Obama Abandons Coordinated, Downticket Campaigns?

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Jul 08, 2008 at 13:23

Iowa Independent makes an extremely disturbing allegation: the Obama campaign is not integrating downticket campaigns into a "coordinated campaign" structure. Instead, local Democratic staff are being fired and replaced with Obama staff:

At least 20 employees of the Iowa Democratic Party have been demoted or fired and a coordinated state-wide campaign was essentially disbanded, replaced by a focus on the presidential bid of Sen. Barack Obama.

Details are sketchy, but the changes could have an impact on November's legislative races, with field staff that was previously working for down-ticket races now being placed on the payroll of Obama's presidential campaign and working almost entirely on its behalf.(...)

Several sources familiar with the plan told the Iowa Independent that Iowa's Democratic elected officials -- from Sen. Tom Harkin to the leaders of the Iowa House and Senate -- had signed off and paid fees to participate in the coordinated campaign, which is a method by which Democrats pool their resources and avoid certain campaign redundancies. By June 1, Democratic Party employees had been deployed across the state to work on the coordinated effort. According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, by June 20, the Iowa Democratic Party had 28 salaried employees working in its Des Moines headquarters and in the field.

By mid-June the Obama campaign had deployed its own staff to Iowa to lead its general election campaign here, a move that is typical for a presidential nominee. But Obama's campaign began to assign organizers to parts of the state where the coordinated campaign already had a presence, and insiders began to wonder why. In the past week and a half, the answer to that question has been slowly revealed.

Obama's campaign demanded that its own staff replace existing staff in places where there was overlap and cast aside several opportunities to cooperate with down-ticket candidates between now and November, another source familiar with the negotiations said. Essentially, the state coordinated campaign was disbanded and replaced by the Obama campaign organization.(...)

The situation mirrors what happened in Colorado, where the Obama campaign announced last last month it would not be joining the state's coordinated campaign and instead would operate alongside it.

Obama sent dozens of staff to help out with Bill Foster's special election in the Illinois 14th congressional district, and has also sent campaign staff to all fifty states. As such, what is really disturbing about these charges is that the promise Obama's campaign and movement held out for a fifty-state strategy that supported downticket candidates everywhere could be a mirage. If local staff are being fired, coordinated campaigns are being abandoned, and everything is replaced with Obama-focused infrastructure, then this isn't really party building, it isn't really a fifty-state strategy, and it isn't really a movement. It is, instead, an entirely top-down organization serving a single purpose: electing Barack Obama.

As Matt wrote several weeks ago, Obama is indeed consolidating all party infrastructure. He also seems to be discarding several important aspects of Democratic and progressive infrastructure as part of this consolidation. While one can made an argument about the value of 527s (or lack thereof), laying off local Democratic organizers who were working on a coordinated campaign up and down the ticket, and replacing them with national staff from other areas of the country, is simply not justifiable. That is an anathema to the fifty-state strategy, and to the principle of building up the party everywhere.

These are just allegations, so I will reserve more incendiary judgment for now.  I will be very interested to see more details emerge on this story, both in Iowa and in other states around the country.

Update: Just talked with a couple of staffers in a different region, Update New York. There will be a coordinated campaign for congressional and state senate races in the local hotbed, Rochester. It will not be impacted by the Obama campaign. So, this does not appear to be the case everywhere. One possibility is that this is only happening in the uber-swing states, like Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia. Not a total disaster, but still not great. Looking for more info.

Chris Bowers :: Obama Abandons Coordinated, Downticket Campaigns?

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Based on his Minnesota Hire for State Director (4.00 / 2)
I'd assume it's true - at least in certain states or certain regions.  Jeff Blodgett has worked  mostly around the party in Minnesota for the last 10 years or so, and there's no love lost between him, many of folks floating around the MN "Democracy Alliance"/Alliance for a Better Minnesota and the state party leaders.  

I thought it was interesting when Mitch Stewart was sent to Virginia rather then MN where he was the state-wide coordinated campaign manager in 2006.

North Dakota too. (4.00 / 1)
I had contact with someone who worked very closely with the man who ran the state caucus operation in the fall (and met the guy myself over the holidays). I was told after ND they sent him to Montana though he didn't do that much and has been sitting there since while the campaign sends someone entirely new to ND.

At the time, I was told that the people were totally new, i.e. that it wasn't some long time state activists but new Obama campaign people.

[ Parent ]
Uh, in winter obviously, not fall. Whoops. (0.00 / 0)
Blah, wish I could edit comments.

