The Politico has a great piece up about a 50-year old lawyer named Jeffrey Berman who is Senator Obama's Director of Delegate Selection. Most of you already know the story--the Obama team has performed brilliantly during this campaign making the much vaunted Clinton campaign look like amateurs. But this is another confirmation in detail about the meticulous preparation that was made for this campaign.
Berman and his friend David Plouffe (Campaign Manager) both come from work on Gephardt's campaigns of '88 and '04 but it seems as if Berman first became known to the press in Nevada when he announced to the world that Obama had actually won Nevada:
Despite Clinton’s popular vote victory in Nevada and an authoritative Associated Press count giving Clinton the edge in the Nevada delegate count, Obama had actually won the state by the only measure that mattered. Obama had a majority in the district that had an odd number of delegates, so he won an extra seat,” Berman told the puzzled press; the Associated Press delegate expert, on the call, promised to revise his count.While Harold Ickes was busy getting articles published about himself, trashing Obama and trying to figure out the Texas Prima-Caucus a few weeks before the actual contest, Berman was working on Texas and its intricate nature a year before the contest.
Obama’s Nevada delegate victory was widely viewed at the time as a curiosity, an asterisk to Clinton’s win. But in February, as Obama amassed delegates despite losing big states, the shape of the race became clear: The name of the game was delegates.
Berman and his friend David Plouffe (Campaign Manager) both come from work on Gephardt's campaigns of '88 and '04. The article makes an interesting assertion about why Obama has won:
Now, analysts trying to explain Obama’s rise and Clinton’s fall tend to point to the big picture: Obama’s inspirational message, the drag of the Iraq war, the past and the future. But the heart of Obama’s victory has been technical and tactical — to the frustration and disbelief of Clinton’s inner circle.
“In the end, her campaign appears relentlessly driven by an inherent belief that their entire mathematical disadvantage is based exclusively on a technical mishap, a fluke, a strategic miscalculation — namely, not competing in February in those smaller states like Kansas and Idaho where an unchallenged Obama was able to ring up huge delegate margins,” Jason Kinney, an official of the pro-Clinton American Leadership Project, wrote on his blog last week.That's where people get it twisted though; it wasn't just the incompetence of the Clinton team to compete
in those OTHER February 5 states, but rather that the flawed candidacy and candidate went hand in hand with flawed strategy. If she had competed in Idaho, how much of a difference would it have made and how closer would California have been? To try to just say that the campaign team was better slights Obama himself.
This was HIS campaign versus her campaign and by every metric he was better in every way.
Fittingly, Jeffrey Berman did not comment on the article (except to double check facts). Obama's team always plays it low-key.