Obama’s Executive Credentials (and Clinton’s apparent lack thereof…)

UPDATE: Holy shit! Obama has raised over $4m $5m SINCE LAST NIGHT!!!! BarackObama.com is currently down as their servers are overwhelmed so chances are he’s going to blow past $5m $6m by the morning. That’s a movement!

I said recently that Politico’s Ben Smith had become my favorite political blogger, and while still technically true from an informational perspective (check out this post on the question of whether the Clintons are self-financing their campaign), The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan has consistently impressed with me his level-headed insight on various aspects of this roller coaster campaign. Today he offers a compelling assessment of Obama and the “executive experience” question:

He asked me to judge his executive skills by observing how he was managing a campaign.

By that standard, who isn’t impressed? A first term senator – a black urban liberal – raised more money, and continues to raise much more money, than Senator Clinton. More to the point, the money he has raised has not come from the well-connected fat-cats who do things like donate to the Clinton library. His base is much wider, broader and internet-based than hers. It has many more small donors.

Now look at the strategy he laid out last year, as he explained it to me and others. Iowa was the key. If he didn’t win Iowa, it was over. But if he could win Iowa, he would prove the principle that a black man could transcend the racial issue, helping in New Hampshire, and then also helping him peel off what was then majority black support for the Clintons in South Carolina. Then his strategy was meticulous organization – and you saw that in Iowa, as well as yesterday’s caucus states. Everything he told me has been followed through. And the attention to detail – from the Alaska caucus to the Nevada cooks – has been striking.

He goes on to look at how Obama’s handled “the psychological and emotional challenges of this campaign” and declares: “In the middle of this very hot zone, he exhibit a coolness and steeliness that is a mark of presidential timber.”

The entire post is good reading and one to bookmark for knee-jerk Clinton supporters who like to offer the maddeningly vague and misleading “35 years of experience” talking point by way of explaining their choice.

ETA: It’s now been confirmed that Clinton lent her campaign $5m last month, presumably to help fund her reported $9m advertising spend in Feb. 5th states over the last two weeks, several of which she was expected to win anyway but was forced to redirect additional resources towards in order to dampen Obama’s momentum. She’s now hitting up supporters to help her raise $3m over the next three days: “I’ve never asked so much of you as I am now: $3 million in three days. But the need has never been so great.”

Smells a bit like desperation and panic is in the air.

If you accept Obama’s premise of judging his executive capabilities by his campaign — and IIRC, he made a joke during the last debate about Mitt Romney’s business credentials and the return on investment he was getting from his campaign —  then it certainly calls into question Clinton’s executive abilities, especially considering the well-oiled political machine she has in her corner.

Sullivan, once again, hits the nail on the head:

It’s four times Obama’s net worth. But she’s the alleged tribune of the poor. Like her husband was black.


ETA 2: I now get paid more money than Pattis Solis Doyle!

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