Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hush That Sarcasm

Ta-Nehisi Coates sarcastically wonders why none of his commenters wrote "THIS IS EXCELLENT NEWS!!! FOR HILLARY!!!!11"

But while it maybe isn't excellent news for her, Publius does eruditely point out that in many ways, we have Hillary Clinton's decision to prolong her primary campaign to thank for Specter's defection:
Today’s flip further vindicates Clinton’s decision to fight it out to the bitter end in last year’s primary. Looking back, nothing but positives came out of that contest. As I’ve explained before, the primary had an “anti-Tasmanian Devil” effect – rather than chaos, it left stronger party organization and big increases of registered voters in its wake.

And it’s that structural shift that doomed Specter. He couldn’t afford to lose hundreds of thousands of moderate PA Republicans.

This aspect of Specter's decision reconfirms one of the secrets of Obama’s electoral success. People point to the charisma and “hope and change” business. And that’s all fine. But we shouldn’t overlook Obama’s emphasis on nitty-gritty, massive organizing efforts (great article on those efforts here). Obama won with a lot of elbow grease and planning – it wasn’t because of speeches. The “old” politics of organization and registration made the “new” politics possible.

If Hillary hadn't stayed in the race, all those new registrations (and more importantly, registration switches from GOP to Dem) probably wouldn't have happened. If they hadn't have happened, Specter probably could have won a GOP primary, and would never have switched.

So, nice work, Hillary Clinton. You just got us a Senate seat. The Party thanks you.

1 comment:

The Gaucho Politico said...

im not sure spectre would have survived this time around anyway. the regular defection of republicans away from the gop due to the failures of the Bush Era were significant enough to put his reelection chances below 30%. He barely edged out Toomey last time around and that was with the entire republican party backing him. there was little chance for him even without the penn primary.