There has been a lot of mudslinging back and forth between the two campaigns about experience and lack thereof. For most of the election, the McCain camp wailed on about the inexperienced Obama who did not have the foreign policy credentials to be Commander in Chief. Then Obama went on EuroTrip: Presidential Style and met with rave reviews from Europeans and their leaders. He added Biden to the ticket in what most felt was an effort to quell this fear of inexperience. Then two weeks later, McCain picked Palin, or what one friend of mine called "The Hail Mary Pass of Politics, that turned into a touchdown." All of a sudden, Dems were staring around at each other wondering, "I thought we were the inexperienced ticket." Since then anyone who mentions Palin's lack of foreign policy, military or legislative experience is rebuffed by a variety of retorts. Some of my favorites are: 1) She's more experienced than Obama, because she is in charge of an entire state government. 2) She has foreign policy experience, because Alaska is closer to Russia. 3) She has military experience, because she is in charge of the Alaska National Guard. 4) The liberal media is slandering her with accusations of inexperience, because they're anti-feminists and "elitists".
The elitist aspect has been the one excuse I've been unable to reconcile. I don't quite understand why Americans should not want the leaders of our country to be well-educated, experienced leaders and visionaries. Ronald Reagan may have been a famous actor at one time, but by the time he ran for President he had already cut his teeth as Governor of one the 3 largest states in the Nation. This is far different from a 2-year stint at the 47th largest state. America has some of the best higher-ed institutions in the World, and every year thousands come to the U.S. from other countries to study. Is it elitist that I worry that Governor Palin went to 6 colleges in 6 years and has no advanced degree? Even for the most entry level job I would assume 6 different transcripts and that many transfers would cause employers to worry about the individual's ability for follow-through.
Interestingly enough, David Brooks, the New York Times conservative opinion writer had a great take on why he believes experiences matters, check it out here.