A Tentative Defense Of Hillary's 35 Years Of Experience.

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I'm coming a little late to the discussion of Hillary's experience going on over at The Plank, but thought I could add a small nugget: While I generally agree that Hillary's experience pales alongside, say, Joe Biden's, I don't think her 35-year number is quite as absurd as Ari Emanuel makes it out to be.

Emanuel writes:

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?

My understanding is that Hillary's refering to the work she did interviewing families of disabled children who, for whatever reason, were unable to attend school. She did this right out of law school and, according to her (scroll down to the third response), it helped lay the groundwork for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. I can't vouch for that myself, but Bill Clinton frequently mentions this when he stumps for Hillary.

Of course, by this measure, Obama has some 20 years of experience "making change," since he moved to Chicago to become a community organizer in his early 20s. But, whatever the case, I don't think it's fair to say Hillary is basing her 35-year figure entirely on her work for George McGovern.

--Noam Scheiber

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