[ Parent ]
Sometimes (4.00 / 1)
campaigns intentionally move state directors around from one cycle to to another under the theory that they need the freedom to make decisions without worrying about the next cycle.

That was the case with the 2000 Gore person in Florida, Nick Baldic.  

So that may explain why he was sent to Virginia.  It also maybe that Virginia is thought to be more of a swing state this cycle than MN.

[ Parent ]
Mitch worked for the state party in 2006 (4.00 / 1)
not a campaign.  It was his first real campaign job in such a senior role.  He then joined the Obama campaign in early 2007, I believe.

So his connections with the Minnesota DFL are solid and real.  Blodgett and the state party apparatus - not so  much.  So it is curious why the Obama folks wouldn't use Stewart in 2008 in Minnesota.

But then again, Blodgett does have much better overall Minnesota connections than Stewart and helped run the Kerry GOTV operation in 2004.  

[ Parent ]
I hope there's not (4.00 / 1)
much to the story, or that it doesn't mean what it seems to mean, because Obama's 50-state strategy is the best thing about him, and the main reason I can still generate some enthusiasm for him.

it's called cult of the personality (0.00 / 0)
It is, instead, an entirely top-down organization serving a single purpose: electing Barack Obama.

When was the last time bad news about Obama turned out to be ok (0.00 / 0)
If you hear bad news swirling around Obama its likely true at this point. Very disappointing. I'm disgusted by what could have been a great campaign turning to "the terminal emptiness of politics as usual".

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

In North Carolina (4.00 / 2)
the much-vaunted "Constructing Victory" program -- a web-based voter contact system that was supposed to be part of a nationwide effort, the sort of GOP/Voter Vault style approach that was supposed to be the hallmark of Howard Dean's tenure -- has been delayed, and possibly discarded. Rumor has it that the decision was made at the DNC level.

I agree with David Mizner (above). If Obama is intent on folding everything into his campaign -- and then centralizing decisions about resources and priorities -- then I'm not clear on why I should spend energy supporting him, especially since I may need to spend that energy on the local races he's abandoned.

So I hope there's not much to the story.

Obama staffers are on the ground here, organizing (0.00 / 0)
I received an email the other day, from a paid Obama staffer who had just arrived in the area to organize in my county.

In 2004, the first communications I recieved were from the Coordinated Campaign (not the Kerry-Edwards campaign). Granted, Kerry did very little in NC in 2004, but there was a coordinated campaign, in fact, the main NC K-E HQ were in the same office as the main coordinated campaign.

The fact that it's Obama staffers reaching out seperately to locals,  coupled with your comment leads me to believe that a coordinated campaign structure is being abandoned here too, for an Obama campaign focused effort.

If this is the case, it's very concerning as we have a number of critical races in the state this election, including (but not limited to) Governor and US Senate. Many campaigns will be drained of volunteers and resources for the Presidential campaign if this is not organized carefully and thoughtfully.  

[ Parent ]
The story in Colorado (4.00 / 5)
The allegations are essentially true, with one major caveat. The Obama campaign is operating independently of the combined campaign, as in Iowa. But there appears (from the perspective of a volunteer only) to be little animosity and in at least one case they are operating out of the same office space. That may change as the needs of down ballot campaigns, both messaging and tactical, begins to diverge from Obama's. But right now they appear to be working fairly well together, if on parallel tracks (i.e. no firing that I'm aware of). I'm sure that's redundant and it doesn't really help party building, but at least no one's at war with each other. Yet.

SquareState on the Coordinated Campaign story (4.00 / 1)
This was written in June, and some of the comments were reassuring.


Now, not so much -- with the added caveat, that in 2004 the MoveOn field org was better than the Democrats.

This time, the Democratic Coordinated Campaign seems to be going strong, and I don't think they have any intention of turning the keys over to Team Obama.

The Colorado Dems field operation has become very effective in the past few years, and I expect them to do the same this year.


[ Parent ]
Interesting (0.00 / 0)
My experience, in many parts of the country, has been the state coordinated campaigns were pretty pathetic. Your comment about MoveOn being better in 2004 is so like my experience many places. It hasn't always been MoveOn or 527s that were better than the Dem organization; sometimes it was a particular candidate or even an initiative campaign.

So the instinct for a serious Obama effort to upstage coordinated campaigns is understandable. But I had hoped we were building better, more enduring local operations, finally.

Can it happen here?

[ Parent ]
The Dem machine isn't necessarily very effective (0.00 / 0)
The inspiration of a good candidate is really important. Practically speaking, the day-in, day-out Party activities are not what drive people to the polls.

