"Experience" Prevails in New Hampshire

Give credit to Hillary Clinton: She did what she had to do last night, eeking out a narrow victory over Barack Obama in New Hampshire to get her campaign back on track, while John McCain delivered a knockout punch to Mitt Romney on the Republican side. Two things jump out: (1) If they were running an incumbent, the fact that about twice as many folks turned out to vote on the Democratic side wouldn't worry Republicans. But because they aren't -- their race is just as wide open as the D's -- the R's shouldn't take that trend lightly. In fact, it should scare the hell out of them. (2) For all her strategic missteps in the last couple weeks, Hillary has been successful in painting herself as the "experienced" candidate, with a record spanning "over 30 years." Last I checked, she's only been in the Senate for seven years -- no elected offices held before then. Sure, she may be the most hands-on First Lady in the past half-century, but that "over 30" claim is still a whopper if you really stop to think about it. Why Obama or, better yet, Richardson, the most seasoned candidate still in the race whose fate rests with his ever more shoddy-looking Nevada firewall, doesn't finger her for claiming her husband's tenure as hers is somewhat perplexing.

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