During his interview on ABC’s This Week program this morning, Obama laughed off the idea that Sarah Palin has more national security experience than he does. He also took the Republicans to task for mocking his time as a community organizer.
They play a segment from McCain’s interview with Charlie Gibson, “Alaska is right next to Russia. She understands that. She’s the commander of the Alaska National Guard. He has no experience on these issues. She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities.”
“I actually knew that Russia was next to Alaska as well. I saw it on a map,” Obama laughed and said. George Stephanopoulos asked Obama if he thought this was a qualification, and he said, “I don’t think it is.” On the topic of her national security experience Obama said, “I know that John McCain was offended or at least his campaign was when she was asked, or somebody from his campaign, what decisions did she make when she headed up the National Guard, and they didn’t have a response.”
“I think that as somebody who served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and passed legislation on critical issues like nuclear proliferation, as somebody who has been working on these issues for long time, and some who selected Joe Biden as vice president who is the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, I am going to be happy to have a substantive debate with John McCain about foreign policy. This whole resume contest that has been going back and forth is not what the American people are looking for,” Obama said.
He also said he was puzzled by the Republicans mocking of his time as a community organizer, “It’s a real puzzling thing. Understand what I did as a community organizer. When I got out of college as a young person 24, 25 years old, I moved to Chicago and worked with churches who were dealing with steel plants that had closed in their neighborhoods to set up job training programs for the unemployed, and after school programs for youth, and to try deal with asbestos in homes of poor people, community service work, which John McCain has been talking about putting country first and extolling the virtues of national service that’s what I did between the ages of 24 and 27 before I went to law school. I would think that is what we want all young people to do. I would that is an area where Democrats and Republicans agree, so it’s curious to me that they would mock that, when I at least think that’s what young people should be doing.”
Obama said that for folks that are trying to grab the change banner, they have a very traditional view of public service. To them public service is either politics, or serving in the military. This was a very relaxed and happy Barack Obama. Let me interject a little fact here, governors don’t make foreign policy or national security decisions.
Obama has more experience with national security, because he works at the federal level. This is high school civics stuff. The fact that he laughed off the argument that Palin has more experience with national security than he does, proves how ineffective and ridiculous that argument is, which is why the McCain camp has backed off of it.
To me, the Republicans’ mocking of Obama’s public service during the convention, was more evidence that they don’t care or understand the problems of everyday people. Palin was a nice publicity stunt, but she isn’t going to save the Republican Party. The fact that many Republicans are counting on her to do exactly this demonstrates their desperation.
You can watch the full interview here.