This odd statement from Bill Clinton sums up quite a few things about the campaign:
Following a rally for his wife's campaign at Market Square in Pittsburgh, former president Bill Clinton suggested his wife would already be the nominee -- if she were running under Republican party rules.
"If we were under the Republican system, which is more like the Electoral College, she'd have a 300-delegate lead here," he said. "I mean, Senator McCain is already the nominee because they chose a system to produce that result, and we don't have a nominee here, because the Democrats chose a system that prevents that result."
Yes, and Mitt Romney would have been tied with John McCain in delegates if Republicans used the Democratic system. However, Clinton and Obama are not following the Republican system, and McCain and Romney were not following the Democratic system. This is a fact the Obama campaign appeared well aware of, but the Clinton campaign did not. The strange belief that winning eight or nine large primary states by narrow amounts, and ignoring virtually all other post-January states, would lead to victory in a proportional delegate system appears to be the largest strategic mistake of the campaign. Obama's massive caucus victories in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and Washington actually netted him more delegates (+85) as Clinton netted from her victories in California and New York (+84), despite vast population differences and monetary requirements to win the two groups of states. The Obama campaign executed a strategy to grab delegates wherever they were, and often found cost-effective ways of doing so. Their strategy worked, and Clinton's did not.
Whatever arguments someone wants to make about the democratic nature of the smaller state caucuses that Obama maximized, the fact is that in a delegate-based system, Obama's "get delegates wherever they are," strategy has proven superior to Clinton's media-focused strategy of claiming popular vote victories in a few large states. It also demonstrates the nonsensical nature of Clinton's electability argument to superdelegates, which is largely based on her having won popular vote victories in large states. Post-South Carolina, Clinton focused on the larger states, and ended up behind in delegates even though the campaign secured the victories it sought. Why is a campaign more electable because its strategy didn't work? Obama didn't pursue the caucus and small state strategy out of a belief that it was the moral thing to do, just as Clinton did not pursue popular vote victories in the large states because of an obscure ethical argument. Instead, both sides pursued strategies they believed would lead to victory. That Clinton is behind in delegates despite securing the popular vote victories in the large states its campaign sought is demonstrative of weakness the campaign's weakness terms of electoral strategy. If anything, it shows that Clinton is less electable than Obama, not more.
The Clinton campaign successfully executed its campaign strategy--it just didn't work. While is very nice that the strategy might have worked under different rules, it is more likely that if the rules were different, then the Obama campaign would have pursued a different strategy. Further, that the Clinton campaign did not employ a strategy to work under the rules presented to the candidates at the start of the primary season is indicative of strategic myopia that would lead to another bad strategy even if the rules changed. If you can solve the problem presented to you under one set of rules, why should we have any confidence you could solve a different problem under a different set of rules?