The local Party apparatus consists of well-meaning, but not necessarily "driven" people. I'm not being negative, it's just that you need the excitement of an insurgent or novel candidate to get people to pay attention and show up at meetings.

The Party grows by leaps and bounds based on candidates who bring out activists. I wish that ideology and commitment were as effective, but that isn't the case.

[ Parent ]
Very disturbing (0.00 / 0)
Much depends on the people Obama is hiring (in-state, or DC based) but I have seen this movie before, and it never has a good ending.

I read Desmoinesdems original article about this, and shook my head.  

So what's so special about Iowa, then? (0.00 / 0)
In Washington state, we have our Obama volunteers working under the state coordinated campaign.  We realize what they're there for and don't ask them to diverge from that path, but it's clear that we have a very local focus for everything else taking place in this state under the shield of the Democratic Party.

So why, then, such a situation as appears to be the case in Iowa?  We need a valid answer to that to really discern anything else of value.

is this what the next 5 months are to be like? (4.00 / 3)
are the blogs going to be intensely critical of the best dem nominee we have had in a very long time (with the hillary folks biting at the heels). I sort of expected it to happen after he was sworn in, but this pre-election second guessing crap is not my cup of tea.

as an environmental activist (4.00 / 6)
it is more important to me to win a few extra seats in the Iowa House and Senate than it is to increase Obama's winning margin in Iowa by a few points.

That could make the difference between getting something done next year on a whole range of labor and environmental issues or just treading water.

I had lunch with two people from a different progressive advocacy group yesterday, and they are very concerned that Obama's campaign will either not target the two or three districts they need us to hold, or will actually turn out extra Republicans who will vote against our down-ticket candidates in those districts.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
unless those few points cost him/us the state (0.00 / 0)
when was the last time Iowa provided a majority of votes for the dem nominee for president? hasn't it been a while?

trees/forest? forest/trees?

president/iowa state house?

[ Parent ]
Well, no (4.00 / 1)
Gore won Iowa in 2000. So did Clinton, twice. Even Dukakis managed it!

Add to that the fact that Obama has consistently polled strongly in Iowa and it's clear that you have no idea what you're talking about here.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog

[ Parent ]
Iowa is a cornerstone to campaign strategy (4.00 / 1)
all i meant was that Iowa is a pretty important state to the Obama campaign

[ Parent ]
Turning out Republicans (0.00 / 0)
...will actually turn out extra Republicans who will vote against our down-ticket candidates in those districts.

Those concerns should be real. Though I've seen it go the other way too. In NM in 2004, some of the Dem leg candidates needed Republicans and did everything they could (not a lot that looked effective to me) to turn them out.

These contradictions come with our big tent which we need in this system. Candidates/campaigns that negotiate them well are rare.

Thoughts on how that could be done better in the real life Iowa you work in?

Can it happen here?

[ Parent ]
there is a natural tension (4.00 / 1)
between a presidential campaign and down-ticket campaigns in any state that's reasonably contested.

I like having the state party in charge of the coordinated campaign, because I feel that will lead to more balance than putting the presidential nominee's campaign in charge.

In the case of Iowa, Obama's organization from the caucuses is so strong here, and McCain's so nonexistent, that I can't see any realistic chance of Obama losing our electoral votes.

So I feel the GOTV resources should be deployed where the statehouse candidates need them most.

In a state where Obama might lose, you might strike a different balance.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
Really? (4.00 / 2)
I haven't seen much evidence so far that Obama is the "best dem nominee we have had in a very long time." Child-like hero-worship among those present notwithstanding. I mean, he's running behind Dem statewide candidates virtually everywhere. He should be ahead of McCain by 15 by now.

And btw, these kinds of decisions are made WAY below the candidate level. And Obama would be far from the first candidate to be derailed by bad staff decisions.

[ Parent ]
I'm so sick of all this (4.00 / 2)
"Obama should be further ahead" crap.

Obama is a black man with a funny name who just got out of the most bruising primary we've seen in decades, running against a popular war hero who's worshiped by the media. Frankly, it's a miracle that he has even a slim lead at this point.

[ Parent ]
Running against a Bush 3rd term (0.00 / 0)
he should be miles ahead.

[ Parent ]
No (4.00 / 3)
NR is closer to right.  I suspect he's still going to pull away, but McCain is a popular figure with a crossover appeal I certainly don't understand, but it's there.

