An Original Obama Believer Is Very Anxious

Ben Smith picks up on comments by one Steve Hildebrand, one of Obama's earliest and most committed presidential campaign advisers, on the man's disappointment with the Obama. Hildebrand tells Smith that he is losing patience with the White House.  Smith does a good job in putting Hildebrand's place in context -- he is no longer an insider and, indeed, was frozen out of the campaign during its final few weeks.


He is also close to Obama, who retains a personal affection for him, even as Hildebrand has been vocally critical on subjects ranging from gay rights to White House appointments.
Hildebrand may protest my saying this, but he is a romantic when it comes to Obama and politics.

A veteran of Democratic politics and a campaigning mastermind, Hildebrand tried to join the Clinton campaign, and was ignored. A few months later, Obama's top Senate aide recruited Hildebrand to staff his first pre-campaign trip to Iowa. And Hildebrand, it can safely be said, was awed by the sight of young white teenage males go ga-ga over an inspiring multiracial figure like Obama. Hildebrand became one of the earliest true believers in Obama's promise -- and in his brand.  But the Obama Hildebrand fell in love with is not who Obama really is. It's not that the campaign was too ruthless and pragmatic, it's that Obama is more cautious and more political than his brand ever seemed to let him be. Yes, his savvy campaign advisers allowed this dynamic to settle in among the Democratic base, which is why Obama won, in part, and is one reason why it appears as if liberals can't accept Obama's significant progressive accomplishments to date.