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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Reviewing the Dem primaries

Remember the hullabaloo about which Democratic candidate was "ready on day one"?

In the June Atlantic Monthly, Joshua Green quoted John Roos, a corporate attorney who has been an Obama fundraiser in Silicon Valley:
“No one in Silicon Valley sits here and thinks, ‘You need massive inside-the-Beltway experience,’” he explained, after a diplomatic pause. “Sergey and Larry were in their early 20s when they started Google. The YouTube guys were also in their 20s. So were the guys who started Facebook. And I’ll tell you, we recognize what great companies have been built on, and that’s ideas, talent, and inspirational leadership.”
This makes me feel old.

Green has one other interesting nugget in the article -- "the tech community was up for grabs in 2007." Obama saw the opportunity and reached out to a lucrative donor base. Clinton did not:
In a colossal error of judgment, the Clinton campaign never made a serious approach, assuming that Obama would fade and that lack of money and cutting-edge technology couldn’t possibly factor into what was expected to be an easy race. Some of her staff tried to arrange “prospect meetings” in Silicon Valley, but they were overruled. “There was massive frustration about not being able to go out there and recruit people,” a Clinton consultant told me last year. As a result, the wealthiest region of the wealthiest state in the nation was left to Barack Obama.
I don't really want to rehash the 2008 primary campaign in any depth, but Vanity Fair does. Go there if you want a fix of "Hillaryland at War." Author Gail Sheehy's examination of the top staff is illuminating:
It was impossible to find anyone who could lay out the hierarchy of Hillary’s campaign. Almost everybody had veto power, but no one could initiate. The group was about as effective as the U.N. Security Council....They became consumed with trading personal invective, hurling expletives, and trashing one another in print.

[Mark] Penn and [Harold] Ickes especially hated each other.
The article also provides ample evidence why Hillary Clinton probably won't be the choice for Veep:
“Bill Clinton was out of control … even the night she won in New Hampshire. Even Hillary couldn’t control him,” a Clinton fund-raiser tells me. “He began calling me directly,” says one of Hillary’s Big Five, “and you don’t talk back to the president of the United States.” Not only did Bill give “advice” directly to Penn, [Howard] Wolfson, and [Patty Solis] Doyle, he wanted to set up his own shop in campaign headquarters, but the team persuaded him he was better used out on the stump.

While Bill proved to be a magnet for rural voters, he turned off some super-delegates with his imperial assumptions.
It's a lengthy read.

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