Obama isn't running against a Bush 3rd term yet, he's running against a "WAR HERO" (TM).

With the MSM examining everything Obama says or does while accepting anything Johnny says as gospel, it's going to stay close for a while.

BTW, I wasn't for Obama in the primaries, but he's still the only chance we have now.

[ Parent ]
I mentioned this in another thread... (4.00 / 1)
...as familiar as we all are with McCain's weaknesses, he's still a popular national figure, which none of the other GOP candidates were.  It should be clear to anyone who remembers the polling numbers during the primaries that Romney, had he won the nomination, would be down by at least 10-15 points to Obama right now, even if Obama had been doing exactly the same things he's been doing of late.  

I'm not claiming that Obama is running a perfect campaign--obviously, he isn't--but writing off McCain as someone who should be down by 20 points simply isn't realistic.      

[ Parent ]
True (4.00 / 1)
Let's check back in three months. If Obama's still ahead by only about five points then, I think we can all agree that his campaign won't have been outstanding.

Then again, I can live with him running a mediocre campaign, provided he wins.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog

[ Parent ]
Having read the original story... (4.00 / 5)
(thanks for the link, by the way) it seems that Democratic officials in the state are OK with the plan. The section of the story that you didn't blockquote basically said that every presidential campaign takes control of its own campaign:

Tom Henderson, chairman of the Polk County Democratic Party, said it is not unusual for a presidential candidate to put his stamp on a coordinated campaign.

"The Obama campaign is doing what every presidential campaign has done, which is take over the leadership of the coordinated campaign," he said. "For the most part, I think this was expected."

The staff of the state campaign was merely reassigned into new positions to accommodate Obama's campaign, Henderson said. He stressed that this is a good thing for Iowa Democrats, as get out the vote efforts for Obama will benefit Democrats at every level.

"I personally haven't heard anyone who is angry with the moves," Henderson said. "I think everyone will end up in a similar position, and even if there are people who are let go, there are so many campaign jobs available right now that no one is going to go unemployed. There are more jobs than people to fill them."

Not sure why you'd want to leave out those quotes. As for this statement:

These are just allegations, so I will reserve more incendiary judgment for now.

Maybe it's better to check the allegations first. ...  Just sayin'.

Yes, I'm wondering why Chris (4.00 / 1)
felt the need to leave that part out myself.

Chris -- Why did you leave that part out?

[ Parent ]
the chairman of the state party (4.00 / 1)
still hasn't called me back.

I've been talking to activists who are focusing on the statehouse races, and believe me, you wouldn't hear this happy talk from them.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
Did this story originate from you? (0.00 / 1)
If it did, then I'll know this is your usual exaggerated nonsense that you have been spewing since January.  

[ Parent ]
I first heard about it from Iowa Independent (0.00 / 0)
and many people have confirmed the story to me since then.

Thanks for giving me a laugh today!

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
What do you think they can say? (4.00 / 1)
Not much...he's the nominee.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
Thanks for checking that link (0.00 / 0)
I wonder as well why Chris didn't add these important points?  If this type of reorg is typical, what is the reason for this diary.. is it just to find any little thing to criticize Obama on?

[ Parent ]
Dont be silly (4.00 / 2)
What do you expect them to say? "Help! Help! Obama is hijacking our coordinated campaign! Send help!"

This is most certainly not the way coordinated campaigns are normally run. That's the point. If it were, this wouldn't have been a news story. It's a 180 degree change.

If this is true, its a big deal. If you think otherwise, all that tells me is that you've never worked in a coordinated campaign before.


[ Parent ]
this sounds troubling; waiting to hear more. (4.00 / 1)
but, while folks who know how party structures and the like work are still hanging out on this thread, i have a question: how would Obama's campaign have the power to do this?  the coordinated campaign is not a DNC operation is it?  

if he says he won't give money to the coordinated campaign (4.00 / 2)
Then the state party has to either run a parallel operation, wasting and duplicating resources, or go along with letting Obama's people run the GOTV, like the Iowa Democratic Party is doing.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
ok. this actually changes my view of the situation. (0.00 / 0)
basically what i hear you saying is that the coordinated campaign couldn't really happen without funding from the obama campaign.  if this is true, than i see little wrong with obama's campaign funding the people and work it wants to fund in an uber-swing state like iowa.  

your comments are a little bit confusing for me though, since you also say that if the iowa party ran a parallel operation it would duplicate and waste resources -- this confuses me because i thought the main issue that people are taking with the move is that it could divert resources from down-ticket races.  these two things are contradictory.  either the coordinated campaign would be redundant, or it wouldn't.  if it wouldn't, then why wouldn't the party want to fund it, independently of the obama campaign.  if it would, then what is the issue -- some staffers feel like they have earned a position in a statewide campaign and are being denied it?    

