Rich Lowry

A lot of Palin-hatred is couched in terms of her lack of experience. Fair enough, but there's a tone of contemptuous dismissiveness about the experience that she does have -- fueled no doubt by her career in "fly-over country" so remote no one really flies over it. The Obama campaign is loath to admit that she's governor of Alaska, pretending instead she's still mayor of tiny Wasilla, and the outraged commentary in the press makes it sound like the vice presidency is an office of such import that it would be better if the newcomer were at the top of the ticket and the wizened pro at the bottom -- just like the Democrats.

Is Palin ready to take over on Day One? No. But she's not being asked to be president on Day One, but vice president in what will probably be a post-Cheney, more traditional model of the office. She has no less political experience than John Edwards when he was a one-term senator who had never before held elected office when he was John Kerry's running mate in 2004. The difference is that Edwards, as a senator and a presidential candidate, had proven he could speak plausibly to national issues.

We don't know yet whether Palin can do that on a rapid, pressure-packed timeline. We'll find out in the next few weeks. Most of the country will be rooting for her, the likable and unlikely upstart. But not the Palin-haters, for whom she is already a woman only to be scorned.

Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years .
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