Monday, October 16, 2006

Democratic Tactical Victories Require a Democratic Strategic Vision

From the latest edition of Charlie Cook's National Overview (via TPM):

On a conference call today, James Carville suggested that the Democratic Party should expand beyond just the top targeted races. He believes the party should help fund previously ignored Democratic challengers in second- and third-tier districts -- the next 30 to 50 Republican-held seats -- to fully capitalize on this environment and help those candidates maximize their chances of winning. Carville went as far as to suggest Democrats go to the bank and borrow $5 million. If I were them, I'd make it $10 million and put $500,000 each of these 20 districts.
The ability to take advantage of a situation just like this was the rationale for DNC Chairman Howard Dean's "50-State Strategy," which US News etc. described as "a multimillion-dollar program to rebuild the Democratic Party from the ground up."
Over the past year, the DNC has hired and trained four staffers for virtually every state party in the nation--nearly 200 workers in all--to be field organizers, press secretaries, and technology specialists, even in places where the party hasn't been competitive for decades. "It's a huge shift," Dean tells U.S. News. "Since 1968, campaigns have been about TV and candidates, which works for 10 months out of the four-year cycle. With party structure on the ground, you campaign for four years."
Unfortunately, Dr. Dean's visionary strategy has received little or no support from Illinois' Democratic leaders.

DCCC Chair Rep. Rahm Emanuel risked starving the Dean plan in its infancy by demanding more Democratic cash for his pet districts at the expense of party-building in Red States. In addition, Illinois state party leaders have given Dean's team the cold shoulder. As a result, Dean's only in-road into downstate Red-Illinois is a lone outpost in Madison County.

If you back Dr. Dean's long term thinking, you can support the "50-State Strategy" here.

UPDATE OCT 17: Larry the Archpundit apparently thinks I have created a false dichotomy.

3 comments:

NW burbs said...

The Illinois stuff probably has a lot to do with Emanuel.

The DCCC's Chicago-region outpost is the biggest in the country (by dollars raised). We've had DCCC interns canvassing our neighborhood out in red NW Cook.

On top of that, if M-Madigan can't control the money he probably doesn't want it. And knowing Dean he wouldn't stand for that.

So-Called Austin Mayor said...

if M-Madigan can't control the money he probably doesn't want it. And knowing Dean he wouldn't stand for that.

The situation was explained to me in almost exactly these terms.

Donkey Digest said...

The 50 state strategy means you run everywhere, regardless of how weak you are

It means having a Democrat in every race, up and down ballot, and in every state in the country, regardless of how strong Republicans are.

What carville said was that he thinks the number of competitve races has expanded and that the Democrats should take out bank loans if they have to in order compete in the second and third tier races, since they're now competitive. He's not saying that Democrats should borrow money to compete in districts in Arizona and Texas where the Republicans have a 40 point advantage.

Simply put, what Carville said in no way advocate's Dean 50 State Strategy, no matter how it is spun.

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