Saturday, June 7, 2008

50 States, Baby!

(Ottmar Liebert, "Snakecharmer")

Thankfully, the recriminations between the Dem candidate partisans are diminishing quickly.

The rank thuggishness displayed by internet personalities like Markos and Aravosis and their toadies now appears to be grossly out of step with their candidate, Senator Obama, and his active reconciliation efforts with the Clinton camp, efforts that seem to be bearing fruit. The poo flinging just might end soon, and that would be great. Devoutly to be wished, as it were.

Meanwhile, something very significant happened in the wake of Obama's picking up enough delegates to become the Democratic presidential nominee (I hate the term "presumptive nominee" and -- at least for now -- refuse to use it).

He's building on Howard Dean's "50 State Strategy" for revivifying what had become a nearly moribund Democratic Party under the aegis of the Clinton - McAuliff "17 State Strategy."

Four years ago, when Dean was vaulted to the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee -- following a failed presidential bid months earlier -- he pledged to rewrite the rules concerning where and how Democrats would compete. In the subsequent months, resources and staff were invested into unconventional and even previously untouched locales. The idea was that the party simply couldn't compete without a margin for error.

But at the time, party insiders, who believed Dean was stripping away important resources from key races, were privately and, on occasion, publicly livid.

Had Clinton won the nomination, I have little doubt that Dean would be out as Party chair and the state and local Democratic infrastructure that Dean has developed would be dismantled in favor of concentrating Party resources in a few states, the strategy that led to two Clinton "victories" -- pluralities, never majorities -- and the loss of Congress to radical Republicans back in the day.

That was one of my beefs with the whole idea of a Clinton Restoration: we'd go backwards in terms of party organization, which would lead, not surprisingly, to loss of gains made over the past few years (as inadequate as they have been, those gains are better than retreat.)

So when Obama and Dean got together the other day and Obama proclaimed his enthusiasm for both Dean and the 50 State Strategy, I was very pleased indeed.

Yes, We Can!

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