THE BLOG
01/17/2008 02:27 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Curious Math of Hillary's "35 Years of Experience"

Hillary Clinton keeps talking about her 35 years of experience. "I am offering 35 years of experience making change," she said in New Hampshire. "I'm not just running on a promise of change, I'm running on 35 years of change." And she repeatedly mentioned the 35 years again in this week's debate in Las Vegas.

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?

But as liberal as you are with your Experience Arithmetic, you are awfully stingy when it comes to the experience and background of Barack Obama.

"He was a part-time state senator for a few years," you recently said of Obama, "and then he came to the Senate and immediately started running for president," she said. "And that's his prerogative. That's his right. But I think it is important to compare and contrast our records."

For starters, the state senate in Illinois is not a full-time job, but you make it sound like he was some kind of political temp worker, just filling in when someone called in sick. But leaving that aside, why is it that you get to count your time canvassing for McGovern as working for change, but Obama's time as a community organizer and public housing advocate aren't worthy of mention? And what about his time at Harvard Law (where he was the first black president in the history of the Harvard Law Review)? Doesn't count? But your time at Yale Law does? In the now immortal words of your husband: Give me a break.

I know you are good person who is devoted to public service. But that doesn't absolve you of the responsibility to not distort your record. And to not distort the record of your opponent.

Your 35 years talking point just doesn't add up.