Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Obama's Biggest Accomplishment to Date Is Managing His Campaign?

I still don't quite believe this one. Yesterday Barack Obama was interviewed by CNN and was asked about the "experience issue". His response (sorry this transcript comes complete with uh's and um's, which I normally see edited out):
Well, you know, my understanding is that, uh, Governor Palin’s town of Wasilly [sic] has, uh, 50 employees, uh, uh, we’ve got 2500, uh, in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. Uh, uh, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. Uh, so I think that, uh, our ability to manage large systems, uh, and to, uh, execute, uh, I think has been made clear over the last couple of years.
So let's clean up the transcript and get to the meat of what Obama was saying.
  1. The most experience he has so far has been running for president.
  2. Sarah Palin was mayor of a small town, which is a much smaller operation than his campaign.
  3. He is comparing his experience to Sarah Palin's.
To which I am forced to comment:
  1. Really? I mean I think it is true. Beating someone of Hilary Clinton's political stature in a national campaign is not an easy task. To do so certainly requires good leadership skills. But for a presidential candidate to admit that so far his biggest accomplishment to date has been to running for president? If I were the McCain camp, I'd run this response in an infinite loop. Althouse remarks:
    But isn't this a bit absurd? One qualifies to run for President by the very activity of running for President? I'm glad to hear that he smiled when he said that, because I don't think it's an argument you can make with a straight face.
  2. Sarah Palin is no longer mayor of a small town. Everybody starts somewhere. A more fair comparison would be Governor of Alaska to Senator from Illinois, right?
  3. To directly compare Obama to Palin you'd have to assume McCain has a 100% chance of dying in office. He's old, but he's not that old.
I'm really at a loss as to why Obama would be pushing this angle. It is not as if there aren't a wide variety of issues with which the American populace identifies with the position of the Democratic party. Push the war in Iraq. Push the resurgance of the Taliban in Afganistan. Talk about the economy. Fuel prices. The housing crisis. Global warming. Gay marriage. A woman's right to choose. Education of Americans in science vs China and India. The list goes on.

Instead I read article and article about some 17-year-old's baby bump and self-referential bragging about how running for president qualifies oneself for running for president.

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