When we last left our hero, Barack Obama, he was dazzling Wall Street with his ability to not only dazzle audiences in public, but also demonstrate mastery of the variety of securitizations (read: bets) that were being made between investment firms, with the helpful guidance of Robert Wolf, CEO of UBS-America. Wolf, you will recall, was the first person to alert Barack Obama in Agust, 2007 that a “market-driven disaster” was on the way. That’s because the big banks, who mostly traded with each other, were dealing in securitized products that were basically……bovine excrement. This allowed him to get in front of an issue that was getting little-to-no attention by the media at large, and certainly not the other candidates, Republican or Democrat, and thus look like a prophet. His speech to NASDAQ in 2007 got little attention because he still seemed like a long shot, but it got the attention of the bankers on Wall Street, who flocked to him.
Suskind’s book goes into detail about the meltdown during the 2008 campaign, and while he does a good job, you can read about it elsewhere. Let’s turn our attention to the campaign – and the President’s victory.
Suskind quotes President Obama as saying, “my presidency began in September.” While technically untrue, he was correct.” His leadership in the big meeting TARP meeting – you know, the one that John McCain suspended his campaign for showed leadership and mastery of the issues. Even though voters didn’t see it, afterwards Republicans were demoralized….and the election was basically decided. Poor John McCain. It was a stunt that backfired. But that’s usually what happens when one decides to pull a stunt.
Transition planning began early in the campaign – as it always should, regardless of the polling numbers. And here’s where it started to break down.