Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Did Obama Just Step In It?

Did Obama just fall into a Republican trap? He's now starting to compare himself to Palin rather than McCain. Thankfully, his experience is more relevant than that of being mayor of Wassilla:
Barack Obama defended his experience in dealing with natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, and took a swipe at newly minted GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

In an interview on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Monday night, Obama was asked about whether his experience in the U.S. Senate dealing with weather-related situations compares to Palin’s executive experience running the state of Alaska and as the small town mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

“My understanding is that Gov. Palin’s town, Wassilla, has I think 50 employees. We've got 2500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe 12 million dollars a year – we have a budget of about three times that just for the month,” Obama responded.

Our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made clear over the past couple of years and certainly in terms of the legislation I’ve passed in the past couple of years, post-Katrina.”

If you're going to use budget size as a criteria (the metric Obama selected), why not compare it to the budget of Alaska instead?
“Just for the record, Alaska’s FY2008 operating budget is $11.2 billion, and the state employs approximately 15,000 people. Those certainly aren’t huge numbers in federal terms, but they’re a good bit bigger than the Obama campaign.”
By my math, that's at least 25 times bigger than Obama's budget -- assuming he spent at those levels for 12 months out of the year (which he hasn't). That's also six times the number of people he has in his campaign -- with the exception that they're full-time employees rather than part-time volunteers.

Now obviously, I don't this comparison too seriously and neither should you, but it is kind of funny nonetheless. I still have quite a few reservations about Palin, but if Obama keeps inviting this kind of comparison, she's going to look increasingly good.

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