Opportunity versus the Good Ole Boys
by Matt Stoller, Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 02:08:07 PM EST
That's a really awesome video and shows just how effectively Obama's movement can message against Senator Clinton. But Obama, who talks a great game, doesn't act like he gets it.
Jim Margolis, a well-regarded Democratic media consultant, is in talks with the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama about playing a formal role, according to three Democratic sources familiar with the discussions....
Margolis was the lead media consultant for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerryduring the 2004 primaries but left the campaign in April 2004. He is a close adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reidof Nevada and currently is a partner with GMMB, a political consulting firm.
If Margolis officially signs on with Obama, he would join David Axelrod on the media team. Axelrod has been with Obama since his 2004 race for the Senate. David Plouffe, who is a partner in Axelrod's firm, is Obama's campaign manager.
Highlighting the close-knit nature of the consulting community, Margolis used to work with Mandy Grunwald, the lead media consultant for Democratic presidential aspirant Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York., at Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Grunwald & Associates.
From what I understand, Margolis is pretty bad when it comes to the poor commission structure of Democratic media consultants. Margolis's clientelle at GMMB includes Sallie Mae, AT&T, MPAA, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. VOX, which he co-chairs and which is the parent compnay of GMMB, includes such laudable clients as Walmart, Bank of America, and Johnson & Johnson. My point here is not to criticize people who take corporate PR work. I just want to make clear that the choice of Margolis is another example of the good old boys club at work. Along with Robert Gibbs, he's in 'the collect money from rich people and spend it all on TV school' of politics, which requires a slew of corporate clients to sustain it in the off-season.
As such, Obama is building an old school campaign where the internet is an afterthought, a high end ATM and walled garden of social networking. Ironically, his poor treatment of the internet in his campaign means that he's beholden to the big money interests of which he is rather appropriately disdainful. At this point, with this level of energy and media attention, Obama's campaign should have raised $10 million online. I doubt they've gotten there. In fact if I had to guess, I would guess that Hillary Clinton has outraised Obama's campaign, having just completed a competently executed $1 million online fundraising drive last week.
It's too bad. Obama could really let his movement change politics if he only embraced it. Hopefully the movement will be stronger than the high walls of inertia still in the Democratic Party's electoral system.