Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hope & Change? Try My 50-State Strategy.

David Plouffe, David Axelrod and President-elect Obama himself all deserve an enormous amount of credit for competing in, and winning, such traditionally Republican states like Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana. But Howard Dean, the outgoing DNC chair, wants some credit, and he also had a large part do with the Democrats' electoral success.

Remember, Dean was the guy who, in the year 3 B.B.O. (Before Barack Obama, also known as 2005), implemented a 50-state strategy at the DNC, meaning Democrats were finally going to start competing in states they hadn't competed in since like the James K. Polk administration.

As Adam Nagourney points out in the article I linked to above, I think this year represented a perfect storm for Democrats which helped make a 50- (or 30-, or -25) state strategy possible. Consider this:
  1. Lots of people everywhere, including independents and Republicans, were pissed off at George W. Bush and, by extension, the GOP.
  2. The long primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Obama meant that Obama, the eventual nominee, had spent time, resources and committed staff in basically all 50 states.
  3. Obama had a simple yet compelling message, along with a shitload of cash (that helps).
  4. Changes in demographics worked in the Democrats' favor.
So, yeah. Everybody deserves some credit - Plouffe, Axelrod, Obama, Dean, even John McCain (which is not to take away anything from Obama's brilliantly run campaign). "The fundamentals of the economy are strong" ... Sarah Palin ... suspended campaign ... Sarah Palin ... Joe the Plumber ... Sarah Palin ... you get the point.

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