Sunday, August 31, 2008

Executive Experience: Harvard Law Review vs Wasilla

UPDATED: with some improved numbers
UPDATE 2: According to Josh Marshall, conservative blogs are making a big deal out of Palin's experience as Mayor of Wasilla, so this may be of more relevance than I thought.

When Barack Obama was President of the Harvard Law Review he likely had at least as much executive experience as Sarah Palin did as Mayor of Wasilla by at least one measure.

I count a staff of 90 individuals who currently are managed by the President of the Harvard Law Review. (I verified from a former HLR alum that the Prez actually does have managerial responsibiliy over the Board of editors).

Contrast that with City of Wasilla which from this website, I can verify have: a Mayor, Deputy Mayor, 6 City Council members, City Clerk and deputy, two members on the Finance staff, 6 members of the sports utility facility, 5 members in the Public Works Dept and likely several dozen other staff in other departments that are not specifically listed on the website. So while I don't have a hard number --maybe a reporter can dig deeper on this-- Obama running the HLR alone when he was in law school may have involved greater managerial activity.

[Note: Palin herself upon taking office says being mayor is not "rocket science" and refers to a budget of $6 million and 53 employees ]

Of course, when Obama was a state senator in Illinois, the population of his district which is currently at about 780,000 is more than 100 times larger than the population of Wasilla (about 6700).


Jonah B. Gelbach said...


from what i've read around the net (sorry but no links to give):

1. obama's state sen district was sth like 200,000 people.

2. i've seen references to wasilla's population in the 6000-9000 range.

lerxst said...

thanks Jonah, finally got a chance to do a little googling and updated this.

(Tried to write this before going to labor day bbq.)

gnome-honey said...

From what I've found, Wasilla, at the time Palin was mayor, had 53 employees. The city has grown since she was mayor. It had a population of about 6,000. Obama managed approximately 85 staff as president of the Harvard Law Review. The HLR had more subscribers than Wasilla had citizens. Plus, it's the Harvard Law Review, not Weaselville, Alaska. Didn't anybody watch Northern Exposure?