Stepping into a big new job is always stressful. Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and Matt Cassel are all trying to fill some big shoes, but who is the most ready? Good question!
Since this blog is focused squarely on politics, sports and (my favorite) nonsense, who better positioned to answer the question than Full Contact? Answer – nobody! Now, on with the show!
As you likely know Sarah Palin is the GOP’s VP nominee, Barack Obama is the Democrat’s Presidential Nominee and Matt Cassel is filling in for wonder boy QB Tom Brady beginning this Sunday.
Sarah Palin – Hockey Mom, Mayor of a small town in Alaska, Served on Alaska’s Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, Two Years as Governor of Alaska
Barack Obama – The dreaded position of community organizer, one time media darling (prior to Palin), seven years in the Illinois State Senate, Liked the job so much he became a US Senator serving since 2004
Matt Cassel – Starting high school quarterback, back up quarterback at highly regarded USC to two Heisman Trophy Winner that he cheered on, 39 or so pro passes to date with no NFL starts prior to taking over for an injured Brady in game one this season.
When looking at all three the question is who’s past will best prepare them for the challenges each will face. Let’s start with Palin. Does her time as a small town Alaska Mayor or a Gas Commissioner really prep her in any way shape or form for the VP spot? Answer, no. But that’s not all that’s on her resume. She’s got a whole two years (that’s over 24 months) as governor of one of our sparest states. Does that make her worthy of VP consideration? These days, yes. But the first duty of the VP is to be up to the challenge of replacing the president.
Given that her running mate is 72 years young, a survivor of multiple cancers and five years of torture at the hands of America’s enemies, I believe it’s very fair game to ask if she’s ready for the top job. So, for the purposes of this comparison, we’ll grade her heavily on that factor and spend our time prayer for John McCain’s continued well being.
What about Barack Obama? After picking Palin, John McCain doesn’t seem so bothered by his limited political experience anymore. And it is limited indeed. Obama has been like a rocket rising through the Democrat ranks surging past people like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden on the way to the nomination. Setting aside his time as a community organizer, which the GOP convention praised (McCain in fact implored people to become community organizers) and mostly denigrated (Palin), Obama has liked the title senator. He’s been a state senator for seven years in a very big and influential state and then he moved up to the US Senate four years ago. Does that qualify him to be president?
Interesting question and always one that I found odd. Jack Kennedy seemed to do fine with about the same level of experience. For that matter, George Bush who hasn’t done all that well, didn’t carry a huge resume into the White House either and yet there didn’t seem to be the same obsession with his readiness on the GOP side. Maybe they realize how that worked out and have learned from it??
The reality is that Barack Obama is about as ready as anyone to be president. Not only is there his time in the state and US Senate, but the proof is in the pudding. The man has been at the head of one of the largest and most complicated yet successful campaigns of all time. If all of that doesn’t add up to a readiness to be president, than I don’t know where the line should be.
Matt Cassel, as mentioned above, hasn’t started a game since high school. Think about that, the keys to the Patriot’s kingdom are being turned over to a guy who did NOT make the first team in college. It’s a strange world. In addition to cheerleading the guys in front of him for four years at powerhouse USC, Cassel has spent the last three seasons prior to this one cheering on and learning from Tom Brady and Belichick’s NFL coaching staff. So, unlike both Obama and Palin, Cassel has actually had on the job training since 2005.
And as I said above, the proof is in the pudding. Last weekend, when Brady went down, Cassel stepped in and delivered. The Pats, with Cassel at the controls, started the year off as they usually do, with a win.
THE EDGE GOES TO…
Cassel. And this wasn’t even close. When you add it up, Cassel’s got three years of on the job training and has already showed he could step up when called upon. As he transitions to the starting role, Cassel will have Bill Belichick in his corner all the way. Something tells me that Belichick will make sure he’s ready.
Here’s hoping Sarah Palin and Barack Obama have a Bill Belichick in their corner too…