This summer, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and his surrogates spent weeks assaulting Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for traveling to Iraq just once while a senator. “Sen. Obama has been to Iraq once,” McCain said, “this is about leadership and learning.” “Why is it that Senator Obama wants to sit down with the President of Iran, but hasn’t yet sat down with General Petraeus?” he charged in May.
It seems that new VP pick Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) isn’t receiving the same scrutiny for her thin foreign policy resume. On CNN yesterday, Wolf Blitzer asked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about Palin’s foreign policy background, particularly where she has traveled abroad. Graham didn’t know the answer but said it didn’t matter:
Q: Has she met with world leaders like you have, like Biden has? Has she really gone around the world and done any of those things?
GRAHAM: I don’t know where she’s traveled to…But it’s not meeting people that matters. You know, President Bush met President Putin. And I don’t think it matters just meeting people. You look at people’s judgment.
As ThinkProgress noted, Palin has never been to Iraq, failing a central component of McCain’s commander in chief test. Speaking with Time Magazine earlier this month, Palin expressed little substantive knowledge about Iraq policy, admitting that she does not know “what the plan is to ever end the war.” “Let’s make sure we have a plan here,” she pressed:
[My son] is 19, he’ll be gone for a year, and thats quite tough too, kind of on a personal level when I talk about, hmmm, the plan for the war? You know, lets make sure we have a plan here? And respecting McCain’s position on that too though.
In the interview with Blitzer, Graham said Palin’s experience in Alaska is sufficient for her to tackle the world’s largest country. “Gov. Palin took on Ted Stevens. If she can take him on, she can take on the Russians. Heh,” he said.
The New York Times writes, “Ms. Palin appears to have traveled very little outside the United States.” So little that she apparently didn’t have a passport before 2007.