Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) campaign is touting Sarah Palin’s four years as mayor of the small town of Wasilla and her two years as governor as proof that she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Adviser Charlie Black has accused Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) campaign of “insult[ing] small-town Americans” by criticizing Palin. However, in an October 2007 primary debate, McCain himself denigrated mayors and governors, saying they would need too much “on-the-job training”:
I have had a strong and a long relationship on national security, I’ve been involved in every national crisis that this nation has faced since Beirut, I understand the issues, I understand and appreciate the enormity of the challenge we face from radical Islamic extremism.
I am prepared. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasn’t a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn’t a governor for a short period of time.