As former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin becomes more and more the voice of lower taxes, state sovereignty, and smaller and less intrusive government, liberals, Democrats, and their friends in the “mainstream” media increasingly call into question her qualifications to serve in our nation’s highest elective office. What is missing from that evaluation is any meaningful comparison of Palin and Obama, side-by-side. So let’s take a closer look at their relative qualifications:
Barack Hussein Obama II was born with dual US-British citizenship on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. His parents were Stanley Ann Dunham, of Wichita, Kansas, and Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a Luo tribesman from Nyanza Province, Kenya. Sarah Louise Palin, nee Heath, a natural born U.S. citizen, was born on February 11, 1964 in Sandpoint, Idaho, the third of four children of Sarah and Charles Heath, a school secretary and a science teacher/track coach, respectively, both American citizens.
Following her 1964 divorce from his father, Obama’s mother married Indonesian Muslim Lolo Soetoro. The Soetoros moved to Indonesia in 1967 where Obama attended public school and the St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic School in Jakarta. School records show him enrolled as “Barry Soetoro.” His nationality is listed as “Indonesian” and his religion as “Muslim.” Sarah Palin attended public schools in Alaska, first in Eagle River, and later in Wasilla.
In 1971, Obama was sent to live with his grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, in Honolulu, where he attended the Punahou School, a private college preparatory school. He graduated from Punahou in 1979 and enrolled at Occidental College in Los Angeles. It is not known whether he attended college under scholarships or grants, or whether he was enrolled as a U.S. citizen or as an Indonesian foreign exchange student. Of his years at Occidental, Obama says he was “still drinking and doing drugs, just going through the motions.”
Sarah Palin attended Wasilla High School where she headed the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was a member of the girls’ cross country track team. During her senior year, 1982, Palin was co-captain and point guard on the Wasilla girls’ basketball team that won the Alaska state championship. And while Obama was entering his senior year at Columbia in the fall of 1982, with person or persons unknown picking up the tab, Palin was embarking on a low-budget, middle class educational experience that took her to no fewer than four colleges and universities.
She attended Hawaii Pacific University in 1982-83 and transferred to North Idaho College in the spring and fall of 1983. In 1984, she won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant, finishing third in the Miss Alaska pageant. Along with the title of Miss Congeniality, she was awarded a college scholarship. Returning to school, she attended the University of Idaho in the fall of 1984 and the spring of 1985, and in the fall of 1985 she enrolled at Matanuska-Susitna College.
In 1981, Obama transferred from Occidental to Columbia University. In his book, Dreams from My Father, he described his first summer in New York in great detail. However, speaking at a 2008 fundraiser he inadvertently admitted that he’d spent a major portion of the summer of 1981 in Indonesia, India, and Pakistan. At Columbia, Obama majored in political science with a specialty in international relations. He graduated with a B.A. in political science in June 1983 and spent the next two years working in the private sector in New York. Little is known about that four year period and he refuses to disclose any information about that period of his life.
After four years in New York, Obama decided to become a “community organizer.” As he tells us in Dreams from My Father, “There wasn’t much detail to the idea; I didn’t know anyone (who made) a living that way.” When classmates asked what a community organizer did, he couldn’t answer directly. “Instead,” he wrote, “I’d pronounce on the need for change. Change in the White House, where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds…” He goes on to explain, “Organizers didn’t make any money; their poverty was proof of their integrity.”
Obama moved to Chicago where he worked as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988 at a salary of $10,000 per year, plus a $2,000 car allowance. Then, in mid-1988, just seven years after completing an around-the-world trip to Indonesia, India, and Pakistan, and after working as a Chicago community organizer for three years at less than minimum wage, he traveled to Europe for three weeks and then on to Kenya for a five week family reunion.
