Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Shadow

"The Shadow President: How John Podesta invented the Obama administration"

Michael, Crowley, The New Republic, November 19, 2008.

What's in a headline? Who even writes the headlines? It's the words "shadow" and "invented" that get to me, as if Obama isn't really in charge, as if all this electoral fuss, outreach, and grassroots organizing was besides the point. Behind Obama stood a Clinton guy all the time, John Podesta and his anger management alter ego, Skippy. More on Skippy later.

I can't recall the number of conversations I've had with people and the statements I've read by knowing insiders about how they spent some time with Mayor Washington a few days before, or the day of, his untimely death. It reminds me of that series of kids books, I Was There at..... My recent email traffic would suggest that Obama served on the board or sponsoring committee of just about every organization in Chicago and even beyond. Good for him.

Now for Skippy. The wierd thing is that I know several other high-performers like Podesta who have an "evil twin" they call Skippy. "I really want to avoid Skippy tomorrow, [CAP staffers] ..might say." Is having an "cutting, acerbic, impatient" bud named Skippy a requirement for effective leadership?

That said, CAP has played a galvanizing policy role in the past five years -- and a lot of the credit goes to John Podesta. But he's no Shadow.

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