Democratic Illinois gov defends Palin’s experience

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CHICAGO Gov. Rod Blagojevich backs Illinois’ Barack Obama, but he said Thursday that it is a mistake for fellow Democrats to discount GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s experience as Alaska governor.

CHICAGO Gov. Rod Blagojevich backs Illinois’ Barack Obama, but he said Thursday that it is a mistake for fellow Democrats to discount GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s experience as Alaska governor. The executive job of governor is like the presidency because the officeholder has to make decisions, Blagojevich said. Lawmakers do different things like "debate and…pass their bills back and forth," he said. Obama, the Democratic nominee for president, was a state senator before being elected to the U.S. Senate from Illinois. "But governors make decisions, and I think it’s a tactical mistake for the Democrats to question Gov. Palin’s experience when she’s been a governor of a state," Blagojevich said on WGN-AM’s "Spike O’Dell Show." Palin has also been the mayor of a small town in Alaska. Her running mate, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, has never served as a governor. He has spent two decades as a U.S. Senator. Obama’s campaign did not comment on Blagojevich’s statements. But during a recent interview with MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, Obama ducked when asked whether he believed Palin had enough experience to be president. "I’ll let Gov. Palin answer that," Obama said with a smile. "I’m sure she’ll be appearing on your show." Blagojevich said to help Obama win, Democrats should focus on why President Bush’s policies need to change. "I’m for Obama, and I think Barack Obama is gonna do great things for America, and he’s gonna change things," Blagojevich said. AP ______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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