The metaphor of US primaries as game is one I hadn’t planned on belaboring. But just when I thought I was out...
So you know the Clinton campaign strategy of ceding most of the February contests to Obama and then dealing him knockout punches in the big states of Texas and Ohio? Problem is, the very complicated rules in Texas do not remotely favor this. Plain ordinary proportional delegate allocation would make it very difficult, but the weighting of districts according to past support for Democratic candidates renders it nigh impossible. When did Clinton strategists figure this out? A month ago.
Seriously, it’s time campaigns started hiring gamers to, you know, actually read the rules before committing themselves to their do-or-die strategies. No good counting on your Black Lotuses to pull your butt out of the fire when the tournament disallows them.
If I were a Democratic primary voter in one of the upcoming contests, this blunder of nuts-and-bolts detail would weigh heavily on my decision. Especially in a candidacy predicated on being ready on day one, it would have been helpful to also be ready on day -346.
With only marginal policy differences separating them, both Democratic candidacies are to a remarkable degree demonstrated or disproved by what they accomplish in the primaries. To show that he is a transformative leader, Obama must win in a transformative way. Clinton must prove she is inevitable by being inevitable.
Apparently transformation learns the rules before entering the tourney, but inevitability doesn’t bother.