NEWS

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January 18, 2008

I have 21 years of experience (22 if the womb counts)

In the last Democratic debate John Edwards talked about his lengthy track record of fighting for the things he believes in:

RUSSERT: Senator Edwards, greatest strength, greatest weakness?EDWARDS: I think my greatest strength is that for 54 years, I’ve been fighting with every fiber of my being.In the beginning, the fight was for me. Growing up in mill towns and mill villages, I had to literally fight to survive.
This seemed quite silly at the time. But, it turns out Hillary has more or less been using the same approach to experience with her "35 years of experience" line.Turns out, 35 years ago she was at Yale Law School and was working on the McGovern campaign. Super agent Ari Emmanuel (via):
Well, Senator Clinton, I'm confused. I've done the math. You're 60, which means that 35 years ago you were 25. And I Googled your name, looking for all the change you were making as a 25 year old and, frankly, I'm not finding much. You were going to Yale Law School at the time -- which I'm sure was a personally transformative experience, but it's hardly the kind of change that should count on one's Presidential Training Experience resume, is it? Is that when you started your personal Working-for-Change-O-Meter?That summer, the summer of 1972, you campaigned in Texas for George McGovern's unsuccessful presidential bid. A worthy -- if ultimately futile -- endeavor to be sure, but a notch on your Years of Change belt? Kind of a stretch, don't you think?
More to the point, if you compare this sort of "experience" with that of the other candidates it isn't as clear cut as Hillary surely hopes:
Let's be clear. If you're a Democrat, experience isn't on this year's menu...Edwards served a single term in the Senate. Obama served eight years in the Illinois state Senate and is halfway through his first term in the U.S. Senate. Clinton is about to begin her eighth year in the U.S. Senate. Going by years spent as an elective official, Obama's 11 years exceeds Clinton's seven, which in turn exceeds Edwards' six. But it's a silly calculus. They all come out about the same, even when you factor in Clinton's youthful work on the House judiciary committee's impeachment inquiry, her membership on the board of the Legal Services Corp., her chairmanship of the Arkansas Educational Standards committee, her crafting of an unsuccessful national health-care bill, and her sharing Bill Clinton's bed most nights while he was Arkansas governor and president of the United States...Where the hell does she come off claiming superior experience?
I can't help but agree. I still think we need Sinbad's side of the story though.