They Didn’t Get It

The Clinton people never appreciated the power or value of Obama’s ground game, and were without the vision or means to assemble one of their own:

Not long after New Hampshire, in a senior-staff meeting that both Clintons attended at the campaign’s Arlington headquarters, Ickes announced to his stunned colleagues, “The cupboard is empty.” The campaign had burned through its money just getting past Iowa. And the news got worse: despite spending $100 million, it had somehow failed to establish ground operations in all but a handful of upcoming states. Now, urgently needing them, it lacked the money.

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The Atlantic’s Clinton Campaign Expose

It’s up, finally. Here’s the nut:

Above all, this irony emerges: Clinton ran on the basis of managerial competence—on her capacity, as she liked to put it, to “do the job from Day One.” In fact, she never behaved like a chief executive, and her own staff proved to be her Achilles’ heel. What is clear from the internal documents is that Clinton’s loss derived not from any specific decision she made but rather from the preponderance of the many she did not make. Her hesitancy and habit of avoiding hard choices exacted a price that eventually sank her chances at the presidency.

Clintonian Delusions

Hillary Clinton ex-spokesman Howard Wolfson’s idea that Clinton would have won the Iowa caucuses had John Edwards gotten forced out of the race before that point because of his infidelity is what I call dumb-shit stuff. You have to be an idiot to say it, or an idiot to believe it.

Over at FiveThirtyEight (the definitive campaign horse-race/poll blog), Nate Silver does an excellent job of explaining why: If Clinton wasn’t a caucus-goer’s first choice, she quite likely wasn’t a second choice, either. That only stands to reason. Going into Iowa, she’d been the front-runner for the better part of two years. Democrats had a long time to think about whether they’d support her. For those who answered that question with a “no,” for whatever reason, Obama and Edwards were the natural destinations. It was a much more difficult leap for an Edwards supporter to turn back to Hillary once he was out of the race than it was to get behind Obama. 

Unless, that is, the Edwards supporters in question really disliked Obama’s stance in Iraq. Policy-wise, that was the only real difference between the two.

Zbig on Georgia

Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, compares Putin’s invasion of Georgia to the pre-WW2 policies of Stalin and Hitler, then manages to recommend nothing much more solid than “mobilizing [a] collective international response” with economic sanctions to deal with it. Thanks for that, Zbig, nice to know that you’re as helpful today as you were back when the peanut farmer was running things. 

It seems not to have occurred to him, by the way, that the feistier the Russians get on their borders, the closer the EU countries will want to be to the U.S. Or that the feistier Russia is on its southern border, the more willing the rulers of Iran might be to seek a rapprochement with the U.S. In crisis, opportunity.

David Stern Backing Cuban’s Cubs Bid?

Just now on ESPN’s Sunday night baseball telecast, Peter Gammons said that NBA commish David Stern has told various folks with the Chicago Cubs and/or Major League Baseball that Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban has been good for the NBA. That’s counterintuitive given all the fines Stern’s hit Cuban with over the years, but it shows that Stern has an eye firmly on the bottom line. No question Cuban’s been good there. The real question is whether MLB commish Bud Selig is running a business or a club. Running MLB as a business means Cuban’s in, assuming his bid to buy the Cubs has the necessary dollars behind it. Running it as a club, not so much. I don’t doubt that Cuban would quickly join the Steinbrenners, Arte Moreno in Anaheim and John Henry in Boston as a guy who shows it’s possible to win, cater to fans and make a ton of money all at once.