Now that Obama outlook for reelection is improving his campaign manager Jim Messina put out a video today that was designed to guard against complacency among those who support Obama.
Here’s the video:
After stating that the campaign sees more than forty possible paths to the 270 electoral college delegates needed for election, Messina focused on five specific paths, but the key to video came after the maps when Messina said,
Our entire goal here is to put as many of these maps in play as possible. And at the end it’s just a financial decision. Do we have enough money to register the voters we need in Arizona? Can we start putting more neighborhood team organizers on the ground in North Carolina? It’s all about whether or not we have the resources to do this. People have speculated this is a billion-dollar campaign. That’s bull[bleeped].
We don’t take PAC money, unlike our opponents. We fund this campaign in contributions of three dollars or five dollars or whatever you can do to help us expand the map, to put more people on the ground, to build a real grass-roots campaign that is going to be the difference between winning and losing.
Beneath the maps and the fundraising pitch was the real purpose of this video. The Obama campaign is trying to guard against complacency. They saw what happened in 2010 when Democrats didn’t bother to show up. They see what is happening right now with the president’s improving poll numbers and the improving economic outlook. Most importantly, they see how weak the Republican field is.
So far the race for the Republican nomination has been such a farce that it would easy for an Obama supporter to look at the GOP field and think that none of those candidates could possibly defeat Obama, but the truth is that a repeat of the 2010 election is possible if the Obama Democrats don’t come out to vote in 2012. Messina was trying to debunk the stories about Obama potentially having a billion dollar war chest, because he knows that grassroots organization, not fundraising is why Obama won in 2008.
In 2008, the Obama campaign stretched Republican resources by making their opposition defend states that were traditionally red. When Messina discussed competing in Arizona, he was mentioning one possible method of expanding their strategy. (This is a fairly big hint that money is not going to be an issue for the 2012 Obama campaign).
It is telling that the Obama campaign is going to spend a large sum of money on grassroots organizing and get out the vote efforts. The Republican gotv machine atrophied under George W. Bush and as of yet there has been no indication that the Republican Party is planning to spend the resources to rebuild their grassroots network. Odds are that they might depend on the tea party to get the base out.
The fact that the Obama campaign released this type of video right before the year end fundraising deadline indicates that they are not only trying to finish the year strong on the fundraising front, but they are concerned about complacency.
This would also seem to drill a hole right through Robert Reich’s prediction that Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are going to swap jobs in 2012. A campaign with 40 paths to victory doesn’t need to make a desperate move like getting a new running mate.
It is a fun fantasy, the revival of the Democratic dream team, but I think Clinton was serious when she stated that she wanted a rest. She may take a break for a while, but I suspect her batteries will be recharged by 2016. It was nice of Reich to give us all something to debate between Christmas and New Year’s though.
The Obama campaign knows that they are the favorite, and the biggest thing they need to guard against is complacency as they head into 2012.