Sarah Palin, Grover Cleveland, and Woodrow Wilson

Governor Sarah Palin has nearly eight years of experience as an elected executive: six years as mayor and nearly two years as governor. Votelaw compares her experience to that of President Grover Cleveland (Palin, of course, is running for vice president, not president– a fact that seems to have escaped her critics):

“Oh, the gnashing of teeth among various pundits about Palin’s inexperience (see Daily [Kooks] for a small roundup of newspaper editorials). And attacks from David Frum and Ramesh Ponnuru on National Review’s website.

“Compare her background to that of Grover Cleveland.

— Elected Sheriff of Erie Co., NY, in 1870 for a 4-year term. Goes back into private law practice at the end of the term.

— 1881, elected as mayor of Buffalo

— 1882, elected as governor of New York

— 1884, elected to the presidency

“Democrats should just shut up about Palin’s ‘Grover Cleveland’ problem…”

It should be noted that a Mississippian, L. Q. C. (Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus) Lamar of Oxford, served as interior secretary in the Democrat Cleveland’s cabinet. In 1888, Lamar was confirmed as the first of Cleveland’s four appointees to the U. S. Supreme Court.

In 1888, despite winning the popular vote, Cleveland was defeated for re-election by the Republican Benjamin Harrison. When asked why he lost, he said it was because he didn’t get enough votes. Cleveland was speaking of electoral votes, of course, since he knew that those were the ones that counted.

In 1892, he beat Harrison in a rematch, making Cleveland the only president to serve non-consecutive terms.

Governor Palin’s background should also be compared to that of the Democrat Woodrow Wilson, commander-in-chief during World War I.

After serving as president of Princeton University, Wilson won his first elective office, governor of New Jersey, in 1910.

In 1912, Wilson was elected president, mainly because the Republican Party was split. Former president Theodore Roosevelt, who had unsuccessfully challenged President William Howard Taft for the Republican nomination, ran as the nominee of the Progressive (or “Bull Moose”) Party. Roosevelt finished second to Wilson, while the incumbent Taft carried only two states.

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One Comment on “Sarah Palin, Grover Cleveland, and Woodrow Wilson”


  1. […] Steve Rankin takes on the “Sarah Palin is too inexperienced“ mantra, comparing her favorably with Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson. […]


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