Joel Klein: Obama the Best Executive By Far

Joel Klein wrote a great article for Time Magazine that made observations similar to those in my post that compared the management skills or Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Prominent Democrats in states that held caucuses told Klein that Obama had organizers on the ground and made appearances while Clinton was late to the game or never showed up.  He went on to write:

If nothing else, a presidential campaign tests a candidate’s ability to think strategically and tactically and to manage a very complex organization. We have three plausible candidates remaining–Obama, Clinton and John McCain–and Obama has proved himself the best executive by far. Both the Clinton and the McCain campaigns have gone broke at crucial moments. So much for fiscal responsibility. McCain has been effective only when he runs as a guerrilla; in both 2000 and ’08, he was hapless at building a coherent campaign apparatus. Clinton’s sins are different: arrogance and the inability to see past loyalty to hire the best people for the job and to fire those who prove inadequate. “If nothing else, we’ve learned that Obama probably has the ability to put together a smooth-running Administration,” said a Clinton super-delegate. “That’s pretty important.”

Klein has gone beyond what I wrote in so far as he’s included McCain in his comparison.  McCain has been in Congress since 1982, and his campaigns have been the only large organizations that he has run since then.  (He did achieve the rank of Captain in the U.S. Navy and commanded at least one squadron of naval aircraft.)  While he’s had more success this year than in 2000, Klein is right to point out that his management of his campaigns has been lackluster at best.


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One Response to “Joel Klein: Obama the Best Executive By Far”

  1. rberlind Says:

    See the New York Times article from March 10, 2008 called “Sniping by Aides Hurt Clinton’s Image as Manager”

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