Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Passports & Palin


I posed this questions to a group of women who all live abroad, so I realized our thoughts might be biased. So what's your take? (You can answer if you live abroad)

I read today that Sarah Palin didn't get a passport until 2006 when she went to visit some of the Alaskan National Guard in Kuwait.

Is it important for a vice president -- for all US citizens -- to travel to foreign countries and understand their diverse cultures and our place in the world?

Discuss.


25 comments:

Jodi said...

Yes. Absolutely. Palin is ridiculously unqualified in soooo many ways, and I think the lack of world travel is a good example of that. I love that when the McMain camp is asked about what kind of foreign policy experience she has, they answer that her state is next to Russia. wtf?!

Suze - Cheshire, UK said...

I'd expect her to have been a little more broadly travelled IF she is going to be dealing with foreign policy, yes. That, or they make her pass a geography test - but not multiple choice!

beth said...

Quite frankly I could care less... and am more concerned with our Presidential nominations foreign policy experience than hers. Just sayin.

Jodi said...

Beth, I get your point, but if McCain gets elected (particularly if he serves two terms) there is a good change he might kick the bucket during that time, making Palin the president. Just sayin' :)

Sabrina said...

Until 2006 (or thereabouts), a person didn't need a passport to travel to Canada, Mexico or most islands near the US. I don't think it would be necessary in every case for a VP candidate to have traveled to foreign countries. (And for all US citizens, gee, wouldn't it be nice if they had the money and vacation time to make such travel possible).
If a VP candidate were very strong in other areas, and followed world events without necessarily traveling to them I'd be ok with that. However I'd expect that candidate or eventual VP to make an effort to engage in such travel as part of their duties.

This is getting long, but basically I think exposing oneself to the diversity of the world is a good thing, but plenty of that can be done without leaving our continent. I'm not against it, but I think it can become very elitist and unaware of the conditions of much of our country to insist on travel abroad. There's alot about the world and its people that those who've traveled abroad may not know because they've stayed in limited circles in their own country.

Greta said...

This is a woman who has a boatload of kids and came from a very modest background. Any idea on how much it costs to fly anywhere other than Russia from Alaska? A LOT. Hell, I don't have enough money to travel now and I live in a major commercial airline hub.

beth said...

Reagan was 69 when he was elected and is considered by most to be the greatest president in US history...
Obama has very little experience to run this country, that scares me quite a bit more to elect a PRESIDENT that is so wet behind the ears. Congrats to him for being so well travelled tho.

Melaina25 said...

I'm fairly sure Lincoln is voted best president ever on the majority of polls. Reagan not so much...he tried to get rid of pennies in the 80s- I wrote him a letter saying they were very valuable as you could also use them as Barbie plates.

beth said...

Personally I dislike pennies as well, however I can totally concur with using them as barbie plates.

Jodi said...

REAGAN? I have never, ever, ever heard anyone refer to Reagan as the greatest president in US history.
One of the worst, yes, but never the greatest.
The difference in "consensus" is intersesting in this bipartisan country.

beth said...

Disregard the Reagan comment if you disagree, however it does not change the fact that Obamas lack of experience is utterly comparable to Palin's, except she only becomes president if the Old man bites it.

Melaina25 said...

Being the mayor of a small town and a first term govenor for the 4th smallest state in the US is not comparable to someone who served 7 years in the state legislature and a full term as senator for the 5th most populated state in the US.

beth said...

Obama has 143 days of senate experience - after that he has been running for president.

beth said...

Palin was mayor for 6 years, on the city council for 4 years and governor for almost 2 years.

Melaina25 said...

This has SO digressed! I wanted opinions on world travel and if knowledge of foriegn cultures is a quality you'd want in a VP.

Jodi said...

SHUTUP MEL! It's NOT YOUR BLOG!
oh wait a minute...

jen! said...

I LOVE REAGAN!!!!!

C7Lan said...

Does seeing Russia from your house count as knowledge of foreign cultures?

Heather said...

Playing devil's advocate:

Obama has himself repeatedly cited his four years living in Indonesia as the biggest source of his experience (aside from his recent trips during the election camp.)- he was age 10. Is the experience of a 10 to 14 year old enough to run the country from a foreign affairs perspective?
Maybe a 10 to 14 year old that can see Russia from his/her window?

beth said...

Having stamps in your passport means nothing to me except that you have the means to travel...

Melaina25 said...

I'm not touching that with a ten foot pole, but I whole-heartedly disagree.

beth said...

To me that's like saying the Griswald's are well travelled because they went on a European Vacation and have a stamp in their passport... Just because they went there does not mean they have an understanding of the culture and the people.

Melaina25 said...

I love me some Griswalds! They at least tried to understand other cultures, but just failed miserably for our entertainment. Oh and they are fictional.

Sabrina said...

I also totally love Ronald Reagan. First of all, his airport is super-conveniently metro accessible in DC... And second of all he gave America something no other President ever has... or will. http://tiny.cc/WhyRWRrocks

C7Lan said...

"Oh and they are fictional." - Bahahaha, Mel!

As for Beth's comment that a stamp in a passport means nothing more than having the means to travel - have you seen Good Will Hunting?

Robin Williams points out to Matt Damon that just because he's read books about Michelangelo doesn't mean he's been to the Sistine Chapel, looked up at the ceiling, and marveled at the work of a master. He doesn't know what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. In short, books are not a substitute for having first-hand experience.

Is being well-traveled necessary for being a good VP candidate? IMO, no. But, it does help if only for first-hand exposure to other cultures.