Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How Will Obama Run His White House? Just Look at His Campaign

After another pair of double-digit victories last night for Barack Obama, a 17-point triumph in Clinton-friendly Wisconsin and a 50% victory in his native home of Hawaii, Barack Obama is now 10-0 since February 5th. It's pretty amazing actually. And a new Zogby poll not only has Obama leading Clinton by 14-points, but he has Obama up over McCain by 7, while McCain leads Clinton by almost double that amount. Ouch.

Hillary Clinton thought (and even said) that the campaign would be over on Super Tuesday, and her campaign had no plan, no organization, and no money to compete after that date. And Barack Obama did, and he's run up 10 straight double digit victories from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands to Maine and Washington and Louisana and everywhere in-between. That's what is amazing about Obama' run, it's not just that he's won 10 in a row, but he's won every contest by double-digits, most by 25-points or more, and has won in very region of the country. Wisconsin was perfect for Hillary Clinton demographic wise. A lot of working class white voters, lots of Catholic voters which support her (or, did before last night), and very few African Americans. Yet, she still lost by 17-points. Just incredible. And this was despite a barrage of negative ads run by the Clintons and a 48-hour news cycle which was very negative on Obama (his dust up with Deval Patrick's language and Michelle Obama's words about being "proud" of the country for the first time in her adult life).

One thing mentioned on Morning Joe this morning on MSNBC which I think was a great point. Hillary Clinton has constantly harped on the media coverage of the campaign, saying that the media is giving Obama a free ride and is overly critical of her campaign. But as was pointed out this morning, if Barack Obama had lost 10 races in a row, and lost them all by double digits, he'd be finished. This race would be over without question. All the pundits and party big-wigs would be urging Obama to get out for the good of the party, just as people are doing with Mike Huckabee on the Republican side. Yet, that isn't happening because the media, rightfully, is giving Clinton the benefit of the doubt. But how often can the Clinton campaign say that states don't count because they vote for Obama, or because they lean Republican, or because they have caucuses? As has been pointed out before, it's hard to run for President when you've told half the country their voices aren't important, and that the only states which matter are California, New York, and New Jersey.

And another great point was brought up in MSNBC's First Read was that maybe you can see how Barack Obama would run his White House by looking at his campaign. As opposed to Clinton, he has been fiscally disciplined, he has competed everywhere and been prepared everywhere, and for all the talk that he has no experience, and he certainly has no experience running a national campaign (unlike the Clintons which have been through this three times before, with Bill's first Presidential primary fight and his two national elections).

The Clinton campaign has been surprisingly unprepared for the long haul. Remember when Clinton herself said the contest would be over February 5? This is the only way to explain the consistent caucus beat-down they take and the lack of preparation for Wisconsin. It's the Obama campaign that's doing the little things tactically. At some point, one has to wonder if Obama will start using the organizational success he's had in this campaign as a talking point about his own preparation to run the White House. After all, this is the largest organization either Clinton or Obama has run.

It's a powerful point. Obviously Clinton wasn't fully prepared to be a candidate on "Day One" so why would we think she would be ready to be President on "Day One?"

The only good news for the Clinton campaign? A disastrous appearance on MSNBC's coverage last night by a Barack Obama supporter, a state Senator from Texas, who was stumped by Chris Matthews when asked a simple question: "Can you name any of Barack Obama's legislative accomplishments?" He was completely stumped and unable to come up with a single thing to say specifically. Now, Obama does have legislative accomplishments. He passed ethics reform in Congress. He passed health care in Illinois. He reformed the Illinois death-penalty system. But, this was a bad moment for this guy, Kirk Watson, and I don't think he'll be doing any more interviews for the campaign. It's must-see video and I've embedded it below.

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Mac G said...

I hear ya on the Obama love. This race is over and the media keeps ignoring this fact. The Superdelegate story is played out too.

I watched this clip live and while this guy has no clue what he is talking about, Chris Matthews is an asshole.

Mac G said...

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