Much has been made of Sarah Palin's lack of foreign policy experience. What no one seems to have noticed is that over the last 30-plus years, we have only elected one President--George H.W. Bush--that had any previous foreign policy experience. Four of the five Presidents that we have elected since 1976--Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush (George W.)--were governors with no foreign policy experience. That didn't stop those Presidents from achieving such foreign policy accomplishments as winning the Cold War, brokering the Camp David accords and ousting Saddam Hussein and the Taliban from power.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, is often said to have the most foreign policy experience of the major party candidates for President and Vice President. He has served in the Senate since 1972 (!) and chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. All of that experience, however, hasn't stopped him from being wrong on almost every major foreign policy issue he has ever weighed in on.
He opposed the Reagan military buildup policies that ultimately led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. He opposed the first Gulf War to expel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. Although he voted in favor of the current Iraq War, he opposed the surge and pushed instead for a policy--vigorously denounced by virtually everyone in Iraq--to split Iraq into three pieces. Had Joe Biden been our Commander in Chief, we might still be engaged in a Cold War with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Saddam Hussein might be still alive and well and occupying Kuwait (if not Saudi Arabia as well). Biden is the guy that, according to Barack Obama, has "stared down dictators." Yeah, right.
Biden aborted his first campaign for President after he was charged with plagiarizing Neil Kinnock, Britain's leftist Labour Party leader at the time. Perhaps Biden could have demonstrated sounder judgment on foreign policy by instead plagiarizing Margaret Thatcher.
On foreign policy, Senate experience is fine, but I would much rather have someone with toughness, sound judgment, common sense and strong convictions. I see much more of that in Sarah Palin than I do in Joe Biden (or Barack Obama, for that matter).
Perhaps much of the anxiety that some feel over Palin is the fact that she's uncharted territory. Put aside for a second the fact that she's a woman. Think of Palin's unique mix of characteristics, for better or worse: Under 45, put on the ticket with less than two years' experience as a governor, avid outdoors enthusiast, member of the National Rifle Association, large family, reputation as a reformer unafraid to take on fellow Republicans. There's never been a major party candidate for Vice President with all of these characteristics. Well, actually there has been. His name was Teddy Roosevelt. If we could put Teddy Roosevelt in a time machine and insert him into the current race, he would make a much better choice for Commander in Chief than Joe Biden. And so would Sarah Palin.