anyone to submit to Jotman any foreign policy accomplishments of Palin for inclusion in my Palin timeline. As I blogged here, I will be open minded about it: "Even a vacation in Mexico, or, say, a French language course -- I will be sure to add the event to the timeline."
One thoughtful Jotman reader responded: "Maybe you could outline Obama foreign policy achievements as well. We could make good comparsion between the two of them."
I did make an effort to look into Senator Obama's foreign policy experience earlier in the year. I noted that he had been a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the US Senate. On the streets of Jakarta, I made a firsthand inquiry into Obama's early life experiences in Indonesia -- a time of life that would have helped to shape his world view.
One episode sticks out in my mind concerning Obama's foray into US foreign policy. In February 2008 I blogged: "Obama's most important legislative achievement concerns the issue that prompted my first jot at Jotman." In his short time as a senator, Obama had the good sense to promote one the most important pieces of foreign policy legislation signed into law during the Bush administration. I am referring to the Lugar-Obama bill, otherwise known as "The Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act." I noted at the time: "Lugar-Obama was partly about keeping shoulder-fire missile launchers out of terrorists' hands -- the fear being that someone will try to take out an airliner."
McCain may not survive even one month should he be elected to office; it is appropriate for us all to inquire whether Palin has any foreign policy experience. The last time Americans elected such a president, he started a war without taking into consideration any of the obvious risks.
The Zoo reports that of the 570 bills Senator Obama introduced into the United States Senate, 10 addressed Foreign Policy:
- Iraq war de-escalation (313)
- US policy for Iraq (433),
- Divestiture from Iran (1430)
- Sudan divestment authorization (831)
- Millennium Development Goals (2433)
- Multilateral debt relief (1320)
- Development bank reform (1129)
- Nuclear nonproliferation (3131,977,2224).