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Oh, one other things that bugs me: the idea that being well-educated is a sign of "elitism" and something to be shunned. It's part of the growing anti-intellectualism in this country that drives me crazy.

With regards to Gov. Palin, she attended about a half dozen not-very-good schools over a six year span, before getting her degree in journalism from University of Idaho. Not the most auspicious of educational experiences.

After that, she got a job as a sports reporter up in Anchorage, met her husband, and quit her job and srated having kids. She got interested in politics, got elected to a spot on the city council in 92, got elected Mayor in '96, and it was in her second term that she got to know some movers and shakers in Washington (that's when she hired the lobbying firm to get 27 mil in earmarks for her town of under 7,000 people).

She's obviously skilled at knowing who to know in order to get stuff, and that combined with being telegenic and (apparently) a good public speaker has allowed her to move up the ranks on a relatively small stage. However, the "troopergate" scandal is a sign that maybe she's not smooth, and her lack of experience (no matter how much Republicans want to label it "executive experience") is troubling.

Now, there are a lot of folks with less-than-stellar educational backgrounds who go on to accomplish major things. Most of us are no fans of Ronald Reagan, but remember that in 1976, when he ran and lost in the primaries to incumbent Gerald Ford, he had been governor of friggin' California for 8 years and been in the national spotlight since at least 1964 (his speech for Goldwater). His educational background was pretty unimportant compared to his long and impressive political track record

In reviewing Obama, you have someone with outstanding academic accomplishments (Columbia, Harvard law, taught con law at U of C), who had 8 years as a state senator before becoming US Senator. He also had to run his campaign and somehow managed to go from nobody who gave a nice speech in '04 and was little known outside of Illinois to being able to match and exceed a party juggernaut in fundraising, as well as running the gauntlet of a very long primary campaign to emerge victorious. As we all know from the Clinton's history, defeating them politically is a considerable accomplishment. Obama built a structure from the ground up that did just that.

If Sarah Palin were running for President and had run an impressive campaign in addition to her other history, I'd view her more favorably. But she hasn't, she just managed to get picked for Veep by McCain because his top choices (Lieberman and Ridge) were viewed as suicidal by the party faithful. She has not yet shown much of a grasp of foreign policy or economic issues. Now, maybe she will in the upcoming weeks, who knows?

But somehow, pointing this out makes one an elitist who looks down on "ordinary people". I mean, she's a hockey mom who hunts and raises kids and her husband races snowmobiles!

Which is fine, but you know, the local bartender may be a nice guy, but I don't want him doing heart surgery on me. Nor do I want him running the country. Is this so hard to understand?

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