1. Gov. Sarah Palin
Snatched from the governor's mansion in Juneau, AK, with little foreign or domestic policy experience, Palin stormed onto the national political scene at
the Republican National Convention like a helicopter chasing a wolf. Yet Palin seemed clueless about foreign policy. And while her debate performance against Joe Biden scored high marks for folksiness, she received low grades when it came to actually answering questions.
2. Vice President-elect Joe Biden
Biden was selected to bring experience to President-elect Barack Obama's Democratic ticket, not for his disciplined messaging skills. It showed when he implied that Hillary Clinton would have made a better No. 2 than him and when he alluded to Obama's inexperience by warning that a grave international incident would happen quickly upon his inauguration.
3. Neel Kashkari
Little known before the economic crisis, federal bailout oversight chief Kashkari didn't seem to get that most Americans felt a lack of oversight was a problem that led to economic uncertainty. In a press conference last month, he took only a few questions, and the markets fell soon after.
4. Henry Paulson
In the middle of the worst economic crisis the country has seen since the Great Depression, the Treasury secretary did little to give any indication that he knew how to handle the situation.
5. Hillary Clinton
A year ago she was considered a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination. Whether her own fault or that of chief strategist Mark Penn, she erred by making her message all about experience, thus alienating those who were instead looking for change.