Friday, November 07, 2008

Dean's Due

For all the talk of the wonderful organizational skills of the Obama campaign, we need to remember that it was built on an idea hatched by Howard Dean. Much as he can be a raving lunatic at times, Howard Dean's "50 state strategy" was effective, and laid the foundational work for Obama to pick up several of those marginal states previously thought safe for Republicans such as Virginia, Indiana, and (God help us) North Carolina.

Sure it's a little hyper-inflated, a 50 state strategy. They weren't going to take Texas. (But we thought that about NC too, didn't we.) It rallies the troops, and it brings in the donations. A hundred bucks from a blue collar worker in Texas is worth just as much as a hundred bucks from a granola-smoking Berzerkley professor.

I don't believe in the whole "if you build it, they will come" Field of Dreams theory. But I do know if you don't build it, they definitely won't come.

Dean's strategy made it possible to exploit GOP weaknesses ad hoc. The reason McCain and Palin were in PA so much just before the election wasn't that they thought they were likely to win it, it's that they had to win it. They were playing defense in too many other areas, any of which they might have won individually, but they couldn't defend them all simultaneously.

So today's lesson for conservatives is to build infrastructure. Not necessarily staffing field offices in Hawaii, but consider a few of the following: support for existing and new conservative think tanks, mechanisms for candidate recruitment and support, some consistent and effective communications shops, possibly some social science and social psychology research ...

...and yes, maybe a few field offices in Pennsylvania and Ohio. I don't want us to turn into the money-burning welfare organization that the Democrats have become, but it's something to think about for the next time you expect us to magically pull your fat out of the fire.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

okay, seriously. you need to find a way to block 'wendy' from commenting. if it means i get iced out, so be it.

~MJA

Sockless Joe said...

It's coming from China. I already have the text verification enabled, so it's an actual person posting it. For now I'll just keep deleting them. If it keeps up... we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I know it had to be a real person, but there's still gotta be a way - right? (And you have an interesting attempt up above. I hope it works)

~MJA