Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Checkmate

Tucson, Arizona. Special thanks to Casey, a relatively new blogger with a particular awareness some readers here might find interesting, for writing a complimentary piece about this place today. Younger than me by almost ten years, Casey is the older end of the omnivores. Take a look at his place and you can tell.

Bill Clinton has all but declared the conditional end to Hillary's bid for the nomination, stating that if she does not win in both Texas AND Ohio, it's over. I don't have the context around his remarks, but I had a reaction to the following excerpt: If she wins in Texas and Ohio I think she will be the nominee. If you don't deliver for her then I don't think she can. It's all on you.

To be fair, I don't know tone of voice or the prior sentence, but if there is any meaning in the direction that somehow Texas and Ohio are responsible for this nomination, what a crock. Maybe he's just explaining that circumstances have put the two states in a particular position, which is accurate. When someone shows up at your door borderline mortally wounded if not mortally wounded, and says "It's all on you" now wait a minute. Maybe they need you to save their butt. You are not responsible for creating the circumstance.

Elaborating on some content from a comment of mine at the last thread:

Some politicians like to criticize opponents who have not run organizations or businesses, "They've never been a CEO or executive."

The fact is candidates are the CEO's of their campaigns. Watching the business of the campaign (and it is very much a business, a difficult one) tells much about a candidate. I have been won over by candidates due to the professionalism, the ethics, and the people of the campaign organizations they created. A certain Arizona Congresswoman comes to mind. People like Rodd, Ron, Daniel, Katherine, Jennifer, Todd, Sarah, don't support jerks. They just don't.

If you compare the campaigns of Obama and Clinton, there is no comparison. While not perfect, Obama has run a very good campaign. That takes skill. The governor of Wisconsin commented on the Obama machinery at work in his Wisconsin over the past week. Anyone thinking Obama is winning on rhetoric has no clue, none, what it takes to win an election. A massive network of staff extending outward to a sea of volunteers braving heat, cold, hostility, and other challenges must come together. Most of the meetings are not on television.

Clinton's campaign has been a fiasco, making huge blunders and missteps that are no one's fault but her own. They continue to make mistakes. Competing factions argue about both strategy and tactics. They failed scenario planning 101 with the whole lot caught stupefied with pants around their ankles after Iowa. What was the "lose Iowa" scenario plan? They didn't have one. What was the "not locked up on 2/5" plan? They didn't have one.

Now in THIS election they attack inspiration and hope! As her campaign implodes before our eyes, she professes she has solutions and is the one who can get things done? I can't win elections, but I can solve health care and education?! The icing on the cake and beyond comprehension: I will fight to change the game so I can win without the popular vote.


Apparently neither of the Clintons nor the well paid staff on her campaign grasp what the message is doing across the country.

Still, Obama must defend against the vitriol and pay attention on all fronts including email blasts, push polls, radio, television, and speeches. As Liza notes, she will throw and heave anything she can find in the hopes that something, anything, can draw blood. If I were Obama, I would be well informed by 1992. Senior Bush threw everything at Bill. James Carville was a master at returning fire.

My advice for Obama at the Thursday night debate in Texas: The context is decisive. Surround the petty digs with a larger picture that illuminates the digs as digs. You are the bigger person. BE IT. When asked what you have accomplished as a senator, as a lawyer, as a father, as anything damn thing she can think of, have solid answers. Embrace the accusation that you lack substance and have it for dinner. She's hitting you on speeches. Hit her on solutions. What solutions?

After she says what we have all heard over and over again, acknowledge common goals and aims. Then note with eloquence and a solid but not arrogant wisdom: Her ideas reflect 20th century thinking. The country and the planet require 21st century thinking, and that is what you are. The time has come to turn a tired, tired, page and bring fresh ideas, ideas that include respecting the will of the people, to Washington.

CHECKMATE.

6 Comments:

Anonymous chris said...

I think he sees what you see and knows how to handle himself. The only areas I can name for improvement is that his Tuesday speech was a little too long, but there be a reason for that, and I wish he were faster in responding to attacks.

The New York Times has hit McCain about some lobbyist. I wonder what that's about.

2/21/2008 10:28 AM  
Anonymous The Navigator said...

Like in certain football games, a certain team has won unless they cause the loss themselves with a fumble or interception.

Obama just has to keep playing without mistakes.

X4mr is getting to me. Like him, I have never cared so much about an election. I think the feeling is going around. Before this dang blog, I paid almost no attention to politics.

I don't think it's just me, and the delegate thing is really catching fire. What a blunder.

I do not understand the thing about McCain AT ALL. Everything about it is weird.

2/21/2008 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Scarlett Letter said...

Casey, we miss ya here in Tucson, Dude!

2/21/2008 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

x4mr, your idea is brilliant. If Obama brings up this delegate shit in the right way, the crowd will erupt in an explosion.

She will look like a turd before everyone.

Regarding McCain, add me to the WTF list. I don't get it.

2/21/2008 4:26 PM  
Blogger roger said...

I hope he does it...really. This crap about stealing delegates and seating those two states is repugnant. It is exactly why I find supporting Hillary Clinton to be distasteful. She breaks the rules to benefit herself...bends them when possible...

THAT is what we trying to get AWAY from in this election.

Last, as you all know, I worried about Obama in Wisconsin, Virginia and a host of other states and he WON BIG.

I worry again about Texas and Ohio (smile...crossing fingers...).

2/21/2008 5:23 PM  
Blogger Casey DeLorme, APR said...

miss you guys, too, scarlett... but then I have gone paragliding almost every day this week... and it will be max 78 degrees (f) here on the 4th of July. and Matt's keeping me in the comedy of the Tucson political/economic development scene.

2/21/2008 5:33 PM  

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