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Today's lead story on Politico.com is a no-holds-barred critique of the weaknesses and incompetence of Clinton's efforts to win the nomination, in contrast to Obama's
more consistent, disciplined, and tecnhologically savvy campaign.
Authors Jim Vandehei and David Paul Kuhn show that the theme is spreading to the MSM; they cite twin op-ed colums in today's Washington Post They also interview Democratic strategists, an academic, and superdelegate David Bonior (uncommitted).
In one of the Post op-eds, Peter Beinart states,
Hillary Clinton has made Obama's inexperience her chief line of attack, and if she goes down, John McCain will pick up where she left off. Luckily, Obama doesn't have to rely on his legislative résumé to prove he's capable of running the government. He can point to something more germane: the way he's run his campaign.
Comparing the campaigns of all three remaining candidates, Beinert observes:
Of the three candidates still in the 2008 race, Obama has run the best campaign by far. McCain's was a top-heavy, slow-moving, money-hemorrhaging Hindenburg that eventually exploded, leaving the Arizona senator to resurrect his bankrupt candidacy through sheer force of will. Clinton's campaign has been marked by vicious infighting and organizational weakness, as manifested by her terrible performance in caucus states.
Obama's, by contrast, has been an organizational wonder, the political equivalent of crossing a Lamborghini with a Hummer.
The Politico article provides a laundry list of the Clinton campaigns' failures: the in-house drama, the multiple personnel shake-ups, the unpaid debts.
The article does not give Obama's campaign a free ride either. Rezko and Wright are mentioned as major stumbles. Nevertheless, in contrast to the Clinton campaign, they acknowledge what is undisputed by most observers:
Put simply, Obama has shown he can offer a compelling vision, execute a complicated strategy to convey it and, all the while, keep the ledger in the black. That’s not a bad first step to becoming a strong leader.
I recommend readining the originals, but for those who can't, here is the bottom line:
In interviews, several veteran Democratic strategists said the business of running a campaign offers limited insight into a candidate’s performance in the White House.
And Clinton’s defenders argue that the relatively smooth-running Obama operation obscures the reality that the first-term Illinois senator is an untested, naive politician who showed little spine or genius during his unremarkable four years in the U.S. Senate. Clinton loyalists think the Obama story has a predictable conclusion: He gets torn apart by a ruthless GOP and crushed in the general election.
All of this could be true. But it is also true that a fair measurement of the candidates’ leadership skills is their management of their campaign. Easily the largest enterprise they have run in their lives — in February alone, Obama had 1,280 paid employees, at a cost of $2.61 million; Clinton had 935 employees and a monthly payroll of $1.63 million — the campaign reveals flaws and strengths that will only be magnified in the Oval Office.
UPDATE: I also found this nugget in today's Philadelphia Inquirer, taking "the Clintons" to task for pretending that Mark Penn's failings were his fault, when in fact they reflected larger flaws in the campaign as a whole:
I am less interested in Penn than in what Penn's rise and fall tell us about Clinton herself, and about the boneheaded fundamentals of her campaign. Penn has not been the source of her woes, only a symptom.
Ever since her campaign was launched, she and Bill have condoned and tolerated Penn's dubious dual role. They appeared not to understand their own problem, that it might be difficult to sell Hillary as the candidate of "change" when their own chief strategist was so enmeshed in the special-interest world of Washington.
Source : http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/04/09/492626/-MSM-doing-Obama-s-work-for-him
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