There’s a really interesting post on the problems the Democrats had in the 2004 campaign. Here’s one of the highlights:
A top Kerry staffer (one of five who had been with Kerry from the very start of his primary campaign and who claimed he talked with Kerry almost daily on the phone) told me: “To be blunt, this is a fat-cat top-down campaign. The campaign staff doesn’t really get grassroots.” Those were his exact words…He did think a grassroots strategy was crucial, but he may have been among the very few Kerry staffers there at the time to think that way; he and one other staffer were pushing to get me hired and create a real grassroots strategy. He called me daily with updates. On the fourth day, he apologized that Mary Beth Cahill was concerned I could be a “Republican mole.” He told her I had been a volunteer with the Dean campaign and that he trusted me based on our phone conversations, but that didn’t prove anything to her. She couldn’t imagine hiring someone who lived in California that she’d never met. Instead, she hired a former Emily’s List staffer with experience sending direct mail to big donors, whom Mary Beth had worked with previously.
The Mad Biologist: I’ve said before that the disdain the Democratic establishment has for ordinary rank-and-file Democrats is a major problem, but I never realized just how systemic the problem was.
Some happy news. The South might not be so difficult after all. Unlike most people, I don’t think we should write off any region: we are engaged in a battle of ideas and narrative–the more we speak, the more hope we give struggling Democrats (and remember, Mississippi only went for Bush 56-44). Also,we have to start embracing federalism and win back statehouses and counties.