Posted by Damozel | From the standpoint of this Clinton supporter, the important part of David Brooks' New York Times op-ed is the last two paragraphs. Obama supporters might have stopped reading before they got there:
[A] candidate should never betray the core theory of his campaign, or head down a road that leads to that betrayal. Barack Obama doesn’t have an impressive record of experience or a unique policy profile. New politics is all he’s got. He loses that, and he loses everything. Every day that he looks conventional is a bad day for him.
Besides, the real softness of the campaign is not that Obama is a wimp. It’s that he has never explained how this new politics would actually produce bread-and-butter benefits to people in places like Youngstown and Altoona.
If he can’t explain that, he’s going to lose at some point anyway. (New York Times)
Obama does seem to be a bit out of his league. Just over three years ago, Obama publicly acknowledged that he wasn't experienced enough to run for president:
"I am a believer in knowing what you’re doing when you apply for a job. I think that if I were to seriously consider running on a national ticket, I would essentially have to start now, before having served a day in the senate. Now, there are some people who might be comfortable doing that. But I’m not one of those people." (CNN and Vanity Fair)
Political Wire, has a similar statement, from November 4, 2004:
"Calling it as 'a silly question,' Sen.-elect Barack Obama (D-IL) pledged 'he would resist any overtures to run for president or vice president before the end of his six-year term as a U.S. senator,' the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
"Said Obama: 'I was elected yesterday. I have never set foot in the U.S. Senate. I've never worked in Washington. And the notion that somehow I'm immediately going to start running for higher office just doesn't make sense.'"
Obama has done exactly what he said he wouldn't do -- and missed out on some valuable experience that he could have picked up if he'd spent all of the last three years focusing on being a senator.
Yesterday, Obama's foreign policy adviser called Hillary Clinton a 'monster.' You'd think that all the hue and cry would be all in Hillary's favor. Not at all.
The punditry and some bloggers seem to think that Hillary forced the Obama campaign do it. She forced them to stand and fight. She knocked his halo of "New Politics" sideways! She forced him to drop his pretense of being above the fray. By challenging his campaign to a fight over the issues -- things like credentials and their records -- she made him get all dirty!
It seems to me that Obama did start it, in January or so, when he started implying that he was shiny and new (and would use a new style of politics) -- while Hillary is old and dirty. How was she supposed to respond to that?
Anyone who has delved into Obama's political history knows how his quick rise through the ranks began: by knocking off his opponents on whatever technical grounds he could find. (Chicago Tribune)
If Obama is out of his league, he shouldn't complain; he should back down and agree to take the position for which he's more qualified: the VP slot. With that kind of experience, he would very likely become president in eight years or so.