Michelle Obama Brings It (Throwing Down the Leadership Gauntlet)
by horizonr, Wed Jun 27, 2007 at 12:45:25 PM EDT
The only person who would probably be prepared to be our president on Day 1
would be Bill Clinton -- not Hillary Clinton...I think that we're all very qualified for
the job. The question is who can inspire the nation to get us past the politics that
have bogged us down in the past.
Now comes Michelle Obama, who was in New York yesterday:
"For people who say that Barack Obama is not experienced...I can't wrap my
head around that," Michelle Obama told hundreds of people crowded into the
offices of the nonprofit Our Children's Foundation in Harlem.
"[H]e's ready to lead," she said. "The question is: Are you ready?...Will you
move out of fear, or will you move out of possibility?"
Michelle Obama added, "What they are counting on is for us not
caring...[and that voters will] stay at home."
It appears that the Obama campaign is gearing up to re-frame the entire debate over the meaning of
experience and leadership -- and to do it in a way that uses Clinton's own frames against her. This is
very good news.
Predictably, the Clinton campaign is highlighting Barack Obama's remarks on its news aggregator site,
in an undignified and unpresidential effort to mock Obama while feigning mock-woundedness over Obama's
Of course, the Clinton site doesn't link to the original Chicago Sun-Times piece, with Obama's complete remarks.
It links to an AP story that includes a fabricated rebuttal drawn entirely from a Bill Clinton fund-raising e-mail --
an e-mail which, by the way, features a photo of Bill gesturing expansively to a crowd, with Hillary clapping in the
background and looking offstage. Nice one, AP.
But just as Barack Obama's call for a new kind of politics is not a promise to roll over on the truth, Hillary Clinton's
tactic of mockery and woundedness has a very short shelf life. Clinton has been coasting along for months now on
the popular assumption that she has better experience and better leadership. But at some point very, very soon,
this assumption is not going to be good enough. She's going to have to prove it.
This week's remarks from Barack and Michelle Obama challenge Clinton to prove it. And they challenge the
American people to stop and consider that the right experience and the right leadership is about much more
than marrying well.