While Obama was “community organizing” in Chicago, Palin returned to the University of Idaho in the spring of 1986, receiving her B.A. in communications, emphasis on journalism, in 1987. After college, Palin worked as a sportscaster for KTUU-TV and KTVA-TV in Anchorage, and as a sports reporter for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. Following her marriage to Todd Palin in August 1988, she worked in her husband’s commercial fishing business.
Upon returning from Kenya in late 1988, Obama entered Harvard Law School… again, on someone else’s dollar. After just one year he was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and in his second year, without having published a single scholarly essay on any aspect of the law, he was elected president of the Law Review. Upon receiving his law degree in 1991, he returned to Chicago where he entered the practice of law. Among his clients was the Chicago chapter of ACORN, the Democratic Party’s most corrupt election fraud constituency.
In 1992, just one year after Obama graduated from Harvard Law School, Sarah Palin was elected to the Wasilla City Council, winning by a margin of 63%-37%. She ran for reelection in 1995, winning by a 69%-31% margin.
In 1996, Obama ran for a seat in the Illinois state senate, launching his political career in the home of former Weather Underground terrorist bombers William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. When he attracted several Democrat primary opponents, including then-incumbent Senator Alice Palmer, he had all of his primary opponents stricken from the ballot on technicalities.
Meanwhile, motivated by concerns that revenue from a new Wasilla sales tax would not be spent wisely, Palin ran for mayor of Wasilla in 1996, defeating incumbent mayor John Stein by 59.6-40.4%. Using income generated by the 2% sales tax approved by voters in 1992, Palin cut property taxes by 75% and eliminated personal property and business inventory taxes.
In 2002, after just six years in the Illinois State Senate, during which time he gained a reputation for frequently voting “present” on controversial issues that may later prove difficult to explain, Obama began commissioning polls to assess his chances of being elected to the U.S. Senate.
In Alaska, Sarah Palin ran for re-election as mayor of Wasilla, winning with 75.7% of the vote, and was elected president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. After being term-limited in 2002, she became chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in February 2003, overseeing oil and gas operations in the nation’s top energy-producing state. During her tenure on the Commission she concentrated on rooting out corruption, filing ethics charges against fellow commissioners, including members of her own political party.
In 2006, running on a clean-government platform, Palin sought the Republican nomination for Governor of Alaska. She defeated incumbent Frank Murkowski in the Republican primary, and in the General Election she defeated former Democratic governor Tony Knowles by a margin of 48.3-40.9%. At age 42, she became Alaska’s first female governor, the youngest governor in state history, the first governor to have been born in the state after Alaska achieved statehood.
Palin took office as governor on December 4, 2006, just one month after Obama was elected to the United States Senate. However, while Palin concentrated on serving the people of Alaska, gaining popularity ratings of 93% and 89% in 2007 polls, Obama appeared interested only in promoting his own run for the presidency. During her term as governor Palin promoted oil and natural gas resource development in Alaska, including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and in August 2008 she achieved her top priority as governor, signing a bill authorizing the construction of a $26 billion pipeline to transport natural gas from the North Slope, through Canada, to energy-hungry markets in the lower 48 states.
In 2007, Governor Palin traveled to bases on the Iraq-Kuwait border to meet with members of the Alaska National Guard. On her return to the United States she stopped off in Germany for a brief visit with wounded U.S. soldiers. This was in stark contrast to Obama’s much-heralded 2008 campaign swing through France and Germany, during which he declined the opportunity to visit wounded soldiers and Marines at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center… because the rules permitted him to bring his senate staff, but not his campaign staff.
Comparing the records and accomplishments of the two, there is no doubt that Sarah Palin was, and is, far more qualified than Barack Obama to serve as President of the United States. So why do liberals and Democrats still question her qualifications and her ability to serve as our national leader? Experience aside, what is the single most significant difference between the two… other than skin color? It is gender. Liberals and Democrats, those who profess to be the most gender-neutral of all, oppose Palin because she’s a woman… and a damn fine looking one, at that. They can’t defeat her on the issues, so they attack her on her gender. Shame on them.