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Obama '08: Is Obama Serious?

While I liked the content and tone of Sen. Obama's speech at the DNC Winter meeting, I was troubled by the seeming lack of organization with his campaign people. As stated here and in other places, there were little to no signs or other elements handed out by the campaign. The DNC Winter meeting was a relatively small event, but in the pantheon of demonstrating to the base of the base whether one is a serious presidential contender, quite important.

Now comes news that Sen. Obama is skipping the first debate in Nevada. This seems like a bad move to me. Both Edwards and Clinton, as well as Vilsack, Richardson and Dodd will be there. Furthermore, the debate is being organized by the AFSCME union and my personal views on the increasingly narrow function of unions in modern business aside, they are an important cog in the Democratic machine.

This does nothing to dispel the small but growing sentiment that Sen. Obama isn't seriously running and it will scare away money to competitors both for the big donors who want to back a winning horse and for small donors who don't have the money to spread around from campaign to campaign.