Here's a question that everyone seems to be ignoring: why does Hillary Clinton get a pass on the experience question while Barack Obama and John Edwards are portrayed as inexperienced? Here are their respective resumes in public office:
Clinton -- six years in the United States Senate;
Edwards -- six years in the United States Senate;
Obama -- seven years in the Illinois state senate and two years in the United States Senate.
There's no question that Clinton was highly involved in politics and policy for most of her adult life. But is her pre-Senate experience as a lawyer and a policy advocate really that much more substantial than Obama's seven years as a state legislator? Implicitly, the Clinton experience argument seems to rest more on the fact that she was inside the White House advising her husband for eight years. But no one's suggesting that other people who advised Clinton are qualified to be president on that basis -- otherwise Rahm Emanuel and Leon Panetta would be throwing their hats in the ring. Sure, she was a closer adviser to her husband than those two, but to my mind, you either have experience being "the decider" or you don't. And Clinton has no executive experience, no experience managing a large bureaucracy, and less experience as an elected representative than Obama. Just because she's famous and has lots of experience in national politics doesn't make her more qualified to be commander-in-chief than her rivals.
Correction 2/11 3:26 PM: Obama has served two years in the Senate, not four.