Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are both quite young and inexperienced. Perhaps no job can truly prepare a person to be the president of the United States. However, by examining how Obama and Palin rose to their current positions, perhaps we can learn something about their characters.

In Alaska, Palin blew the whistle on corruption in her own party. Challenging incumbents can be a career-ending decision, but Palin did it anyway.

Obama got his political start in Chicago where politics can be extremely liberal by national standards and who you know is everything. This is where the phrase "vote early and vote often" was born. Obama launched his political career in the home of former terrorist Bill Ayers, the founder of the Weather Underground organization, which bombed the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright cursed the very country Obama seeks to lead. However, Obama sat in Wright's church for nearly 20 years and said nothing.

Obama befriended political radicals correctly believing they could help him launch his political career in Chicago. Only after entering national politics did Obama criticize Ayers and the Rev. Wright.

The contrast between Palin and Obama's rise to power is striking.

Tom Martin