One of the things I really, really liked when I met Howard Dean in January 2003 at an event that I helped organize between the New America Foundation and the Atlantic Monthly on the subject of the “Real State of the Union” was how ferocious and tenacious I saw he could be. Dean was smart too, had great ideas in my opinion, but he was a son of a bitch pit bull as well. I thought that only the toughest, most tenacious kind of personality could beat George W. Bush.
I have wondered whether or not Obama had a similar kind of tenaciousness. I knew that Hillary Clinton did — but sometimes it’s tough to see how long and how hard someone will fight under the banner of hope.
But today I saw something significant. Obama had to ditch his VP vetter Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson over some shenanigans related to preferential mortgage treatment from Countrywide Financial. We all have bad days.
But then Obama put out this statement through spokesman Bill Burton:
“We don’t need any lectures from a campaign that waited fifteen months to purge the lobbyists from their staff, and only did so because they said it was a ‘perception problem. It’s too bad their campaign is still rife with lobbyist influence and doesn’t see a similar ‘perception problem’ with the man currently running their own vice presidential selection process, a prominent DC lobbyist whose firm has represented Exxon and a top Enron executive, or their campaign chair and John McCain’s top economic adviser Carly Fiorina, who presided over thousands of layoffs at Hewlett Packard while receiving a $21 million severance package and $650,000 in mortgage assistance,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.
That’s tenaciousness — and it gives me hope.
— Steve Clemons