Saturday, May 24, 2008

So much for the horse race, let's look at track conditions

All right Democrats. It is time to get our collective act together and put the past behind us. It isn't about anyones hurt feelings. I voted for Hillary in the primary and one of the checks I wrote this primary season was to her campaign. But I can read the tea leaves, and Obama is going to be the nominee.

So take the long weekend to lick your wounds, and when Tuesday rolls around, start with mending fences. It is time to get over yourself. It isn't about you, or me, or even the candidates. It is about electing a Democrat and saving the Supreme Court.

Looked at through that lens, Obama is perfectly suited for the job, because he was a Constitutional Law professor. That is hugely important with a Supreme Court that has a liberal wing that is as chronologically advanced as our liberal justices are. Especially with Roberts as Chief. Ugh...

McClatchy has an article on the importance of Missouri this fall. Obama carried the state - narrowly - on Super Tuesday - because of St. Louis and Kansas City. In the outstate areas, Hillary is the overwhelming choice. At the State Democratic Convention I saw Hillbillies for Hillary t-shirts, and my father in law, who has voted in the primary for the guy who eventually won the White House since 1980 is a huge Hillary Clinton supporter. I have been telling everyone since September, when we went to the country for bow season, that she is the outstate favorite.

Obama - and the state and national party apparatus - have challenges
in this bellwether state - but they can be overcome with grassroots organization, and most importantly - presence. When Missouri voters in outstate areas are asked about Obama and the response ranges from
"I feel like I just don't know him yet."
"I can't vote Republican. I'll either vote for Obama or not vote. If it were today, I would not vote. There's still six months . ... He's gonna' have to convince me. I haven't seen it yet."
Our mission is clearly defined. Convince voters. I spoke to my father in law before the state convention and asked him if there was anything he wanted me to impart to the leaders of the party. He said I should tell them to make their presence known, that no one was going to vote for them if they didn't bother to ask.

So here is how Obama wins in Missouri, and helps deliver the Missouri Sixth congressional seat to Kay Barnes, the Democrat opposing the odious Sam "96%" Graves, (as in he votes the way aWol wants him to 96% 0f the time), and takes a congressional enemy off the chessboard.

It's politics 101. What Howard Dean did for the nation with the brilliant 50 State Strategy, the Obama campaign and the Democratic Party (national and state need to get their act together and combine resources for this) need to do in Missouri. Call it a 114 County Strategy.

Get someone on the ground in every county - it can be as simple as a dedicated cell phone and someone willing to answer and return calls, and store yard signs, bumper stickers, lapel pins and campaign literature in their garage or basement and pass it out when people ask for it, and put an add in every county paper every single week.

If Obama campaigns hard in Kansas City, St. Louis, and the Sixth Congressional District...He wins. KC and StL are reliably Democratic. The Sixth is vulnerable and due to flip. The Sixth is also huge in area - the population isn't dense, but the people aren't either. They know that republican policies have damaged them economically and sent their kids to fight and die in a senseless conflict that should never have been undertaken. A couple of stops in St. Joseph would pull supporters for both Kay Barnes and Representative Nancy Boyda of the KS 02 and fill the stadium at Missouri Western. Do the same thing in Hannibal and bolster democratic turnout among rural voters in three states. What's not to love about this plan?

Now the Democratic Party needs to get their act together and start plotting strategy. Ask any veteran and they will tell you - It is always - always - a bad idea to cede the hill country in any fight.

[Crossposted from Show Me Progress]

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