For whatever reason, I often assume that people who I hear a lot about are overrated. I can't tell you how often I've been wrong about that. Given that I mostly make this assumption about writers, frankly, I think it's just my own jealousy and neurosis. I don't usually read Frank Rich and this piece makes me feel stupid for that practice. This is just a superb example of great argument. Rich basically fillets the Clinton campaign, on the one thing that they've made their centerpiece--competency. Here's a taste:
But it’s the Clinton strategists, not the Obama voters, who drank the Kool-Aid. The Obama campaign is not a vaporous cult; it’s a lean and mean political machine that gets the job done. The Clinton camp has been the slacker in this race, more words than action, and its candidate’s message, for all its purported high-mindedness, was and is self-immolating.
The gap in hard work between the two campaigns was clear well before Feb. 5. Mrs. Clinton threw as much as $25 million at the Iowa caucuses without ever matching Mr. Obama’s organizational strength. In South Carolina, where last fall she was up 20 percentage points in the polls, she relied on top-down endorsements and the patina of inevitability, while the Obama campaign built a landslide-winning organization from scratch at the grass roots. In Kansas, three paid Obama organizers had the field to themselves for three months; ultimately Obama staff members outnumbered Clinton staff members there 18 to 3.
What people are missing in all of the coverage of the Obama phenomenon is that this dude has just run a hell of a campaign. Hillary thinks she's being funny and cute when she, and her surrogates, mock Obama's followers. But the joke is ultimately on them. If this dude is such an empty-suit, with zero accomplishments, than what it does it say about you that you can't beat him? If he's a nothing, but your loosing to him, what are you? In the words of Dre, when you dis Obama in that fashion, you dis yourself. A significant part of politics is convincing people to vote for you. Claim all you want that the voters are being hoodwinked, but that's all in the game. It's like if the Patriots claimed that they would have won the Super Bowl if not for the Giants blitz. Uhm yeah. That's football.
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