Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Clinton and Obama Take Command

It's 3 AM for the Hillary Clinton campaign, the red phone is ringing but there's no one to answer because they're all too busy squabbling among themselves.

On the brink of disaster, the putatively more experienced candidate for Commander-in-Chief has fired her campaign manager, muzzled her husband and chief strategist Mark Penn and, according to the New York Times, set out to overhaul an organization that has "set itself apart for its level of disorder and dysfunction."

The unkindest cut of all is an implied comparison to George W. Bush as an executive:

"Mrs. Clinton showed a tendency toward an insular management style, relying on a coterie of aides who have worked for her for years, her aides and associates said. Her choice of lieutenants, and her insistence on staying with them...was blamed by some associates for the campaign’s woes. Again and again, the senator was portrayed as a manager who valued loyalty and familiarity over experience and expertise."

The surprise on the other side has been the quick-response style of the supposedly dreamy Obama and his cohorts. Campaigning in Mississippi, he has been accusing Clinton of using "Republican tactics" against him.

“When in the midst of a campaign you decide to throw the kitchen sink at your opponent because you’re behind,” he says, “and your campaign starts leaking photographs of me when I’m traveling overseas wearing the native clothes of those folks to make people afraid, and then you run an ad talking about who’s going to answer the phone at three in the morning, an ad straight out of the Republican playbook, that’s not real change.”

Even mild-mannered former Sen. Bill Bradley, who ran in 2000, is striking back on his behalf, accusing the Clintons of “lying” to win.

“The bigger the lie, the better the chance they think they’ve got. That’s been their whole approach,” Bradley told a reporter. “She’s going to lose a whole generation of people who got involved in politics believing it could be something different.”

Heading down the stretch for the nomination, it's clear that Obama is going to be no John Kerry in response to swiftboating from opponents in either party.

1 comment:

Liza said...

Great post, Robert.

I just hope that Senator Obama gives the mother of all speeches on March 19, the fifth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.

Obama needs to take us back to square one and remind the nation about how we got into this and the horrific cost in lives and dollars. And there is the opportunity cost as well - 50 million uninsured, aging infrastructure that resulted in the drowning of an American city, and so on.

Obama is a world class orator, and he needs to send a message to Hillary that the ability to inspire and communicate with passion and eloquence is a leadership skill.