“We have to organize every damn precinct in the United States of America — all 185,000,” Dukakis told the Observer. “I’m serious. I’m deadly serious. I didn’t do it after the primary [in 1988]. Don’t ask me why, because that’s the way I got myself elected from the time I was running for town meeting in Brookline to the time I ran for governor.”
Dukakis continued, “And I mean starting a year in advance. I’m not talking about parachuting in with two weeks to go. That’s baloney. And these people are people who’ve got to be from the precinct, of the precinct, look like the precinct and talk like the precinct.”
Of course, Dukakis is almost certainly right, and it’s not the first time he’s said this. And Howard Dean seems to have gotten the message with his 50-state strategy, hiring organizers for party-building in every state. I don’t know specifically how that’s progressing, although the 2006 elections were certainly a good sign. Is Dukakis expressing worry about how far and well it’s gone so far?
In any event … I remember hearing about the supposedly turbo-charged ground-game we supposedly run in Massachusetts, that we really know how to do shoe-leather politics in a way that other states’ Dem parties and candidates just don’t: You know, voter ID’ing, giving folks a number to indicate how likely they are to vote your way … you know, typical stuff. And certainly John Walsh’s campaign for Deval Patrick was a hybrid of old-fashioned techniques with internet-era resources and tools.
But I want to pick the brains of some of the campaign veterans who read this site: What do you think works in Massachusetts? What tools would you most recommend to export to other states? What do we do right here that others could benefit from? What would you tell the Dems in other states?