Thursday, February 05, 2009


Nate Silver last night:

... Back during the halcyon days of the campaign , Barack Obama had the good fortune to go against two opponents in John McCain and Hillary Clinton who had, respectively, no media strategy at all, and a completely incompetent one. The Congressional Republicans, on the other hand, are fairly good at making lemons out of lemonade... as difficult as a two-year campaign was, governance is going to be much, much tougher.

I think this is selling McCain and Clinton a bit short -- no, they didn't do a great job with media overall, but remember how excited and gleeful the Beltway insiders were when McCain's Paris Hilton ad and other "celebrity" ads went viral? Remember the great reviews for Hillary's "three A.M." ad?

In the campaign, Obama knew he was running a marathon rather than a sprint. He hung on after "three A.M.," and eventually it was undermined by the kerfuffle about Clinton's Bosnia story. He also hung on through the celebrity-ad period (when his lead slipped and hands were wrung), and this, too, played itself out. And at crunch time in the general election, he pummeled McCain with very effective ads of his own.

This isn't a marathon -- not if Obama wants a bill by President's Day. He's good at the long game, maybe less so at a game like this -- short and brutal. But he's a quick study, so we'll see what the future brings.

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