Monday, February 18, 2008

$100 Million Doesn't Go as Far as it Used to

The Blog world is abuzz this morning with the news that the Clintons have only just now realized the the delegates rules in Texas may prove challenging to their grand strategy.
Several top Clinton strategists and fundraisers became alarmed after learning of the state's unusual provisions during a closed-door strategy meeting this month, according to one person who attended.

What Clinton aides discovered is that in certain targeted districts, such as Democratic state Sen. Juan Hinojosa's heavily Hispanic Senate district in the Rio Grande Valley, Clinton could win an overwhelming majority of votes but gain only a small edge in delegates. At the same time, a win in the more urban districts in Dallas and Houston -- where Sen. Barack Obama expects to receive significant support -- could yield three or four times as many delegates.
These unusual rules will not surprise regular readers of The Ward Report.

Publius* at Obsidian Wings wins the prize for best response,
Good lord, let’s see if I have this right. The Clinton campaign decides to cede every post-Super Tuesday state to Obama under the theory that Texas and Ohio will be strong firewalls. After – after – implementing this Rudy-esque strategy, they “discovered” that the archaic Texas rules will almost certainly result in a split delegate count (at best).

While they were busy “discovering” the rules, however, the Obama campaign had people on the ground in Texas explaining the system, organizing precincts, and making Powerpoints. I know because I went to one of these meetings a week ago. I should have invited Mark Penn I suppose. (ed. Maybe foresight is an obsolete macrotrend.)
Publius goes on to point out that Texas is simply a microcosm of everything that is wrong with the entire Clinton campaign.

The entire campaign strategy laid out by Mark Penn was more than just flawed, it was negligent as in malpractice. Penn has billed the Clintons campaign millions of dollars ($2.3M just in Q4, 2007) and laid out a primary strategy that had no basis in how delegates are actually awarded, which has allowed the Obama campaign to run circles around them. Recall, from last Friday's WaPo, where we learned that Obama won more delegates in Idaho -- a state abandoned by the Clintons -- than the Clintons won in NJ where they spent lavishly. Obama's advantage in this battle? They simply read the rules. This is a huge story that is just now starting to be reported.

* I agree,... 'handles' like Publius for bloggers are beyond annoying and pretentious as hell in a very pseudointellectual way.

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