John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Tale of the Tape

Posted on August 31, 2008



            In this corner, we have the wonder of Chicago, the silky left-hander, born in Hawaii, raised in Indonesia, educated at Harvard, Barack “The One” Obama.


            In the other corner, we have the citizen-mom, the feisty point-guard, born in Alaska, raised in Alaska, educated in Idaho, Sarah “The Barracuda” Palin.


            Well, this should be an interesting brawl.  “The One” is heavily favored, having been running for President for at least a decade.  “The Barracuda”, who recently gave birth to her fifth child, only learned last week that she would be on the ticket.


            Let’s take a look at their records.


            Obama has one loss in his career.  He took on Congressman Bobby Rush in a Chicago primary, and got trounced.  He learned from that mistake to not take on the political powers that be in Chicago.  He has Chicago’s big power brokers, from da Mayor to the soon-to-be indicted Governor of Illinois, in his corner.


            Palin is undefeated.  She has taken on Alaska’s political establishment and beaten them each tim.  She beat an incumbent Governor from her own party, Frank Murkowski, in a primary and she has never looked back.  She does not have Alaska’s power brokers, including indicted Senator Ted Stevens, in her corner.


            Obama was influential in passing an ethics reform package in Illinois, although Illinois’s ethics have not noticeably improved in that state.  Palin passed a landmark ethics bill in her state, and it has worked to clean up a state that needed cleaning up.


            Obama has some ethics problems of his own.  His chief fundraiser in his early political days, Tony Rezko was convicted of bribery.  Rezko gave Obama his political start, and helped him buy a big house in Chicago. 


            Palin also has an ethic controversy.  She has been accused of firing a state employee unfairly.   The allegation goes that the state employee wouldn’t fire a cop who had been married to Palin’s sister, so Palin fired him.  Sounds bad, until you hear that the cop threatened to kill her sister and her dad.


            Obama’s executive experience was as editor of the Harvard Law Review.


 Palin’s executive experience was as Mayor of a tiny town in Alaska and then Governor of Alaska.  There, she successfully fought to lower taxes and cut spending.  She enjoys popularity ratings of 80%


            Obama’s legislative experience is two terms in the Illinois State Senate and a partial term in the United States Senate.   In the Illinois State Senate, he was known for voting “present” over a hundred times in legislative voted.  In the US Senate, he was rated as having the most liberal voting record by the respected political magazine National Journal.


Palin’s legislative experience is as a member of the PTA.


            Obama has been to Iraq, Afghanistan (where he played basketball), Israel, Jordan, Germany, France and UK (and I am sure other places).  He addressed 200,000 Berliners over the summer, right after a rock concert.


            He served as Chairman of subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee.  His subcommittee did no legislative work when he was Chairman.  No hearings, no markups, nothing. 


            Palin has been to Kuwait and Canada.


            Obama dodges questions about when life begins and when abortion shouldn’t be permitted, saying that is for someone at a “higher pay grade.”


            Palin believes life starts at conception.


            Obama belonged to a church where the pastor regularly condemned America and its racist past, and once said “God Damned America” in a famous YouTube clip.  Obama later distanced himself from that pastor.


            Palin is an evangelical Christian who used to be a member of the Pentacostal Church, some of whose members sometimes speak in tongues.


            Obama has been on Meet the Press countless times.  Palin has never been on Meet the Press.


            Obama has two adorable daughters who have been featured both in People Magazine and at the Democratic convention.  Obama’s wife once said that the success of her husband’s Presidential campaign made her proud for the first time.


            Palin has five children, including a son who is in the Army and stationed in Iraq, and a young daughter who has Down’s syndrome.  Palin’s husband is part Eskimo and is now a stay at home dad, but used to work in the oil industry.


            This should be an interesting battle between two relative newcomers to the political boxing ring.  Neither has much experience.  Both are beloved by their political base.  Of course, one is running for President, while the other one is on the undercard for Vice President, so it unlikely that they would ever get into a debate.  But if they ever did, I bet it would be a good one.