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Saturday, May 17, 2008

From One Million Strong: Obama's Roadmap to the White House

Part I: Obama Roadmap to the White House
by: wizinit
Fri May 16, 2008 at 16:34:42 PM CDT
( - promoted by jlarson)

Blindsided by Hope

Many Americans, and not just those close to Hillary Clinton, are surprised that Barack Obama has emerged as the “presumptive” Democratic Party nominee for President in the 2008 election. But those of us who have been paying close attention to the candidate and his campaign know it is no fluke. This article explains how Obama planned and won the nomination. In subsequent articles I will try to anticipate the contest with John McCain and what the start of an Obama Administration could look like.

Largely lost in the Sturm und Drang of this historic campaign is the fact that Obama has consistently pursued a clear-cut strategy. It is a strategy unanticipated by Halperin and Harris in their 2006 epic fable of the looming contest between the politics of Clinton vs. Rove, The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008. And their -- for that matter, the entire mainstream media’s -- failure to anticipate Obama’s so-far successful candidacy is not just a reminder of the shortcomings of conventional wisdom and inside-the-Beltway punditry. It also a warning that we may be in a historic shift which, after the last vote is counted, will indicate that the American electorate is fed up with the heretofore successful Freak Show formula Halperin and Harris describe and that dominated Washington politics over the past two decades.

Obama’s 11

The basic ingredients for Obama’s success were a new, authentic political candidate and a country desperate for Change. But then there is the process of getting nominated and elected.
Regardless of who designed the electoral strategy and have so far effectively carried it out, Barack Obama himself ultimately bears responsibility for its success or failure. But here are eleven organizational principles of the Obama ’08 campaign I have identified that help explain how far he has come to date:

1. Conduct campaign like a business
2. Eschew staff “drama”
3. Apply community organization techniques
4. Ground game is to identify supporters, register voters and get-out-the-vote
5. Where practical, use motivated volunteers
6. Emphasize “early states,” paying particular attention to Iowa as first contest
7. “Free media” trumps paid media
8. Ride momentum of early successes
6. Compete for delegates in every contest
10. Maximize results down to the congressional district level
11. Grass roots can trump party establishment and machinery

The Clinton Myth Unmasked

The Obama campaign’s most important achievement has been largely obscured by the media’s coverage of the contest. He attracted experienced strategists and field operatives from earlier contests to his Chicago headquarters, and received the first clear indicator he could succeed in fundraising when his “early money” rivaled Clinton’s “old money”.

No one anticipated, however, that Obama would achieve his initial and most important electoral objective, and prevent Hillary Clinton from effectively winning any of the four “early states.” After all, in delegate counts, she came in third in Iowa, tied in NH, lost NV by one, and was trounced in SC. It is only the media’s acceptance of the revisionist myth spun by her campaign into widely-believed truth, that the contest was close, and the distraction of the subsequent blood match that has disguised this fact. And only those who have worked with them in Washington could anticipate the desperate measures that Clintons would resort to against Obama before the race for the Democratic nomination would end. They took a calculated gamble by tossing their most loyal constituency under the bus, the African American community that stuck with Bill Clinton through his darkest hours and was mostly pro-Hillary when the contest started. The gamble failed and ultimately backfired

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