For those of my friends who say Obama just gives pretty speeches, read this (from AP):
Clinton hinged her whole campaign on an early knockout blow on Super Tuesday, while Obama's staff researched congressional districts in states with primaries that were months away. What they found were opportunities to win delegates, even in states they would eventually lose.
Obama's campaign mastered some of the most arcane rules in politics, and then used them to foil a front-runner who seemed to have every advantage—money, fame and a husband who had essentially run the Democratic Party for eight years as president.
"Without a doubt, their understanding of the nominating process was one of the keys to their success," said Tad Devine, a Democratic strategist not aligned with either candidate. "They understood the nuances of it and approached it at a strategic level that the Clinton campaign did not."
Careful planning is one reason why Obama is emerging as the nominee as the Democratic Party prepares for its final three primaries, Puerto Rico on Sunday and Montana and South Dakota on Tuesday. Attributing his success only to soaring speeches and prodigious fundraising ignores a critical part of contest.
Hat tip Sullivan, who also noted: Imagine if the Iraq war had been planned by Obama's campaign managers. You think we would have had no post-invasion strategy?
The AP pieces goes on to talk about the essential role of Jeffrey Berman for Obama. Berman is Ickes counterpart in the Obama campaign. Politico profiled Berman on May 11th:
“He is the unsung hero of the Obama effort,” said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic consultant who supports Clinton.The bearded, no-profile 50-year-old lawyer’s central role in Obama’s likely nomination is emblematic of the depth of Obama’s preparation for the 2008 campaign.