[ Parent ]
That's not true actually (0.00 / 0)
The coordinated campaign is a round-table. Any candidate can choose to buy in or not. The same is true with the national party organizations, the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC. It's all operated through the state party's federal bank account, so the state party gets a seat at the table as well.

Obama doesn't get to decide whether there will be a coordinated campaign, he just gets to decide whether or not he and the DNC will participate.

[ Parent ]
ok -- then why does he get control of staffing decisions? (4.00 / 1)
this is what i was asking in the first place. the whole thing seems really nebulous at this point...  

[ Parent ]
He doesn't (0.00 / 0)
Or at least not total control. It depends on the memorandum of understanding that the roundtable members agree to. Remember it's basically an operating agreement amongst the interested parties, so it's basically up to them when they set the thing up how it's going to operate, who has to raise how much, and who gets to make certain decisions.

[ Parent ]
I'm skeptical (0.00 / 0)
Bad if true as stated but color me skeptical.

I have talked with quite a few people in Iowa (4.00 / 4)
who confirm the Iowa Independent story and share my concerns about what will happen to down-ticket candidates here.

We have three main worries:

1. The Obama field plan won't necessarily focus on the key areas we need to hold and pick up seats in the Iowa House and Senate.

2. Obama may become so confident about winning Iowa that he pulls his GOTV operation out of here in October to deploy in other states.

3. If their Iowa caucus strategy is anything to go by, the Obama campaign may put a lot of effort into mobilizing Republicans who will vote for him but for GOP candidates down-ticket.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

I don't mean to belittle local state houses and senates (0.00 / 0)
I work with the Maryland state house btw. But I thought by down ticket we were most often referring to Congress and the US Senate. We are looking at a potential landslide that may not reach down into every local state house but will certainly elect a whole lot of new dems. The voter registration drives going on around the country are significant. We are expanding the dem party. We are making inroads in places we never thought imaginable. We are building something good.

[ Parent ]
I am also concerned about our Congressional challengers (4.00 / 1)
in the fourth and fifth districts. Those were not Obama's strong areas in Iowa, and I am not confident he will deploy a lot of GOTV to those counties.

Our Democratic incumbents in the first, second and third CDs are safe, as is Senator Tom Harkin for once.

That's why I am mainly thinking of state House and Senate races in Iowa.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
ok. these seem like valid concerns to me... (0.00 / 0)
though they all appear to be speculative at this point.  

here is my admittedly relatively uninformed take on your three points:

1) this seems like the most valid concern, in my view.  i'd be interested in hearing more specifics about this.  is there reason to think that these areas would not be targeted by obama?  

2) this isn't particularly plausible.  sure, he could shift a few, relatively low-level, staffers around, but the campaign is going to have infrastructure in each state that won't be transferable to other states, particularly their voter database and their top field people (who are only going to know about the state they have been working in for months).  moreover, iowa is a really crucial state for obama, and even if it looks safe, i really can't see any circumstance in which they would abandon it.  his most reliable road to the WH goes through the kerry states, plus new mexico, iowa, and colorado.

3) november fourth is not a democratic caucus.  obama's best shot at winning the GE comes through the mobilization of liberals and democrats.  so this will be his first priority.  if a GOP voter has said they will vote for obama, they will prolly be encouraged to vote.  there is nothing wrong with obama's campaign mobilizing his supporters, and these people may actually vote for the people obama endorses (especially considering that obama is actually running behind or even with a lot of down-ticket dems).  remember, party ID is shifting in our direction in a major way right now.  but i really don't see why they would spend a whole lot of time or money calling reliable GOP voters to determine who they are planning on voting for in november.  it wouldn't be a strategic use of resources, and thus obama's field people wouldn't sign off on it.  

[ Parent ]
A (0.00 / 0)
quick reaction

One is always a risk when you are focused on winning statewide rather than trying to maximize you state house and senate numbers.

Two is always a risk, period.  Not a big one with Iowa, though.

I wonder about three.  Obama doesn't poll any better among independents than Kerry did in most places. His lead is mostly a result of increased party identification with Democrats.  You know the your state far better than I, though.  

[ Parent ]
What is reported does seem troubling (4.00 / 1)
but also doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense.  

Methinks there is some missing information here.

