To the editor:
How can Editor in Chief Jacob Kriss write in his March 8 column about a political candidate from Illinois with limited experience in the National Government and not mention Abraham Lincoln? I can only imagine the column that would have been written in 1860 when Lincoln was on the campaign trail, because at the time Honest Abe only had two years of service in Washington D.C - two years less than Barak Obama will have under his belt by the time of the general election. How can you vilify Obama for taking advantage of his popularity before it has a chance to decline? If he doesn't run now, then when would be appropriate?
There is no benchmark for presidential candidates, and while that's kind of scary, that's no reason to deny a young up-and-comer his chance. If a candidate misses his opportunity to serve, he might spend too much time on the bench to the point where, like John McCain, one might be considered too old to serve.
But if four years isn't enough experience, how about six years of service? Because as long as we're drawing up arbitrary requirements for our candidates, six is the number of years John Edwards served in the Senate, yet his candidacy has not evoked the same outrage. If length was a requirement for office, Robert Byrd should be running against Ted Stevens in the general election, because the two of them combined have for over 80 years of service. If anything, a long tenure in office can come back to hurt a candidate as they build up an extensive voting record that contradicts itself and can be used against a candidate.
Obama's supporters are right to claim his lack of time in D.C. is a boon to his campaign considering four of our last five presidents were governors. However, you go on to say that this lack of experience will hurt him because he won't be able to pass his agenda, while at the same time, to kick off your column, you applaud his skills as a negotiator and announce that he is undoubtedly a good politician.
I also feel that it is unfair to compare Obama's possible presidency to that of the current president's tenure in office. That's like comparing apples to really really dumb apples. In the two party system, it isn't as simple as picking the best candidate, because only certain candidates have a chance to win. If I'm a vegan, anti-war person, Dennis Kucinich is my man, but he has as much chance of winning the election as Hillary Clinton has of winning a personality contest.
At a certain point in politics, the voters need to compromise, and if that means riding the Obama momentum to the White House, as a Democrat, I wouldn't be totally averse to that.