Greg Mitchell’s account of Bill Clinton’s appearance on Charlie Rose:
Repeatedly dismissive of Obama — which could come back to haunt the Clinton campaign — the former president at one point said that voters were, of course, free to pick someone with little experience, even “a gifted television commentator” who would have just “one year less” experience in national service than Obama. He had earlier pointed out that Obama had started to run for president just one year into his first term in the U.S. Senate. […]
[Clinton] also hit back at the charge that experienced politicians had helped get us into the Iraq war, saying that this was “like saying that because 100 percent of the malpractice cases are committed by doctors, the next time I need surgery I’ll get a chef or a plumber to do it.”
This is pretty aggravating. Hillary Clinton was elected to the United States Senate in 2000, before which she’d never held elective office. Barack Obama was elected to Illinois Senate in 1996, and to the United States Senate in 2004. It’s true that Obama doesn’t have a ton of experience in elective office compared to Bill Richardson or Chris Dodd or Joe Biden, but there’s a perfectly reasonable case to be made that he has more experience than Hillary Clinton does.
Meanwhile, this line on the war seems like a pretty pathetic dodge. Nobody’s actually suggesting that because many members of congress voted the wrong way on the war we should elect a television commentator instead. Indeed, almost no television commentators were right about the war. By contrast, a lot of politicians were right about the war. Nancy Pelosi was right. Russ Feingold was right. Carl Levin was right. Howard Dean was right. And Barack Obama was right. If Clinton’s going to run on her alleged greater experience, surely it’s fair to point to the content of that experience and ask whether or not it’s all good experience.