I've heard the same about Florida (4.00 / 1)
but can't confirm it yet.  If they abandon the coordinated, downticket campaigns, I won't be involved in any way with the presidential.  I'll concentrate my efforts elsewhere.  

There is no Obama campaign infrastructure in NY (0.00 / 0)
Because, as it has ever been,  NY is a safe blue state...so they ignore us. Of course there is a growing Obama fundraising structure in NY, as it has also always been the case.  NY, California and Florida is where ithe big money is for Dems.

The NY State Democratic party has always run its homegrown coordinated campaign.  I worked for it in 96 as head of the Women's Desk....It was called Clinton Gore 96.  There was  staff just for Clinton Gore, but the staff was paid by the State party.

I fully suspect that will be the case in every state that Kerry safely won in 2004. Those states will have no meaningful Obama campaign prescence....whether or not there are important downstate races that could be helped.  We have them here in NY.  Hopefully we won't need them.

I think Obama will be doing this going it alone track in lots of swing states.... for him.  States, however, in which we also have important congressional races.  He is concentrating on him and his race and not the downstate races....and unlike Kerry many more state fit that description this time.  He's enlarged the map.

The 50 state stategy commitment may be a semi mirage...

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

On the other hand, (4.00 / 1)
there's the fact of him sending staff to places like Texas where he doesn't really have much chance of winning.


Cynical theory: Obama only cares about increasing his popular vote margin, not the downballot races.

Hopeful theory: Obama is centralizing staffs and operations under his own campaign, but will use them to aid downballot races all the same.

Neutral theory: The world doesn't always make sense.

Misread of what is going on (4.00 / 2)
Chris' post, while accurate in terms of "abandonment" of the coordinated campaigns by Obama for America is not about a rejection of the fifty state strategy, nor is it the elevation of the Obama campaign over the Democratic Party. Instead it is the result of Obama's belief that politics should not be run by special interests, lobbyists, or PACs.

Over the past few months, we saw that following Obama's nomination there was a change in how the DNC fundraises. No longer does the DNC accept money from federal lobbyists. In addition, soft money contributions are limited under federal law.

The coordinated campaigns are funded largely out of state dollars - and in many states - if not all - contribution limits are high, non-existent, and not subject to federal laws and contribution limits. For many state parties, many dollars come from organizations the Obama campaign has rejected. If Obama were to accept those dollars through a coordinated campaign, then his message of how politics should be funded is weakened. So, Obama is left with a choice - accept the soft money flowing to the state parties or "abandon" the state coordinated campaigns? To Obama, this seems to be an easy choice.

However, there should be harmony between the coordinated campaigns and the Obama campaign. Many of the coordinated campaign staffers came from Obama's primary organization and the Obama campaign recommended many of the chief organizers.


This is just a misleading diary (4.00 / 1)
Well written of course to lure the unsuspecting and ignorant into the thought that is is a conspiracy a sinister plot by the Obama team to oust the local party.. of course if you read the article like CaptCt did.. You will find that it is a rather flamboyant attempt by a news reporter to shed light into a typical presidential campaign strategy.. Thanks Chris fopr stirring the Obama criticizng pot.. With supporters like you on the left, no wonder Obama looks to the middle :)

no, this is not typical (4.00 / 2)
Gore and Kerry bought into the Iowa Democratic Party's coordinated campaign. They did not demand control over GOTV in Iowa.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
Someone with 3 years of history with the national party (0.00 / 0)
Shortchanges nationwide infrastructure? I'm shocked.

Different dynamics in different states (4.00 / 2)
In Colorado, for instance, we have a tight Senate race and a tight House race. Obama does not want to step on the toes of the candidates, nor have the DNC pitted against the DSCC or DCCC. And vice-versa.

They haven't abandoned the coordinated campaign here, they're just doing a parallel program in some areas and then everyone will join together in other areas.

Colorado also has highly a highly restrictive constitutional amendment that essentially precludes the coordinated campaign from participating in state legislative races, so we're already used to having multiple coordinated campaigns.

There's also little new about the strategy anyway...the presidential campaign typically comes in like a bull in a china shop, takes over the coordinated efforts, and drowns out the Congressional efforts. So the DSCC and DCCC are forced to respond by setting up their own parallel management under the same roof and everybody fights over resources and strategy for three or four or six months.

That's not going to happen this time, because Obama's people were wise enough to realize that when they get the heck out of the way early they are also free to do their own thing. Time will tell how it all works out, but with several election cycles worth of experience under my belt it seems like a really good plan to me.


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