Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Obama and the Grassroots

I talked yesterday about needing to get the heck away from the 50+1 strategy that has dominated politics over the past few decades, particularly since 2000 and the Rove-model. This model targets specific states and leaves others to rot, thereby screwing the local parties and hurting the party as a whole. Campaigns have traditionally been run from the top-down from within the establishment. HRC's is like that, for example. If you look at the endorsements in the states she gets most of the part machine (the governers, etc). The unfortunate bit about this is it really takes the power out of the little people and puts it in the hands of the power players. Those that 'know best', etc. The morons.

Enter Obama. The revolutionary thing about what he has been doing is that it has been TOTALLY grassroots built. He was a community activist long before a politication and has been a precient captaion. He knows what happens on the grass roots level and surrounded himself with people that know how to make it happen. And it shows. It is how he keeps closing a 20+ point cap between him and HRC over and over again. And it is how he is ahead in the polls in Texas and closing fast in Ohio.

This post has excerpts from volunteers involved in the ground game in Texas and how the Obama camp handles the situation. If this is indicative of his judgement regarding the people he surrounds himself with and his execution of goals, he will be a very compentent president.

Anyway, the big plus to all this that I kinda touched on yesterday is how it rebuilds the Democratic party in places where it has been decimated (namely heavy red states). I believe STRONGLY in the 50 state strategy where the party is competitive in all 50 states. Howard Dean started to implement this after 2004 and we reaped its benefits in 2006 by winning some seats that we wouldn't have otherwise because the party was competitive and able to leap on opportunities that prevented themselves through corruption, etc. With Obama pouring this money and talent into all 50 states and reinjuvinating the local parties he just strengthens the party as a whole across the country, regardless of who wins the presidency.

A choice quote to illustrate this:
The Obama campaign has singlehandedly done more to rebuild the Democratic Party of Texas in 2 weeks than the TDP [Texas Democractic Party] has been able to in probably 10 years.

And a quote that better illustrates the difference between the grass roots model Obama is using and the tradional model that HRC is using:

Obama's campaign shows the fruits of the very things kos and dkos in general has promoted. People powered politics, 21st century grassroots/netroots, internet fundraising, raising the level of involvement among the electorate, run a 50-state campaign.

Hillary's campaign represents the old way of running a political race. Lock up the establishment. Get endorsements, and do the usual GOTV operation, focus on the democratic strongholds, do traditional fundraisers with big spenders, etc.

That is just awesome and a great sign for the future.

UPDATE: Here is a brief post about early voter turn on in Texas.

In the top 15 counties with registered Democratic voters, there have been 419,904 early votes cast. Four years ago, the number was 72,688.

Nuts. Article talks a little more about the 50 state strategy long term briefly as well.


Dallace said...

Both of your last two posts are spot on, and I enjoyed reading them. I truly hope that if elected Obama lives up to the 'hype'

Bunny said...

I am very interested in your last couple of posts. I really don't know who I'm going to vote for, and I'm looking for somebody who is going to do something different.

Ryan said...

Thanks Bunny and Dallace.

I first thought Obama was hype but the way they have been working this primary and how _different_ they have been working it from both HRC and McCain really says a lot. If anyone is going to do something different, and based on their actions not just what they say, it'll be Obama.

McCain and HRC are both tied pretty tight to the lobbyists and get most of their funding from big donors. Most of Obama's has been through thousands of small donors and that, more than anything, gives him a free hand I think.