The issue of "experience" seems very important in this campaign. Obama is attacked for an alleged lack of experience. So is Palin. But does it really matter? So let's be fair and check the facts. I'll make a list of a few (former) Presidents and their respective experience before elected to office, with best intentions and conscience. Abraham Lincoln: 1834-42 Illinois legislature (8 years) 1847-49 House of Representatives (2 years) 1855 and 1858: loses election for Senate So Lincoln had zero executive experience and only 10 years of legislative experience. link Woodrow Wilson: 1911-13: Governor of New Jersey (2 years) Wilson had only 2 years of executive experience. Before that, he had been a university director for 8 years. link Franklin D. Roosevelt: 1911-13: New York state legislature (2 years) 1929-33: Governor of New York state (4 years) FDR had only 4 years of executive experience, and 2 years of legislative (6 years total). link George W. Bush: 1995-2000: Governor of Texas (5 years) no other political experience whatsoever before Bush had only 5 years of executive experience, really not much. link Barack Obama: 1996-2004: Illinois legislative (8 years) 2004-present: Senator (4 years) With 12 years as an elected official, that makes Obama more experienced than all of the aforementioned. He also is the only one with experience in Washington, except for Lincoln, who had 2 years in the House. link Sarah Palin: 1992-2002: local low level politics (10 years) 2006-present: Governor of Alaska (not even 2 years) I don't know if any of the aforementioned had experience with local politics, even below state level, maybe it was considered way too unimportant to be mentioned in the articles I linked to. But it should be obvious that Palin is the one candidate of all mentioned with the least experience on either state or national level, with the possible exception of Woodrow Wilson. link Lincoln, Wilson and FDR are generally considered rather successful Presidents. Bush is the current President. Obama and Palin are candidates. What do we find? When we count all political experience on state or national level, we see that Obama has most experience (12 years), even more than Lincoln or FDR. Palin clearly has least experience (1.5 years). When we count major offices, like Senator and Governor only, we find Obama has about the same experience as FDR and George W. Bush (4 to 5 years), and even more than Lincoln (none) and Wilson (2 years). What can we conclude? "Experience", in mere number of years of being elected official, obviously is no important yardstick to determine a successful presidency. Some Presidents considered successful today had very few years of political experience before elected President. And: Obama is certainly not less experienced than most of them.