First, congratulations to Barack Obama. His organization and victory were impressive. Competing with a former President and First Lady who was the shoo-in candidate is an impressive feat.
I’d like to talk about the Obama strategies and a long chaotic campaign in two ways. First in fund-raising and second, on the effects of a long campaign.
In fund-raising, everything I’ve read says that the Clintons were much better at getting the “big” donations allowed under McCain-Fiengold. (Which I’ve commented on here and here.) What I now want to say is that the “chaos” strategy of enabling lots and lots of small donations seems to have worked spectacularly. Letting your supporters self-select, emerge, and then working them over and over. In fact, Dissent commented that her name was added to their list when she made a media inquiry. Highly chaotic, no big one-night rubber chicken totals, and highly effective.
As an aside, I know that oftentimes in startups, we’ve ended up quixotically pursuing big deals, because big deals can be given attention. The strategy of using channels and having lots of little sales can be harder to advocate for.
Secondly, voter engagement is at a high everywhere in the country. Pundits often complain about low voter turnout, low engagement with the process, and people not caring. It seems that a little chaos, diverse candidates, and having a winner emerge from the contest are healthier for democracy than having the pundits select a winner.
We’d like to thank everyone who paid attention to our primary endorsements.