Friday, February 29, 2008

It's the organization, stupid

As an armchair pundit far from the action, Polprint has long been puzzled by the contention that Obama is better organized at the grassroots level than Clinton. This argument has been regularly trotted out to explain Obama's caucus victories. Polprint does not doubt the truth of it--the results speak for themselves--but she wants more details about how exactly this works.

Thanks are therefore in order to a reader in Seattle, WA, who sent in this fascinating piece on the contrast between the responses of the Clinton and Obama camps to student journalists. The Obama camp returned phone calls, doled out press passes, answered the students' questions; the Clinton camp brushed them off. (Polprint would also like a story on the inner mechanics of the Clinton campaign, explaining why and how she has been disorganized. Presumably a post-mortem, stuffed with quotes from finger-pointing staffers, will take care of this.)

One more note on organization: today's Wall Street Journal has a great piece about how Obama's Texas organization differs from that in other states. He is relying far more than usual on volunteers, as opposed to his usual savvy cadre of paid staffers. The latter arrived only a few weeks ago, since no one thought the battle would still be raging in March. Obama's Texas campaign chief is wonderfully quoted as saying that the operation is "more like a baling wire and duct tape thing".

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