It's the size that counts

The new argument from Republicans touting Sarah Palin's experience? Alaska may not have many people -- but it's really, really big.

Published September 4, 2008 4:00AM (EDT)

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- There's a new theme that has been popping up again and again in Republican messaging of late, an interesting response to questions about whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has the experience to be vice president.

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle provided a good example of how this new message goes when she spoke at the Republican convention on Wednesday night. "The other side has made the point that Alaska is a small state, but ... you can fit more than 250 states the size of Delaware within Alaska's border," Lingle said.

And in an interview he gave to ABC News' Charlie Gibson, McCain himself made sure to mention that Palin is "governor of our largest state."

For the record, Alaska is in fact the largest state in the Union -- geographically. In population, though, not so much. So is this really the new standard Republicans want us to use, that what really matters in a leader isn't how many people you're responsible for but how much empty land is in your jurisdiction? Because frankly, I'm going to be very surprised to find out that Canada is the world's second-hardest country to govern.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2008 Elections Sarah Palin War Room