by Scott Shields, Tue Dec 06, 2005 at 07:55:30 PM EST
Essentially, by running for President in 2008, Obama could overcome the traditional disadvantage of a long career in the Senate. As we all saw in the 2004 election, John Kerry's decades of votes were easily manipulated and misrepresented by the Republicans.
As Lizza points out, Obama's been working pretty hard to prove he's no lightweight. Specifically, he references Obama's work with foreign policy heavyweight Sen. Dick Lugar on nuclear proliferation issues and his leadership on avian flu preparedness.
One interesting thing about the idea that Obama's too inexperienced to run for President -- and Lizza doesn't mention it -- is that, by 2008, Obama will have a longer political resume than John Edwards did in 2004. Though Edwards had over five years in the Senate under his belt to Obama's four, that was the sum total of Edwards' career in elected office. (Similarly, another likely 2008 candidate, Virginia Governor Mark Warner, spent only four years in elected office.) By contrast, Obama served eight years in the Illinois state Senate prior to moving up to the U.S. Senate. That will be twelve years in elected office before a possible Presidential run in 2008. Suddenly, it doesn't seem too early for Obama at all.