Saturday, February 16, 2008

Obama, Hillary, and Dean's 50-state strategy

Much has been made about Howard Dean's 50-state strategy over the past several years.

Not familiar with the 50-state strategy?

Well, to sum up, Dr Dean realized that it wasn't enough to spend money to grow the party in places like LA and New York. He realized that there were Democrats in places like Utah, who, if given some resources, could build a strong party. We now have 2.5 paid DNC staffers working with the state party, and we are starting to see some return on the DNC investment in Utah.

The way Barack Obama has run his campaign, he is a firm believer in the 50-state strategy. By concentrating resources in lesser-populated areas of Nevada, he was able to capture one more delegate than Hillary Clinton, who "Won" the state. He has taken the lead in the delegate count by being dominant in small states like Utah and Idaho, while staying relatively competitive in large states like California and New York.

The Clinton Campaign?

From Daily Kos (Hat tip: D4U)

They were not oddly unprepared. They were completely prepared to run their campaign. A national campaign that focused entirely on large populations and big states. They were completely prepared to reject the 50 state strategy in its entirety, almost, I think, to prove Howard Dean and his progeny wrong. Hillary Clinton wanted to win this race the Clinton way. Indeed, you hear time and again that Bill Clinton looks at his wife's campaign as some sort of vindication of himself and his presidency. Thus, there was never any chance that the Clintons would ever follow the sound advice of Dr. Dean and the 50 state strategy. For they viewed that strategy as a challenge to them and their accomplishments in the 1990's. In fact, I think they viewed Howard Dean the 50 state strategy as a repudiation of everything they stood for.

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