Friday, April 4, 2008
Into the fray.
Upfront: I support Barack Obama.
Also: I'm not calling for Hillary to step down right now.
However, I understand that Hillary has said she will take her campaign all the way to the August convention. That, Mrs. Clinton, is a sure way to a republican presidential win in November.
Here's why: In 2004, John Kerry didn't set up his campaign office in Wisconsin until sometime in late July, early August. And Wisconsin was (and still is) a swing state. Wisconsin stayed blue by the very narrowest of margins due to the hard work of outside groups like MoveOn. I can allow that we could hit the ground running here in June if the superdelegates vote immediately after the last primaries are held on June 3, but we cannot get the apparatus in place for a presidential campaign that begins at the end of August.
I worked on three campaigns in 2004: Feingold's, Kerry's and the GOTV effort of MoveOn. (I kept the three distinctly separate-according to campaign law btw). Russ Feingold has a great machine. MoveOn used an intensive precinct-centered get out the vote effort that was highly organized and highly effective. Campaigning for Kerry was like being given a few brochures and told to walk around some neighborhoods handing them out.
We democrats know how to get our people elected. But first we need to get organized. And the time to get organized is now. And, Hillary, we need a nominee and a campaign much earlier than August to do it. Howard Dean's 50 state strategy is a good one. It worked in 2006 and is working this year (Dennis Hastert's seat comes to mind). And we need the coat-tail victories to keep the congress. There's so much more at stake here than Hillary's personal aspirations.
But statements like these don't lead me to believe that Hillary Clinton has the best interests of anyone but Hillary Clinton in mind. I'm sorry about that.