VP candidates experience: see for yourself

In the argument about Sarah Palin’s experience, we see a lot of rhetoric, a lot of name-calling, but very little real data. Lawrence Lessig produced a very nice 12 minute video describing the experience of all VP candidates. A commenter then created a spreadsheet in Google spreadsheet with the combined experience of all presidents and VP candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. I decided to brush up on my Javascript and create an interactive plot using Google’s fancy new visualization API. All credit goes to mgmcmahon over at blip.tv for putting all the data together.

So, instead of simply arguing about whether Sarah Palin’s experience is comparable to other VP candidates or not, let’s first look at the data. Click here to see the plot (wordpress does not allow iframes). Here’s an example:

Sorry for the ugly colors – 9 categories is a lot to cram into RGB and still be both nice-looking and informative. Also, either the legend is huge or the names become illegible (I can’t control that, thank you very much, Google). Click on the checkboxes to include or exclude roles you want to consider or disregard. Instead of trying to convince you one way or another, I’ll just suggest a few different things. Try removing all legislative experience, then leaving only legislative experience. Now do the same with executive experience. What can you see?

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