Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

09/03/2008 (3:20 pm)

David Axelrod for President

I had to hear it to believe it. Barack Obama answered a question put to him by Anderson Cooper on CNN concerning his lack of executive experience by talking about how large his campaign staff and budget are.

Here’s the clip:

Ed Morrissey deconstructs this pretty soundly over at Hot Air. Basically, Obama sets up a straw man by talking about Wasilla, whereas Palin is now Governor of Alaska (she was Mayor of Wasilla for 10 years), and then knocks it down by talking about somebody else’s job. He speaks of how large his campaign is, but Obama is not managing his own campaign; that job is being done by David Axelrod.

If campaigning qualifies as sufficient experience to act as President of the US, then anybody who campaigns for President is qualified, simply by virtue of the fact that they’re campaigning. This has to be the strangest claim I’ve ever heard from a presidential candidate. Kinda convenient, though, because now we never have to worry about vetting presidential candidates ever again.

Of course, if Obama really wants us to consider his campaign management as experience, then I suppose we’re justified in viewing his repeated blaming of policy miscues on his campaign staff as an indication that he’s an ineffective manager. Would that be accurate?

The truth is that David Axelrod is running a pretty tight campaign, except for his inability to control the mouth of his candidate. Axelrod could become White House Chief of Staff if Obama is elected, so it’s possible that at least the White House staff will be managed properly. Would he run more? It’s hard to say; we’re not privy to the sort of day-to-day operational detail that would tell us whether Obama would actually run the country, or whether his handlers would. However, I’ve seen no reason to imagine that Obama has anything but the ability to write position papers and articulate them. It’s entirely possible that despite the historic melanin content of the candidate’s skin, we’re really being asked to vote for David Axelrod to be President. If so, we can chuck Hope and Change out the window; Axelrod is a functionary of the Daley machine in Chicago.

Meanwhile, the McCain campaign has produced an ad comparing Palin’s experience to Obama. Watch it:

It would be a great ad if Palin were running against Obama, but I think the comparison actually hurts McCain. Palin wins the comparison, but not by enough to make Obama look like the weakling he truly is, because everybody knows the ad is partisan. The real comparison needs to be between Obama and McCain, which McCain wins by so much that it’s not really even fair. The ad does not even mention this. It’s a serious omission. By emphasizing Palin, the McCain campaign is actually making Obama’s job easier.

Some are saying that by comparing Obama to Palin, McCain emphasizes just how inexperienced he truly is; it automatically puts him into her category, which everybody knows is “newbie.” They may have a point. I will wait, watch, and rethink it.

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