Today, the DNC and the Obama campaign are singing koombayah; tomorrow brings a question: just what will the Democratic National Committee do?
Through November, the Obama campaign intends to centralize power in its campaign headquarters, and it’s very likely that the Democratic National Committee will play much more of a subordinate role that it has in cycles past. The object here is to avoid the sort of internecine, campaign-party conflict that, at some point, touched just about every state in 2004.
In Iowa, for example, the Obama campaign will sit at the coordinated campaign table with the state party as usual, but the degree to which the party will have input into the decisions of the Obama presidential field operation will be fairly minimal.
The campaign will deny this; they'll say they’re going to promise to work cooperatively, but they’re just being polite and friendly.
It makes total sense for the most successful, most well-funded, most fully integrated, best-prepared presidential campaign ever to take control of the process. If state parties and interest groups resist, the Obama campaign will simply move around them and won’t bat an eyelid.
Same thing in a state like Colorado, where the campaign already has the infrastructure to put together a general election target list, find those voters, and turn them out without having to rely on the state party.
In states where the Obama did poorly, or in states where he did not campaign at all, the campaign will rely much more on the coordinated campaigns to get started. Think Florida, Ohio, and Michigan. But even there, if there are resource allocation questions, it will be Chicago, not Washington, which settles them. This is one reason why the Obama campaign will take near complete control of party fundraising; if they have all the money, they can decide how and where to spend it.
The Obama campaign will rely on the DNC for early election protection activities, and it will integrate its voter databases with the DNC’s updated voter lists.
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