Thursday, June 9, 2011

Obama in '08, Did he run to win?

This is pure speculation, and I'd have to go hunting to find reasons why it matters (perhaps as a cautionary tale??), but I remain convinced that at least at the outset Barack Obama ran in '08 not with the intention of winning but to position himself for 2016.  I come to this conclusion based on the following:

1) It was clear by '07 that the democratic nominee would win the general election.
2) Hillary Clinton was a strong candidate of a party that would've elected her husband Bill if they could've.  It is an understatement to say that the general consensus was that Hillary would get the nomination.
3) The point above notwithstanding, it is pretty clear that candidates don't get the nomination on their first run.  So if you want to be president, it makes sense to make, as it were, a trial run to get experience, build up awareness, etc.
4) It's generally not a good idea to run against an incumbent President from your own party.

Putting the above points together and it's not unreasonable to conclude that for Barack he either had to run in '08 or most likely wait until 2020 to be President and so he ran.  Of course with success in the primaries came a new view of himself and what he was doing, and any trial run notions were replaced by the view to winning.

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