Senator Clinton was not able to turn around Wisconsin and stop voters going to Obama. It seems that mistakes made by the Clinton campaign are getting harder to turn around as Obama’s organizing effort is paying off. He has now won contests in 9 states in a row.
As reported by the NY Times, “With 83 percent of the electoral precincts in Wisconsin reporting, Mr. Obama had 58 percent of the vote to Mrs. Clinton’s 41 percent.”
Obama is using skills drawn from community organizing to win. He has invested in working the grassroots which can be effective particularly in caucus states.
When Clinton came to Seattle to speak, her campaign had a few people in the back trying half heartedly to get people to sign up. They did not work the crowd which waited for over an hour for Hillary to come to speak.
Obama’s people worked the crowd and someone told me that they got an email from the campaign the next day. Now that’s turn around and obviously builds the mailing and contributor base aggressively.
A number of years ago when Senator Bill Bradley came to the Pike Place Market to speak I noticed the same half hearted effort by his supporters to get people signed up. It was a tell tale sign that he did not know how to build a campaign at the grassroots level and his campaign did not build momentum.
The word is that the Clinton campaign took too much for granted and besides ignoring grassroots efforts to build a campaign in caucus and other states, they thought it would all be over on Feb 5, 2008 and did not put into place aggressive campaigns for states after Feb 5, 2008.
It’s kind of funny, people are criticizing Hillary for her attempts to confront Obama head on. Actually she is still throwing him softballs. McCain and the Republicans are not going to be so nice and it remains to be seen if Senator Obama, if he emerges victorious from Ohio and Texas, will be up for hardball with McCain.
It would be a tactical mistake for either him or Clinton to not be emotionally prepared for a vigorous onslaught from the Republicans. The Republicans are not going to quietly leave the stage. Republican have a knack even when they disagree of eventually seeing the value of closing ranks and working as one voice.
The Republicans in Congress, when they were in power did that. And even in the minority now, they have closed ranks, particularly in the US Senate, to limit the legislation Democrats have been able to pass so far.
You can expect McCain to accuse the Democrats of abandoning our soldiers and American honor with the Democrat’s plans to pull out of Iraq if they take over the Presidency.
We need to remember that the real battle is not between Hillary and Barack, but between McCain and the Democratic nominee. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination is going to have to bring the Democratic Party together and remind them that the difference between Hillary and Barack is minuscule compared to that with McCain.
Supporters of both candidates are passionate and will be tempted to be bitter if their candidate loses. The first task of the eventual nominee will be to bring Democrats together reminding them of their common goals.
Democrats are making history in their choosing a nominee, but the real prize is the Presidency, not the Democratic nomination. There’s still a long ways to go before we can change America for the better.