Policythought a sister blog of sorts to the "V" list is all over Senator Obama's nomination win this week. But what better place than the venerable, viscous, never vapid V list to drop the definitive Top Five for why Senator Obama took the ticket...
#5. He Won the Press War Early
The Clinton Machine is a hulking powerful mass in the Democratic Party, especially back when these nominating contests began. But for all their history and might, the Clintons were never media darlings. Obama provided a fresh face, soaring rhetoric and the promise of a new governing style. Light on personal history in government, but a new character to all of us the press fell in love. Much to the grand and well displayed dismay of Senator Clinton, but even more so for her ex-president husband. His antics in South Carolina, on television and in the press solidified a narrative that made it very difficult for the Clintons to directly attack Obama. Their triangulated attacks were called out early and often, making Obama teflon.
#4. He raises a hell of a lot of money
Who would have thought that by the end of the nominating contests Obama would have a war chest (that's still growing, by the way) and Clinton would be out of cash and in debt? The Internet is Obama's friend, and while the established candidates ignored the youth vote, Obama turned their interest into web-bucks. Which brings me to...
#3. Young People
When you're the insurgent running against a name brand like Hillary Clinton, you have to change the game. Engaging people in the 18-24 bracket, not just as potential voters, but as field organizers, robo-callers, fund raisers and awareness-spreaders gave Obama a ground-game lead that was the difference in the smaller states where he built his delegate lead.
2. He Won Iowa
This sounds like ancient history. But remember way back in January? On a frigid night in farm country Barack Obama used his soaring rhetoric and mega-watt smile to win over the voters of the Iowa Caucus, thus propelling him forward for the contests ahead. While it's true Iowa didn't provide enough power to let him steam roll New Hampshire, it did provide legitimacy to the man who promised "we are the change, we've been waiting for."
#1. Playing by the rules of the game
Remember when Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 but lost the electoral college? That's because he was playing the wrong game. Guess what? So did Hillary. Caught flat-footed after Feb. 5th and seeming to forget that her party apportions delegates proportionally, Clinton and her camp didn't fight for those small caucus states. Those decisions, or lack of action, doomed her and her vaunted team of seasoned strategists. Obama unlike, Clinton was ready (on day one, sorry couldn't resist) for the long haul. He was ready to fight for the votes that came after Feb 5, the 11 in a row streak built a delegate lead that was insurmountable.