Over the past week and a half I have watched politics go from a race based on issues and policies where Democrats and Republicans payed each respect, to something more akin to a High School student council election complete with lies, sneers, and bullying. I cannot just sit back and watch with my fingers crossed hoping that American's don't accept their candidates at face value, or blindly vote down their party lines based on stereotypes assigned to the opposite party. I have been thinking about how I could make a difference and get involved. I am no good at phone banks and have a hatred of getting political calls myself and I have no desire to have a viewing party in my teeny NY apartment. I do have this blog with readers all over the country and a few outside :) so for the time being I will be writing about politics.
Issue number 1. During the Republican National Convention (RNC) the comparison was drawn between experience as a Community Organizer and being the mayor of a small town. Although I have my own opinions on this experience argument, I will keep those to myself. What I want to address and fix is the time-line that was warped out of shape in Palin's acceptance speech at the RNC and as she repeats it on the campaign trail.
In 1983 Obama graduated from Columbia University and went to work as a community organizer in one of Chicago's troubled areas.
In 1984 Palin won her town beauty pagent and won second in the state.
In 1992 Palin won a seat in Wasilla's City Council. Wasilla Population 5,500.
In 1992 Obama ran Project VOTE in Chicago, registering 150,000 new voters. Having graduated from Harvard Law, he was also the lead guest lecturer at the University of Chicago's Law School. Chicago's population in 1990 (closest census) 2,783,726. The Project VOTE registered 5% of the population of Chicago at that time to vote.
In 1996 Palin was elected as Mayor of Wasilla.
In 1996 Obama was elected as a State Senator.
From there on out we know that Palin became Governor of Alaska and Obama worked in Washington as a Senator. I will go into what both did in those positions at a later date. The real purpose of laying out the beginning of the time-line is to show how ridiculous the comparison of Mayor of Wasilla and Community Organizer is in terms of experience.