In short, the DNC will be moving away from the long-term, decentralized, fifty-state strategy of Howard Dean's tenure, and toward serving as a short-term, centralized re-election effort for President Obama in 2012. It will continue the move away from paid media ushered in by Howard Dean, maintain or increase the amount of resource expenditures in most states, and the number of states it targets will be a broader effort than the narrow focus we saw in 2001-2004 (but more narrow than 2005-2008). However, it will return to the traditional role of the DNC as a supplement for the sitting President's re-election campaign, rather than as the long-term, localized institution building operation that is was from 2005-2008.
The fifty-state strategy of 2005-2008 is going to be replaced with the "re-elect President Obama" strategy of 2009-2012.
Assuming Bowers' source is correct, the DC Democratic establishment will like this. They hated losing control of that cash and letting the states decide for themselves how to best spend it. This is a return to how the party has traditionally operated. Idaho, which implausibly elected a member to the House in an R+18.9 district -- the most Republican district held by a Democrat today and the 14th most Republican district in the entire country -- would likely get passed over using a more traditional resource allocation model.
Obama lost Idaho by 26 points. Yeah. Deep red. But Kerry lost it by 38 points. We become a national party by competing nationally. Look at the 2004 and 2008 maps:
Blue states were made bluer, light red states were flipped, and crimson states were lightened up. Look at that vertical column from North Dakota to Texas. Sure, Oklahoma is full of dead-enders, but what used to be a crimson band of solid Red has now lightened considerably. The Dakotas were single-digit contests despite having no Obama ground game, officially making them purple states. Montana will flip our way in 2012 after being a 20-point Bush state in 2004.
And yes, even Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah saw significant gains for Democrats. They may be some of the most Republican states in the union today, but significantly less so than four years ago. And that matters not just to Obama's reelection effort in 2012, but also to every Democratic candidate up and down the ballot between now and then.
Howard Dean was a rare political creature -- a person who embraced decentralization. The new crew in power is far more conventional, resorting to an old-school centralized power structure. Democrats have the White House, and perhaps it's understandable that they want to take a proven model (the Obama campaign) and begin building what will eventually morph into Obama's reelection campaign. But given the size of Obama's list and his fundraising prowess, it shouldn't have to be an either-or proposition.
Update: I wrote this as a comment in the threads, but it's a succinct summary of this post, so I'll paraphrase it here:
There reason that there's an inherent conflict with turning the DNC into Obama's 2012 reelection effort is that there's no reason for the Obama operation to have staffers in Utah. But there's a reason for the Democratic Party to have staffers in Utah -- helping Democrats get elected to important local- and state-level offices and building a bench for federal offices.
If Obama's DNC wants to staff up in battleground states, then great. But the rest of the states shouldn't be discarded. We've been down that road before, and it wasn't pretty.