Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Closer

Today it looks like Barack Obama is going to officially close out the primary race for Presidency. Think about what an incredible accomplishment that was for a moment.

By all conventional wisdom, this was to be a coronation for Hillary Clinton. She had the money, she had the institutional support, she had the massive organization from previous National campaigns, and she had a spouse that was the most popular Democratic President since JFK. The other candidates were no slouches either. John Edwards was the darling of the liberal wing and the trio of Richardson, Dodd, and Biden were well respected politicians with long resumes and accomplishments.

With all of that stacked against a three year Senator, it is amazing to see what he has accomplished. For starters, they built the largest of it's kind of grass roots fundraising that has the potential to strike a major blow to the power of money over Washington. This money network has done the unthinkable by driving Hillary Clinton to virtual bankrupsy. Hillary had to loan herself money to compete for Super Tuesday.

Even more impressive than the money advantage was the organization's mastery of the rules and strategy. You knew that their delegate counters were the sharpest knives in the drawer when after Super Tuesday they knee immediately that they won aout 4 more delegates on the night than Clinton, a fact that neither the Clinton Campaign nor the networks could confirm for several weeks. While everyone was focused on Super Tuesday, Obama's camp was laying the ground for the race beyond. It was really the next three weeks that essentially won the nomination. These things don't happen by accident, they happen because of a great team executing a plan flawlessly.

Lastly there is the candidate himself. Barack has largely fought an honorable campaign except for lowering himself to the mudfest during the Ohio and pennsylvania primaries. No coincidence is that they were probably contributing factors in the losses. Overall though, the candidate himself has been better than advertised striking a rare balance of confronting our national problems with honesty while challenging and inspiring us to do better.

So enjoy the day of victory Obama team, you've earned it. The long fight for November begins on earnest tomorrow.

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