This exchange will race through the conservative blogosphere, and probably on the pro-Hillary sites as well. Last night, Chris Matthews interviewed Texas state senator and Barack Obama supporter Kirk Watson as Obama sailed to a crushing victory in Wisconsin. Matthews asked Watson to name any significant legislative accomplishment by Obama, and the campaign surrogate got stumped:
MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "You are a big Barack supporter, right, Senator?"
State Sen. Watson: "I am. Yes, I am."
Matthews: "Well, name some of his legislative accomplishments. No, Senator, I want you to name some of Barack Obama's legislative accomplishments tonight if you can."
State Sen. Watson: "Well, you know, what I will talk about is more about what he is offering the American people right now."
Matthews: "No. No. What has he accomplished, sir? You say you support him. Sir, you have to give me his accomplishments. You've supported him for president. You are on national television. Name his legislative accomplishments, Barack Obama, sir."
State Sen. Watson: "Well, I'm not going to be able to name you specific items of legislative accomplishments."
Matthews: "Can you name any? Can you name anything he's accomplished as a Congressman?"
State Sen. Watson: "No, I'm not going to be able to do that tonight."
Matthews: "Well, that is a problem isn't it?"
It will be in November. Hope and change sound great ... for a while. At some point, the spell breaks, and people wonder how all this hope and change will morph into actual policy, and whether the candidate can actually deliver it. That usually means looking at the record to see how the candidate did so in the past, when they had the opportunity to do so.
Obama simply doesn't have any record to show. He has been in the Senate a grand total of three years, one of which he's spent running for President. He has no record of even attempting to bring any of the themes on which he's running now to the Senate for consideration as actual legislative product. Why didn't he act when he had the chance?
That will be John McCain's argument. He has a long record of taking risks in the Senate and pushing bipartisan solutions to problems. He hasn't just sat around talking about change; he's actually accomplished it, sometimes in directions that angered Republicans then and now. McCain can cast himself as the real agent of change and bipartisanship, while Obama just poses as such for an election without once taking any real risks.
Plus, McCain would probably have smarter surrogates appearing on MS-NBC.
UPDATE: I added the video from the new Eyeblast site, which just got started. Check it out -- it looks like a great resource.
UPDATE II: Read the mea culpa from Kirk Watson. It's an excellent recognition that he blew it, and he tries his best to make amends to Barack Obama.