Today, President Bush took a shot at John Edwards, suggesting the U.S. senator was ill-prepared to be vice president of the United States.
The attack was a cheap shot: John Edwards has served the same amount of time in the Senate as George W. Bush served as governor of Texas when he was elected president. The Texas legislature only meets every other year and the governorship of the Lone Star State has long been considered one of the weakest positions of its kind in America. Add to it that Edwards has sat on the intelligence committee through the days before and after September 11th. You could argue that Edwards has more experience in key areas than George W. Bush did when he ran in 2000.
Other vice presidents, like Harry Truman, were dismissed as political hacks and lightweights, too, because of their relative lack of experience. But when the Senator from Missouri replaced one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman exceeded all expectations and ended up being one of our country's strongest leaders.
The White House will score no political points attacking John Edwards. This campaign is a referendum on their performance and they have a great story to tell. It’s the strongest economic recovery in 20 years, there has been no follow up to the 9/11 attacks on America and the war in Iraq will reshape the Middle East every bit as much as Ronald Reagan’s war with the Soviets liberated Eastern Europe.
Presidents need to avoid pettiness — especially when leading America through its most important war since a former haberdasher from Independence, Missouri led America through the final days of World War II.