Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This isn't Hope, it's megalomania:
Barack Obama will focus his resources largely in 14 states George W. Bush won in 2004, his chief field operative said Tuesday, hoping to score upsets in places like Virginia, Indiana, and Georgia. . . .
In an unusual move, Obama’s campaign will also devote some resources to states it’s unlikely to win, with the goal of influencing specific local contests in places like Texas and Wyoming. . . .
"It’s revealing that Barack Obama has now been forced to expand the states on his map because he’s so weak in traditional Democratic targets such as West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida, not to mention his ongoing problems in Pennsylvania and Ohio,” said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.
(Via Memeorandum.) What Team Obama is attempting is the "50-state strategy" that David Sirota and others have urged. It's a fantastic gamble, and is the product of either (a) genius, (b) desperation, or (c) overconfidence.

I was in West Virginia in May to watch Obama's field operation at work. It's impressive to watch, but there are limits to what can be accomplished by the "ground war" of grassroots organizing, just as there are limits to what can be accomplished throught he "air war" of TV ads.

At one level, it makes sense for Team Obama to spread the field this way. During the primaries, they built ground-level organizations in these non-battleground states, and there's no sense in abandoning that infrastructure.

At another level, the overwhelming likelihood is that (a) the election will be very close, and (b) in the end, it will come down to a handful of battleground states, including Ohio, Florida, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado and (perhaps) Pennsylvania and Virginia. If Obama loses because he comes up short in, say, Missouri, this 50-state strategy -- Texas? Wyoming? are you kidding me? -- will go down in history as one of the great bonehead moves in American politics.

UPDATE: Michael Turk thinks Team Obama's strategy is less crazy than it looks. The problem Republicans face, in attempting to counter this move, is that they have nominated a presidential candidate who generates zero grassroots enthusiasm. McCain has no natural constituency, except maybe the Geezer Vote. Certainly, the hardcore Republican activists -- Christian conservatives, NRA, homeschoolers, College Republicans, etc. -- are not going to volunteer their time to canvass and phone-bank for a GOP candidate who's made clear that he has nothing but contempt for the conservative grassroots.

1 comment:

  1. i love the title. i'm new to blogging and lurking. I find your style 'great'

    i'll be back

    btw: I am one of those republican, homeschool, Christian types. just fyi