To the Editor:
In your recent article regarding the Yale for Edwards group (“Campus grassroots snubs Edwards,” 10/17), the organization’s co-president states, “Edwards has the experience he will need to ward off the Republican attack machine.” This statement seems to be derived solely from Edwards’ six years in the U.S. Senate and his failed presidential campaign of 2004. In fact, on the grounds of experience alone, Barack Obama stands out well ahead of Edwards.
Obama, by the time of the 2008 election, will have served a total of 12 years in elected office, eight years in the Illinois State Senate and four in the U.S. Senate. Edwards’ whole political career has consisted of only six years in the U.S. Senate. Obama has spent more time in elected office than Hillary Clinton, as well, whose Senate career started in 2000.
The point here is that the whole definition of experience in this political campaign needs to change. In judging our candidates, we should look at their track records in office, not the amount of national press they have received in the past. Edwards’ failed bid for the presidency does not make him more qualified to be president than a man who has served in office for far longer than him.
Obama’s time in the Illinois Senate gave him a valuable outsider’s perspective on what’s wrong with Washington, something we need in a time when partisan rancor within the capital itself threatens to perpetuate the disastrous policies of the Bush administration. It was this outsider’s perspective that allowed him to see the Iraq war for the folly it was from the very start, something both Edwards and Clinton failed to realize.
So, before anyone attacks Obama’s “experience,” I would suggest they review the facts more closely.
Winger is a senior in Berkeley College.