Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Under Our Noses

I've written before in defense of the regular old daily newspaper, but I never said it was the only place you could find out new things. Just poking around Yahoo the other day, I happened on an item regarding Lady Gaga and her former boyfriend. This in itself was surprising because I had never thought of Lady Gaga as actually having a real life. What I know of her, which is none too much, had me putting her in the same class as Mr. T or Alice Cooper - characters, really, more than real people. This got me wondering if Ms. G. had a real name, and so I looked some more. Does she ever! She was once Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, which explains a little about her showbiz persona. I couldn't find out whether her former boyfriend called her "Stef". Maybe that's what caused the breakup.

Looking further on line, I made an ugly discovery. My recent inability to play tennis is evidently due to a pinched nerve. So, for awhile it looks like I'll be off the courts and on the local streets, walking for exercise. Oy.

David Pouffle had an important role in the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, but he didn't go on to serve in the White House, mostly for personal reasons. He wrote a book about the campaign, The Audacity to Win, which I just finished reading.
The book's story begins at the end of 2006, with Democrats regaining control of Congress for the final two years of the Bush 43 presidency. This is traditionally the time, almost two full years before the presidential election, when possible candidates take a hard look at their plans in order to decide whether or not to become announced candidates.
At the time, the Obama campaign really didn't exist at all in two uber-important ways - organization and money. Some campaigns don't succeed even with both these basics in place, and, win or lose, running is a grueling test of mind and body, and of the candidate's family. Whatever one may hear about how easy life as a politician is, all that is out the window when it comes to running for the most influential position on the planet, president of the U.S.A.
Those gathered to counsel Obama thought there might be one chance to take his campaign out of the ranks of "short and forgotten". He would have to do very well in the January 2008 Iowa Party caucuses in order to have any hope of surviving into spring.
Well, you know some of the rest of what happened during the next 20 months, but the book was quite revealing on the subject of how to run such an undertaking. The know-nothings who still like to sneer at Obama as a "community organizer" just don't get it. One of the greatest campaigns in American presidential history took place right under our noses as the little-known senator with the funny name from Illinois wrestled the nomination from perhaps the best known woman in the nation, a former First Lady, a current U.S. senator and wife of one of our best political operators (meant in the positive sense) ever. Yes, the Obama campaign made mistakes along the way, but also prevailed over John McCain, nominee of the Republican Party, a senator known for decades all over the country. The Party's image had suffered under Bush/Cheney, but not so much that the campaign could not have reversed with just an error or two by the Democrats.
Maybe no one reads books anymore. I see a current trend of shorter articles even in magazines. And gosh knows a hefty slice of any group of Americans will take on an air of superiority just at the mention of the word "politics". Personally, I continue to think the American electorate made the right decision in 2008, and that one day we'll know it. This book did nothing to make me think otherwise.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the opportunity. No one looks out for me like you brother Bailey.


5:39 PM  

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