Now that Obama has crossed the delegate finish-line for the Democratic nomination . . . it’s time for the finger-pointing! Today’s WSJ has a fun article that details the mismanagement, backbiting and strategic idiocy of the Clinton campaign.
For a while now, I’ve been marveling over the Clinton camp’s contention that the Obama has had a free ride, what with his, um, being, half-black and having middle and last names that are markedly similar to those of America’s recent public enemies #1a and #1b.
Even more audacious, I thought, was the complaint that sexism was holding Sen. Clinton back. This was utter BS, as the candidate actually benefited from the lowered expectations the public has for women. Think back to the days before the New Hampshire primary in January, when Sen. Clinton cried on camera. It’s clear to me that if a male candidate had done such a thing, he’d be laughed off the campaign trail as a weakling (I deleted several much harsher terms before settling on that one).
(Oh, and her crying-jag lament of, “I have so many opportunities for this country. I just don’t want to see us fall backwards,” struck me as a really chilling choice of words.)
The WSJ article is a hoot, because it explores what a mixed-up organization Sen. Clinton assembled, in concert with her lack of understanding of the nomination process. One of my favorite lines was about the campaign’s chief strategist, Mark Penn (dutifully put through the Drew Friedmanizer, below):
Critics’ bigger complaint was that from the campaign’s start Mr. Penn had been its only pollster. Other campaigns typically use many pollsters to provide alternative views; Sen. Obama has had up to four. Ms. Solis Doyle says that throughout 2006 and 2007, she urged Sen. Clinton to add more. Sen. Clinton told advisers Mr. Penn is “brilliant,” and multiple pollsters would slow consensus on strategy.
But top aides chafed that Mr. Penn used his control of “the numbers” to win most disagreements. “He could go straight to the [former] president of the United States, who in turn got to Hillary,” says a senior strategist. “After a while, people just shrugged their shoulders and said, ‘Hey, look, this is how she wants her campaign run.’”
Mr. Penn defends his polling analyses, and counters that others were responsible for budgets and field operations. “The misleading thing here is, the title of chief strategist connotes that I was in charge of things,” he said. “It was a much more complex structure than any title connotes.”
Anyway, congrats are in order to Sen. Obama and his campaign. As Eddie Griffin recently put it (according to Page 6), “Barack Obama is about to get the Democratic nomination. It’ll be the first time in history that a black man beat a white woman and didn’t go to jail for it.”