Friday, June 13, 2008

Good Campaign mean good Presidency?

You may remember previous posts noting the... problems Obama has in vetting staff, keeping a secure website, and controling his spending.

One wonders if it would be wise to make the conduct of such a campaign central to the case of whether you should be president. (Let's ignore how self-referential it all is. Vote for me because I'm good at getting others to vote for me).

The mainstream media for some time has been searching for material to bolster Barack Obama’s flimsy résumé. After all, he lacks national security experience, has no major legislative accomplishments, and never held an executive position. Not to worry, say the liberal cheerleaders. Peter Beinart raised a typical defense:

Luckily, Obama doesn’t have to rely on his legislative résumé to prove he’s capable of running the government. He can point to something more germane: the way he’s run his campaign.


Accepting for the sake of argument that a political campaign can foreshadow an administration, it is worthwhile to update some of these media evaluations to see just how effective a chief executive Obama has been.

It's not a good sign when your credentials are so flimsy that you have to grab whatever is handy as a thin justification as to why you deserve the job. It's like saying "I deserve this job because I was goot enough to get an interview and found the confrence room where the interview was."

In short, Obama’s standard operating procedure has been one of evasion, seclusion, and unwillingness to put himself or potentially harmful information out for full inspection by the media — no matter how friendly and helpful they have been during his primary race.

If openness and transparency are ongoing concerns for voters, the conduct of the Obama campaign — up to now at least — suggests that an Obama presidency won’t have much of either.

Still, there are other qualities in a president. For example, it is generally a good idea for the president to be able to stand up to criticism and avoid the common trap of believing they are under siege from hostile forces. That just causes them to batten down the hatches and recede into their own close-knit group of advisors, right?

But there again, we see that Obama’s conduct during the campaign suggests that he has the thinnest of skins. He frequently has demonstrated that he does not appreciate being on the receiving end of any criticism. Any examination of his record or reminder of his own inconvenient words from the opposing camp has been termed a “smear” or a “distraction” or “the politics of division.” His record, his own words, his policy positions, his associations — all are deemed inappropriate topics for the campaign.

Read it all.

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