Wednesday :: Aug 27, 2008

Relevance


by Turkana

Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations suffered from misogyny and from CDS in both the corporate media and its mirror, the all new shrillosphere. But it suffered most from the ineptitude of her campaign "strategists." Their worst mistake was their complete misunderstanding of how the nominating process works. They didn't understand proportional distribution of delegates, and that her victories in large states therefore wouldn't translate into large delegate margins. They didn't understand the need to compete in smaller states and caucus states. They so miscalculated that they disastrously mismanaged her huge financial war chest, leaving her essentially broke after an otherwise very successful Super Tuesday. They blew it. But as the Clinton campaign continued to lose smaller states and caucus states, the shrillosphere caterwauled with dishonest hysteria, spinning her campaign team's spin as something ugly and dismissive. As the Clinton team tried to explain that the losses in various states would be compensated for by victories down the road, some prominent bloggers and wannabe prominent bloggers sneered and scoffed and derided her campaign's explanations, twisting them to mean that the Clintons considered the states they had lost to be "irrelevant." It was one of the recurring themes, during the primaries, and it became a bit of a joke in some prominent shrillosphere outposts. But the joke was on the bloggers who, themselves, became little more than jokes.

In an article about the Obama campaign's plans and expectations, Marc Ambinder had this amusing little nugget, from Obama election manager David Plouffe:

"All we care about is these 18 states," he said. He repeated, with emphasis, that the campaign does not care about national polling. Instead, the campaign's own identification, registration and canvassing efforts provide the data he uses to determine where to invest money and resources.

Had Clinton been nominated, and had her campaign manager made such a statement, the shrillosphere would once again be flooded with derision about her team considering 32 states to be irrelevant. Of course, the reality is, as it was in the primaries, that campaigns calculate how best to allocate resources. Obama's much-touted 50 state strategy was never going to persist through the general election, not because he's not visionary, and not because his campaign team wants to ignore 32 states; the Obama campaign is simply being smart. Until 1992, presidential campaigns routinely wasted money on national ad buys, but the Bill Clinton campaign revolutionized the process by determining which states they had no chance of losing, which states they had no chance of winning, and which states would actually be in play. They then focused resources on the battlegrounds, not wasting them on the sure winners or losers. Obama will do the same. He will follow the long ago Clinton lead. Because it remains the smartest way to win. Good for the Obama campaign. And as for those bloggers who used any pretext to smear the Clintons during the primaries, good for them, too. Because by piling on with the corporate media, and engaging in shrill, dishonest Clinton bashing, they have made themselves a part of the game. They crashed the gates, but they did not create anything close to radical change. They did not take on the system, they became part of it.

Turkana :: 11:51 AM :: Comments (41) :: Digg It!