Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fifty State Campaign – I’d like to see that

Seriously, as a long time political activist, I really will enjoy watching Obama’s grand plan roll out. Major, particularly national, election campaigns around the world have undergone an evolutionary process which locks in an element of negativity. Parties simply won’t support their own supporters in supposedly difficult contests.

To a great extent it comes down to logistics and resources, and possibly control factors. So campaign head office tends to cherry pick serious contests for all out assault and try and limit the rest to flag waving, at best.

It has always seemed to me, often supporting in one of the write off districts, that the process wastes, rather than conserves, valuable resources. Let’s face it, if you have supporters willing to stand up against the odds you have some highly committed people on side.

But more than that, which electoral districts, states or whatever the criteria is, makes the serious attack list, and those relegated to the ‘also rans’ is often made several years before a campaign, and doggedly adhered too. The choices make no real allowance for shifts in the on the ground dynamics.

Running a totally positive campaign does take resources, and commitment and trust that most campaign teams will stick with the agenda. The latter is always a worry, regardless of who is in and who is out. Local campaigns tends to go all out, regardless of party support. But real support would lock most into the agenda.

Obama’s gift

Democratic strategists must be shitting bricks; with Obama’s highly inclusive approach the old rule books need to be tossed out and new processed put in place. Rewriting the rules is probably never a bad thing, but for old campaigners it is scary. Just the potential for loss of control must cause sleepless nights.

Obviously Obama believes he has the money side covered, and campaign funds do flow with projected success. With the money question in hand Obama took the next obvious step, enlisting Democratic incumbents to strengthen their own positions by ensuring the election of more Democrat candidates.

Both those steps, the money and loyalty, are the stuff of self fulfilling prophesies. They are the basis of the art of politics, the creation of realities. Regardless of policy plusses or deficits Obama’s bold approach sets an agenda which holds the seeds of destruction or of incredible success.

But destruction only if his campaign army fail to be set on fire by the audacity. Already the signs are that Obama’s audacity is catching fire in an otherwise emotionally depressed America. Mounting economic gloom just adds to almost certain success.


D.K. Raed said...

I hope you're right about Obama catching fire. I just cannot believe how close Obama and McCain polls are at the moment. I look at McCain's campaign & can hardly control my gag reflex. Yet he is almost statistically tied among "likely" voters. We have to start pulling further ahead, because the last 8-yrs have made it clear that repubs win close elections ... by hook or by crook.

Cart said...

I really like to be on the ground at election time, but there are benefits to being away from the social pressures that tend to cloud the vision.
I successfully predicted the 2006 swing to the Dems, largely based on the economics. That is not fancy smancy high falutin’ economics, but the domestic living room model.
If much of the US was hurting then it has become far more widespread since. That tips the balance to the Dems, enough to get across the line. I hope to look closer at that stuff now, and get away from the boring economics that has been exciting my mind.
But on top of the economic predictors Obama’s approach could drive the win to a landslide. Ok, I haven’t done any detailed analysis here, but I am predicting al the same.

D.K. Raed said...

You might be giving the avg american voter a little too much credit, Cart. Sure they are hurting economically, but they fear a dem will take away their jeezus, guns and bibles ... or somesuch nonsense. Can't afford milk for the kids, can't afford gas to get to work (which is outsourcing your job soon anyway), 3-months behind on the mortgage & car loan, but that's just their stomachs & minds talking. Their voting fingers might be able to press the touchscreen for Obama.

ok, I know I know, we don't need them all, just 51%, but it would sure be nice to win by enough margin to stop all the Beltway Bullsh*t for awhile.

Cart said...

“You might be giving the avg American voter a little too much credit” I try not to overestimate the intelligence of voters anywhere. What I do know is that people will throw up all sorts of illogical issues, never even talking about why they are hurting. This is why smarter pollies really do believe there is only one poll that can be relied on.
You sill have those on the Coulter list, her treasured extremist Repubs, always will have the loony fringe, but economics tips the balance, even when voters don’t have the foggiest what economics is.

lindsaylobe said...

Whoever inherits the white house will inherit an unholy mess; an economy that has been unsustainable for such a long time. But I think sentiment counts for a lot; for if Obama was to win I think in the eyes of the rest of the world the USA would immediately be in for a significant rise in popularity. Particularly in Bush’s proclaimed countries referred to ill advisedly as the axis of evil. A groundswell of improving sediment overseas will have a trickle effect which will positive. Whether many voters realize the significance of this factor remains to be seen. ‘It’s time for change’. Maybe that old fashioned jingle would strike a modern day chord do you think? But I noticed as soon as Obama started talking about negotiating with warring parties you have the old chestnut of talking to the enemy and so forth; the abstract line drawn as clear as mud of the so called good countries and the bad ones and those to whom one must never even attempt to engage.
Best wishes

Kvatch said...

D.K., I believe that the closeness in the polls is due to Obama's recent missteps, ones that are alienating the netroots and Internet supporters. Moving to aggressively toward the 'mushy middle' is not helping Obama.

Cart said...

Lindsay, What you are suggesting is the same momentum internationally as Obama’s positive effect on campaign fund raising. We are seeing the positive potential of an Obama win, internationally; the same confidence is not breaking through the emotionally depressed American psyche I fear. “It’s Time” , I think Obama might have done a Whitlam with the CHANGE message.
DK and Kvatch – the view from outside the US is far more exciting than from inside. You suffer from not having access to news from around the world. Like it or not I’m subjected daily to our SBS TV network which carries foreign language reports from around the globe. The fact is Obama, liked or not, is an enormously positive sign to the rest of the world, including the moderate Arabs.
But you are also looking at head to head polls and perhaps missing the wider issues also in play here. I’m just putting some of them together for a post.

abi said...

I agree with Kvatch that it's disheartening to see Obama move towards the mushy middle. I'm not jumping ship just yet, but I hope somebody sits this guy down and explains that the 2004 election wouldn't have been close if Kerry had done some - you should pardon the expression - straight talk.

This election should be a mandate for change. It won't be if Obama keeps trying to pander to the center.

Cart said...

Abi, these days I'm inclined to the view that you accept the possible or probable then work on the result.
I doubt Obama's admin will be as rigidly closed to ideas as Bush has been.
Funny though, the right are attacking McCain for exactly the same reason.