A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Palin’s VP Experience


As long as we’re talking about Sarah Palin’s first v.p. interview, it’s worth noting that she may have stretched the facts a bit when Gibson asked whether she had ever met a foreign head of state.

Gibson: I’m talking about somebody who’s a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?

Palin: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you.

There may have been some vice presidents who had never previously met a head of state, but ABC News reports that it’s not true of any living vice president.

According to ABC’s fact check, the last seven vice presidents all had extensive foreign policy experience: Dick Cheney was a secretary of defense; Al Gore, Dan Quayle and Walter Mondale were senators; and George H.W. Bush was an ambassador to China and director of the CIA.

In fact, the most recent v.p. nominee to have had little foreign policy experience was Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon’s running mate in 1972. Agnew went from his first election as county commissioner to governor of Maryland to vice president in just six years.