I reread an interesting couple of pages tonight in Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. Well, actually more than a couple.
In 2006, Anita Dunn was brought into the unofficial, unannounced Obama campaign to help with fund raising. We all know who Anita Dunn is. But what many don’t know is that she was the chief strategist for former Senator Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential run and Senator Evan Bayh is also a former Dunn client.
One of the things that made the Obama campaign unique and successful, and a lesson I’m sure the Republicans have learned since the ’08 election, was their aggressive use of the internet, especially for fund raising.
After the 2004 DNC speech that launched Obama into the stratosphere, he was in demand to speak and help raise money for several mid-term democrats. What she did to bring his Senatorial PAC alive again, was to require that every time he appeared to help a candidate, the email addresses of those in attendance was gathered up for Obama’s Hopefund.
“Everytime he did an event for a candidate, Hopefund would require the beneficiary to set up a registration system and then turn over the attendees email addresses to the [Obama’s] PAC.
“This was no small thing. As 2006 rolled on, the requests poured in – urgent, desperate pleas from Democratic candidates fervent in the view that a visit from Obama would be their fiscal and political salvation. That added up to a lot of chits, and a lot of email addresses.”
But from all historical accounts, it was definitely an election changer. It’s been shown many times over the years for that reason and I can see why it was a real game changer. During the last election, I saw the maker of this ad on a news show and this is one political ad that hit a home run and will live on in history for how it affected the electorate.
Which brings me to this ad:
Even though Hillary lost, this is another high impact ad. It reinforced my opinion, when I saw it that Obama was not the right guy to sit in the oval office. It gives you pause to think: Who do you want taking that call? Who do you trust to do the most right thing?
Even his running mate gave reason for voters to question the decision to elect Obama:
Obama’s been tested from all sides and he shows nothing but annoyance (or naivety or downright incompetence) to events, not decisiveness or a vision of purpose during any critical event that he has faced. The only time he shows determination in a purpose is when it’s a crisis he has generated (remember the “health care crisis”?)
In the book Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, at a time while Obama was still debating his run for president, he asks his handlers if he can be home every weekend during the campaign. When I read this little paragraph in the book, I was astounded. Is it just me, or does this sound a little naive? Did he think that running for president of the United States was going to be a 5 day work week, 9-5 job? Did he think this was a day job? And does he think that while he’s president, he can close shop at 10pm and turn out the lights?
I think he does. And I think that anything that happens while he’s “indisposed” will be nothing short of an annoyance and a distraction. I just do not believe that he ever had a clue what this job entailed, what level of responsibility living in the White House requires. (It was reported that during the transition, and after Bush had met with Obama, Bush told one of his aides that “this cat is clueless.”) As I’ve said before, I think he knows he’s a one-termer and he’s going to get all the perks he can get from this job – traveling the world, seeing everything, hosting glittering parties for celebrities, enjoying private concerts and flying in chefs from all over the country.
All the while, he’s standing back and letting his underlings write policy, draft bills and generally run the country and the world. (If he knows nothing else from community organizing, he knows how to delegate. Hence, all the czars in this government.)