Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rolling Stone: The Machinery of Hope

Inside Obama's breakthrough grassroots campaign.
"We saw early that, because of the energy that we were evoking, the caucuses would be a great opportunity for us," says Axelrod. "And not just in Iowa. So for months out, we had organizers in these caucus states, and the Clinton campaign had . . . nothing." By contrast, says Figueroa, "the philosophy of our campaign from the beginning was to compete for every vote. Not cede any precinct, any county, anywhere. And it got us to where we are now." Clinton has since complained that caucuses are "dominated by activists" who "don't represent the electorate." But that bellyaching, says Trippi, "is pure cover for 'We blew it.' If you can win a precinct just by getting ten people there — and that's true — then why the hell didn't she get ten people there?"

Adds Moulitsas of Daily Kos, "I don't know how a candidate can say she'll be ready to lead on Day One, when she can't even organize a simple caucus."

...."We're seeing the last time a top-down campaign has a chance to win it," says Trippi. "There won't be another campaign that makes the same mistake the Clintons made of being dependent on big donors and insiders. It's not going to work ever again."
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