Obama Tiptoes Around Palin, McCain Says She’s What the Nation Needs

Sept. 8, 2008 – 12:54 a.m.

Sarah Palin September 8, 2008

Sarah Palin September 8, 2008

Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama carefully steered clear of the issue of Sarah Palin ’s experience when pressed about it today but said that his Republican rival John McCain had chosen someone more aligned with the policies of the Bush administration than McCain himself.

Pressed by host George Stephanopoulous on ABC News’ “This Week” whether Palin met the test that Obama had set for his own choice – picking someone who is capable of being President – Obama said, “I’ll let you ask John McCain when he’s on ABC.”

McCain was asked that question on CBS News’ “Meet the Press,” and said, “I think that her experience and her background not only qualifies her, but brings to Washington a kind of an energy and a fresh wind that maybe is necessary in our nation’s capital.”

Obama called Palin “a skilled politician, “ adding, “She wouldn’t be governor of Alaska if she wasn’t a skilled politician, and I think her performance at the convention showed what a skilled politician she is.”

But Obama said that McCain had chosen someone “who may be even more aligned with George Bush — or Dick Cheney , or the politics we’ve seen over the last eight years — than John McCain himself is.”

“You know, this whole resume contest that’s been going back and forth is not what the American people are looking for,” Obama said.

Asked if he had ever considered joining the armed forces, Obama said he did think about it but by the time he graduated in 1979, the “Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren’t engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”

Addressing the subject of Palin’s qualifications on “Face the Nation,” McCain referred to Palin’s tenure as mayor of Wasilla and said “being mayor is a very important job nowadays, especially the way America is hurting,” although Palin was mayor before this year’s housing crisis struck, and Alaska as a whole does not face the fiscal challenges of other states because of its oil wealth.

McCain said that the crowds he’s encountered with Palin on the campaign trail are excited about “this reformer, this lifetime member of the NRA, the person who was a point guard. She has — I mean, and I’m sure that Governor Palin has failings. And I’m sure she’s made mistakes, because she’s had a long career, from city council to mayor to governor. But the fact is, she’s kind of what Americans have been looking for.”

McCain said he did not believe that Obama’s service as a community organizer was a negative, despite the swipes at the line of his resume taken at the GOP convention by Palin and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. McCain called that service “honorable.”

“I think what happened was it was a reaction to the Obama campaign saying — and denigrating the fact that she had been mayor of a small town,” McCain said.

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~ by Leonidas on September 8, 2008.

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