Conservatives watching as the McCain campaign tries to compare the experience of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin to Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Democratic ticket, think the focus is wrong. Their view: The McCain campaign should be comparing the first woman GOP veep pick to former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, the first Democratic VP nominee. Below is one of the E-mail memos to conservatives and the media, this one dispatched by leading public relations exec Keith Appell of CRC Public Relations:
From: Keith Appell
Subject: A Few Words About Palin Coverage
As Gov. Palin prepares for her convention speech tonight the media, unfortunately aided by some well-meaning McCain supporters, has not really touched on -- much less fully explored -- the true "experience" comparison that Palin's nomination raises. Stacking her up alongside Obama is the wrong comparison, she really should be compared to Geraldine Ferraro who the Democrats nominated to be one heartbeat away from the presidency in 1984.
How would the experience questions that Dems are raising about Palin apply to Ferraro, and how do the two women contrast? When she was nominated to be vice president Ferraro was a three term (six year) Member of the House of Representatives from Queens, New York. She was not a member of the Democratic House leadership, she was one vote out of 435 in the House, and -- arguably -- her highest priority wasn't national security or even the economy. It was most likely constituent service, making sure her constituents got their Social Security checks and so forth.
By contrast, Palin governs the largest state in the union and while Alaska's population is much less than other states its size it is still a massive state to manage effectively; with thousands of miles of coastline, mountain ranges, the energy industry -- all and more that must be managed by many state agencies and their employees. All of whom must be overseen by Palin and her administration. Democrats nominated Ferraro to be one heartbeat away, and I'm sure no Democrat would ever try to convince people that she was NOT qualified or experienced enough to be vice president. Or would they?
Curiously, Ferraro has not been very visible or quoted during this last week except for a few phone interviews on Fox News. At least that's all I've seen. Given that she and Palin are the only women in history to be/have been in this position would it not be newsworthy to find out what she thinks and how she is reacting to both the Palin pick and its fallout?
After I asked if Whispers could post his memo, Appell added this:
Feel free to do so. It's just a little mind-boggling how such an obvious contrast, really an obvious story, is not being covered yet. It's not like she's dead and you can't talk to her, and it's not like it happened in 1884. There was television and videotape in 1984 and plenty of video from that campaign.
By Paul Bedard