Rookie Mistakes

Anyone who knows me and knows what my current take on the Democratic Primary field is must know how much I battled with myself on whether or not to write this post. We all know that my prefered candidate is of course Barak Obama, and yet, the horse race addict within me feels it absolutely necessary to point out certain things in the interest of better politics.

In this case, in the interest of better politics for the Obama camp, and even more specifically, STOP MAKING ROOKIE MISTAKES!

I still do believe that Obama can very reasonably win the nom, and from there it’s even more feasible to win the Oval office, but not if he suffers his campaign performing ridiculously bone headed errors.

The first error of which I speak is the absolutely MORONIC mistake of allowing Obama talking points to be slipped under the hotel door of a reporter! I mean, this would have been bad enough had the 36 page strategy document been slipped to Hillary, but to Howard Fineman? Are you serious?

Not only does this give Obama’s opponents an in depth look into where he’s going, whose support he is attempting to woo, etc., but it also gives the targets the same information (which puts their support in jeopardy. I mean, sure everyone probably understands that if a politician you barely know asks you about your kids by their names he was probably coached, but to have that coaching pasted across a news item… I’m pretty sure that would cool my opinion), but such a document has the possibility of tarnishing Obama’s new school campaigning image.

As Fineman points out, the document shows Obama creeping around the fringes of Hillary’s support, picking off the vulnerable for his own while she has her back turned, but now that this has hit the cycle, the Hillary-naut is aware, and now has the option to cut him off at the pass.

In item two of why the hell is Obama’s campaign nuts, we have the camp hijacking a supporters myspace page that had at the time been listed as having 160,000 friends, all likely Obama supporters!

Now, I’ll be honest. I don’t really understand the MySpace thing. As a friend of mine told me, she said, “I think you’re just about three years older than the MySpace generation. Everyone my age (26) and below is hooked on it, but I get a lot of people your age totally out of the MySpace loop.”

My wife (who happens to be three years older than me, and therefore doomed to a life of being older and less pretty!) contrary to my friend’s opinion, is also a MySpace freak, spending hours tweaking her page with a meticulous ferocity… Me, I just don’t get it, but I’m a blogger, so in the context of this incident, I at least understand.

For everyone who has done metablogging on the issue of blogging it’s pretty obvious, those of us who invest our time carving out our niches in the internet, we are pretty ferocious about our endeavors. People who would let you literally walk on their back if you asked them turn into lions when it comes to their blog or their MySpace page, and this is no different. But what is worse is this guy was on the same side of the campaign, working for two years on behalf of Barak Obama.

So whenever whoever was in charge of internet communications on behalf of the Illinois Senator decided that they needed to push out the original owner of the domain name, he, in two very simple words, fucked up.

The original owner of the domain name has already said he now will no longer support Barak, which is bad, what’s worse is that he has the potential to take with him 160,000 more votes, no small number.

All of this leads me to add to the growing list of things that my preferred candidate needs to do in order to win the nomination. When I first decided to back Obama, I figured he needed only two things, the first to shore up his foreign policy in order to answer the accusations that he lacks substance (something he has and is continuing to do), and the second thing is to forget about the 2004 keynote speech that made him famous, otherwise it’s going to get old long before this thing comes down to the wire (the jury is still out on this).

But then, after last Thursday, I added that he also needs to learn how to adapt to the quickfire style of answering in a televised debate. People thinks he needs to walk on water, and there is no place where that image needs to be bolstered than during the debates.

And now, finally, this; whether he needs to fire people or hire people, get more involved with his campaign staff or back off a little, whatever the case, he needs to get his staff’s discipline in order. Luckily it’s still early, and while those of us who are embedded in the coverage are oohing and aahing at every item to come through the cycle, much of what is going on will eventually be forgotten.

If, on the other hand, 5 months down the line Obama is still letting his people get away with minor league shenanigans like this, he’s done.

So learn from this, get it out of your system, and move on Barak. You can’t afford too many more of these Rookie Mistakes.

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