Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Each One, Teach One

If what Josh Marshall says is true then its time to try to figure out whether Obama and his campaign can make some serious inroads with voters who aren't disposed to be open to his campaign in the first place in select counties throughout Appalachia. The question isnt "are they racist assholes who are ignorant", or "are they ignorant assholes who are racist?"its "how can we get the votes of people who experience themselves as disenfranchised and frightened and without friends in high office?" Where it isn't necessary for Obama to capture the whole state its not necessary to expend resources, but where Obama is fighting for electoral votes in swing states he's going to have to really think through a strategy of outreach rather than denial. He gave up WV to HRC, I think wisely, because it could have done his campaign no good to turn this into a knock down drag out fight with another Democrat. But in the next round he needs to go and really face people directly and offer them the thing they crave the most--respect and an offer of help. They won't vote for him as long as he represents to them (however absurdly) distant, elite, muslim, black guy but they will come around when a critical mass of their own friends and neighbors do, and when they can't square the image of him they get from McCain's campaign with the guy they saw down the street at an open campaign stop. Its going to have to be retail politics all the way. This excellent DailyKos diary shows how it will be done.