Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blue Hen Battle: Reflection has a great piece on a recent event at the University of Delaware featuring David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt, the managers of the Obama and McCain campaigns respectively.

One of the healthiest exercises in our often cantankerous and blistering political process is that of retrospection that can only occur outside of the hyperintensive environment of an election such as the one the country was in last summer. It's only well after the victor is declared, the runner-up concedes, the campaign signs come down, and the field offices fold that we can honestly and openly reflect on the events of the election.

For example, Schmidt, a man who I am coming to admire more and more despite the fact that he was responsible for crafting and approving nearly every attack (both legitimate and entirely not) on my candidate throughout the campaign, described the Obama campaign as "the unfinished Bobby Kennedy campaign – the idealism, the passion, the inspiration he gave to people, it was organic and it was real and it wasn’t manufactured at a tactical level in the campaign.”

You would have never have heard this out of this man's mouth last October regardless of however many Jack & Gingers you bought him in a DoubleTree in Harrisburg.

What this reflection proves is a truth in politics, that people do their jobs, and they aim to perform well. But at the end of the day, it's just a job. And however passionate we may feel about winning, it's our ability to speak freely and frankly about this sport that is in the end tantamount to healing and progressing our democracy.

It also reveals how awesome UD is! Not only is our Vice President a Blue Hen, but both Plouffe and Schmidt, who both attended UD but never completed their political science degrees, will finally finish their course work and officially graduate soon.

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