The blowback at ABC's [Pennsylvania] debate makes clear that Obama is the left's man. So what did Messrs. Nunn and Boren see?
The biggest event was the Clinton Abandonment. In a campaign of surprises, none has been more breathtaking than the falling away of Clinton supporters, loyalists . . . and friends. Why?
Money. Barack Obama's mystical pull on people is nice, but nice in modern politics comes after money. Once Barack proved conclusively that he could raise big-time cash, the Clintons' strongest tie to their machine began to unravel. Today he's got $42 million banked. She's got a few million north of nothing.
But it's more than that. Barack Obama's Web-based fund-raising apparatus is, if one may say so, respectable. The Clintons' "donor base" has been something else.
It is hard to overstate how fatigued Democratic donors in Manhattan and L.A. got during the Clinton presidency to have Bill and Hillary fly in, repeatedly, to sweep checking accounts. The Lincoln Bedroom rental was cheesy. Bill's 60th birthday gala (tickets $60,000 to 500K) was a Clinton fund-raiser.
The 1996 John Huang-Lippo-China fund-raising scandal pushed Clinton contributors toward a milieu most didn't need in their lives. Hillary's 2007 Norman Hsu fund-raising scandal was an unsettling rerun of what the donor base could expect from another Clinton presidency.
It was all kind of gross, but the Clintons never seemed to see that. When Obama proved he could perform this most basic function in politics, it was a get-out-of-jail-free card for many Democrats.
For some, this may be personal. For others, it is likely a belief that the party's interests lie with finding an alternative to the Clinton saga. One guesses this is what Sam Nunn and David Boren concluded.