Monday, February 18, 2008

Oyster Vindicated

Oyster's been calling the incompetence of the Hillary Clinton campaign for some time now. Well, now there's this from a recent story in the Washington Post:

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.

"What it means is, she could win the popular vote and still lose the race for delegates," Hinojosa said yesterday. "This system does not necessarily represent the opinions of the population, and that is a serious problem."
I think publius at Obsidian Wings has the best summation of what this tells us:
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.)

In this respect, Texas is simply a microcosm of the larger campaign dynamics. In fact, if the Clinton campaign were a corporation, the shareholders would have pretty good grounds for a derivative suit for Texas alone.
Oyster, care to gloat some? You certainly earned the right!

1 comment:

oyster said...

I appreciate the invitation, but I'll save the gloating until after the Wiskie results come in. (After the NH shocker, I don't want to jinx anything.)

I know this is campaign "process" stuff, but your post raises an important point: do Dems really want to do battle in the general election behind a campaign strategy devised by Mark Penn, who has all the hubris of a Karl Rove, but perhaps less smarts?

(And I love how the TX primary/caucus sets up for Obama. I'm pretty darn confident that it will go to Obama (barring a dramatic reversal in Wiskie, or in a debate... etc). I'm talking delegates and raw vote totals.

That the Clinton campaign viewed Tejas as yet another "firewall" without understanding its system should trouble all Clinton supporters.