The Corner

Re: It’s Not the Money You Raise, It’s What You Do With It

I still think the McCain campaign is doing shockingly well with fundraising and campaign organization given the circumstances, but a reader throws some cold water on this perception: 

I really found this post lacking specifics.  Based on the primaries, all evidence points to the Obama campaign being a well oiled machine.  They ran a bottom up campaign, with extremely well run field offices.  They also opened a staggering number of those field offices.   The wealth of information and direction they gave to volunteers was stunning, and allowed them to campaign effectively almost EVERYWHERE.  While I’m not a fan of how much $ is spent on ads, an enormous amount of  Obama’s  cash went to media buys and other tangible assets. Their outreach efforts to various communities and groups has been staggering.  If there are too many cooks in the Axelrod kitchen, I’ve seen no evidence of infighting, second guessing, or power grabs (see Clinton and McCain campaigns for examples of this).  This “bloated” staff also executed a cohesive strategy that dethroned a powerhouse political machine and one of the most presumptive nominees in modern history.

700  is a staggering number, but do we have evidence that the Obama camp doesn’t have a strategy in which this number of people aren’t being integrated into a general election strategy?  Evidence of redundancy?  How does this 700 breakdown (registration, website, press, field offices, etc).  Compared to previous general election campaigns, where is the Obama team putting resources that others haven’t? Until you supply this type of information (reporting) it is impossible to judge if they are bloated. Sans that info, I prefer to rely on the byproducts of the campaigns labor, and so far I’ve been impressed, as have a number of the GOP operatives who have publicy weighed in.

Meanwhile when I look at the McCain campaign I see holes. I see a campaign that has only managed to get 8% of GWB’s donors to give money to McCain. There are countless stories of how poor McCain’s outreach has been to Christian community. From the website to that green background, I see inexcusable production flaws.  Most fatally, I see a campaign that has failed to capture that which is John McCain — the energy, the toughness, the integrity.

While one team has created a brand that has been integrated into each aspect of the campaign, the other side has taken a candidate who had a well defined brand and turned him into John Kerry like mush.

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