Chris Matthews was playing gotcha politics last night when he picked on
Texas State Senator Kirk Watson demanding that he state what, if any,
legislative accomplishments Obama has in the Senate. He didn't ask the
Clinton surrogate to name Hillary's accomplishments; she might have
been equally flummoxed--most people would be. Olberman clearly
thought it was a cheap shot, and asked Matthews what if anything the
Senate as a whole has accomplished in the last seven years, and
Matthews had no response. Are senators in the business of accomplishing anything? Their primary purpose seems more passive and deliberative.
And their main claim to fame in the last seven years has
been to rubber stamp Bush administration war policies and his agenda
to erode the rule of law. But whatever.
In any event I did a little research to find out what Clinton has accomplished in her career since 2001. I don't care about this question to look into it more deeply so if someone has a different understanding, I'm open to be corrected, but Clinton's accomplishments don't amount to much. She's done some stuff for constituents and for homeland security after 9/11. And let's not forget her work on the all-important flag burning issue. This biography also talks about things she's worked for, but has little to say about what she has actually accomplished. That might not be her fault because the Senate in its current deadlocked state seems bent on accomplishing little.
In response to the Matthews' attack on Stark, these Baltimore Sun writers defend Obama.
Take it for what it's worth. They point to work he's done on nuclear
nonproliferation, accountability, and ethics in the senate and to several things he
accomplished while in the Illinois state legislature.
I have never bought the line that Clinton's experience dwarfs Obama's. McCain in the general will have more of a right to use that argument than Clinton has now. She has fewer years in elective office. She's smart and talented, but I think it's legitimate to ask how far she would have risen if she were not married to Bill. She worked as a corporate lawyer while he worked as a community organizer. Obama's experience in that respect helps him to have the bottom up perspective that I think Clinton has no instinct for. And that shows in the ineffective way she has run her campaign.
The argument that she will be a solutions, get-it-done executive is absurd. What are the two major public areas in which she has been in charge? The healthcare project in '93 and now her campaign. She bungled both badly. She has had all the advantages and has squandered them because at the end of the day she is a clueless, paint-by-numbers, political hack.
UPDATE 2: Here's Kirk Watson's gracious statment explaining that his mind just went blank: "In the meantime, let’s not lose focus on what’s important in this election. It’s not my stunning televised defeat in “Stump the Chump.” Thankfully, it has nothing at all to do with me."