Dwight D. Eisenhower

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

The presidential memo under IN THE NEWS came to my inbox, and I printed it out. It was the 751st e-mail I received from the Obama organization since the first effort I received back on March 5, 2008, titled, “What Happened Today.”

This one stunned me—the real deal, the actual take-no-prisoners, kick-ass directive to the cabinet and intel agencies from a controlled but obviously furious president ordering them to cease and desist the turf wars and set up an information sharing system pronto. Implied: “or else ...”

Back in March 2009, I requested to be put on the Obama e-mail list and sent a small donation. I have saved all Obama organization communications (so far) in my computers as a record of the most successful outreach to voters by a politician in the history of the world.

“Money is the mother’s milk of politics,” said the late Jesse H. “Big Daddy” Unruh, speaker of the California State Assembly.

Since 2007, the Obama campaign has built a database of 3.1 million supporters and raised more than $700 million, surpassing what all the candidates from both major parties combined collected in private donations in 2004.

It doesn't matter whether you like Obama, hate Obama or are somewhere in between. If you are in business—any business, consumer, B-to-B or nonprofit—and do not monitor how this extraordinary organization communicates with its constituency and prospects via e-mail, you're a damn fool.

This guy is a great communicator, and we can all learn from him.

My wife, Peggy, and I overdosed on the 2008 election.

Eighteen months ago—with 10 Republicans and eight Democrats vying for their respective nominations—we started slowly. By August of this year, we were hooked. We'd start the day at 6 a.m. watching MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and his happy crew—Mika Brzezinski, Willie Geist, Pat Buchanan, et al. At 1 p.m., over a sandwich in the kitchen, I'd look in on Andrea Mitchell. After work we'd surf the dials, hitting Chris Matthews, David Gregory and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC; Brit Hume and his wonderful roundtable on Fox News; as well as checking in on Wolf Blitzer and Lou Dobbs at CNN. Compared to the energy and excitement of the cable shows, network evening news was a cure for insomnia.

The cable folks parsed every speech, analyzed every gesture, trumpeted every miscue, interviewed everybody and anybody who might shed some light on the outcome, and involved viewers in the minutiae of political campaigning. It was a giggle while it lasted.

Now Obama is in while McCain and Bush are out.

The suspense is gone. Life is normal once again.

So whither cable? Will it wither and die?

Welcome to the new shadow government.

I've been around for 12 presidential administrations—starting with that of Franklin Roosevelt, who died in office when I was 10. In my memory bank are five deeply flawed men who turned the highest office into a national nightmare and were rendered politically impotent during the final years of their presidencies: John F. Kennedy (Bay of Pigs, Cuban missile crisis, assassination), Lyndon Johnson (Vietnam), Richard Nixon (Watergate), Jimmy Carter (Iran hostage crisis) and Bill Clinton (Monica Lewinsky).

My family was not Democratic nor Republican. Nor am I. I've always voted for whomever I believed to be the best person for the job. As a result, I'm a registered Independent, which means I never vote in primary elections. If that's a cop-out, so be it.

For the record, up to the current administration (on which the jury is still out) I voted Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Humphrey, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41 and Clinton.

Only twice in my life have I seen the country crippled and disfigured, resulting in genuine grassroots passion in a presidential election: 1968 and 2008.

The year I got passionate about politics—and dispassionate—was 1968.

As readers of last Thursday’s edition may remember, my wife Peggy and I are back from Normandy and a three-day immersion in World War II and D-Day—a journey I have wanted to take for five decades. I wish I had a week. Coming home to the story of General Petraeus appointing the new crop of Army generals was unsettling. In World War II, America’s top generals in Europe were world-class—George C. Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George S. Patton Jr. and Omar N. Bradley to name four. Every now and again, fantastic images cross my brain. For example, if we could bring J.S. Bach back

Exactly nine blocks from my house in Center City Philadelphia, the following exchange took place on ABC-TV the evening of April 16 at the National Constitution Center: MR. GIBSON: And Senator Obama, I want to do one more question, which goes to the basic issue of electability. And it is a question raised by a voter in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. A woman by the name of Nash McCabe. Take a look. NASH MCCABE (Latrobe, Pa.): (From videotape.) Senator Obama, I have a question, and I want to know if you believe in the American flag. I am not questioning your patriotism, but all our servicemen,

Electile Dysfunction: The inability to become aroused over any of the choices for president put forth by either party in the 2008 election year. —Ed Zuckerman, Proprietor of “Government Policy Newslinks” to Denny Hatch, e-mail, January 23, 2008 Today is Super Tuesday. * With Bill Clinton getting more media attention than his wife, who is the candidate? Does this bode well for her presidency? * Barack Obama is an inspiring fellow, but do two years in the United States Senate qualify him to be commander-in-chief and leader of the Free World? * Do I really want John McCain—a lovely guy, but my age

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