Recently, I had to chime in on a comment made to Sam’s blog, concerning Sarah Palin. The commenter was still harboring some misconceptions about Sarah Palin being “more qualified than Obama.” He said, “Tell me what he has done, and show me.”
While Sarah Palin was bouncing among five colleges, and preparing for the Miss Alaska Beauty Contest, Barack Obama was finishing his BA in political science with an emphasis on international relations at Columbia, currently the #8 school in the country.
At the age of 23, he’d already seen more of the world than Palin has seen at 44. In fact, just last month, he was a guest speaker in more foreign countries (7) than Sarah Palin has even visited (4, including Canada and Mexico). Heck, give her credit for just having stared across the Bering Strait at Russia, bringing her total to 5, and she’s still less traveled.
What has he given to the community? Sweat, talent, and hope for a better life in measurable ways. To name just one, Barack Obama was the director of the Developing Communities Project in the South Side of Chicago (remember? it’s “the baddest part of town”) where he helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization while Sarah Palin was still finishing a U of Idaho (not in the top 100 US Universities, Tier 3) communications degree.
In 1988, while Sarah Palin was entering locker rooms as a local TV sports reporter, Barack Obama was entering Harvard Law School (#2 in the country) where, in his first year, became the editor of the Harvard Law Review (overseeing a staff of 80 editors), and in second year, its first black president.
In 1992, Barack Obama began TEACHING constitutional law at the (Tied with Columbia at #8) University of Chicago while Sarah Palin was voted into Wasilla’s City Council by 530 voters, (less than 10% of the city’s population). That same year, Obama directed Illinois’s Project Vote, a voter registration drive with a staff of 10 and 700 volunteers and which achieved its goal of registering 150,000 (30X the population of Wasilla, AK) of 400,000 unregistered African-Americans in the state, and led to Crain’s Chicago Business naming Obama to its 1993 list of “40 under Forty” powers to be.
In 1995 and 1996, when Barack Obama was litigating for civil rights, Sarah Palin was trying to remove “Daddy’s Roommate” from the Wasilla Public Library.
From 1997-2004, while Sarah Palin was restaffing the Mayor’s office with her high school buds, and building a $15M (for a city with a $3.9M annual budget) hockey rink (on a $1.7M for a piece of land worth $125K), Barack Obama was sponsoring a law increasing tax credits for low-income workers, negotiating welfare reform, and promoting increased subsidies for childcare.
In 2002, while Sarah Palin was losing her party’s nomination for lieutenant governor of Alaska, Barack Obama was being RE-elected to the Illinois senate.
In 2003 and 2004, while Barack Obama was enacting death penalty reforms and helping to eliminate racial profiling, Sarah Palin was choosing being a “team mom” over running for the senate.
Barack Obama has spent his adult life being the statesman and true force for change that Sarah Palin never even dreamed of being. He was making a real difference in the lives of people other than himself and his own family.
I’m just sayin’. Thanks for reading.