Chief Executor of Good Intentions
by Kiko Matsing
“Some of your Republican critics have said you don’t have the experience to handle a situation like this,” [Anderson] Cooper said to Obama. “They in fact have said that Governor Palin has more executive experience. …”
“Governor Palin’s town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees,” Obama answered. “We have got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So, I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute, I think, has been made clear over the last couple of years.”
Obama ignored Palin’s experience as governor of Alaska, which was considerably bigger than the Obama campaign. But his point was clear: If you’re worried about my lack of my executive experience, look at my campaign. Running a first-rate campaign, Obama and his supporters argued, showed that Obama could run the federal government, even at its most testing moments. He could set goals, demand accountability, and, perhaps most importantly, bend the sprawling federal bureaucracy to his will.
[Bill] Clinton, who became president after 12 years as a governor, told the crowd [in Florida, 2008] not to worry about Obama’s lack of executive background. Given the brilliance of Obama’s campaign, Clinton said — and here the former president uncharacteristically mangled his words a bit — a President Obama would be “the chief executor of good intentions as president.”
Well, we all know what the road to hell is paved with.