Friday, December 18, 2015

Datapanik In The Year Zero

Here's what little smart stuff I can see in the middle of the shit storm:
  1. Everyone needs to calm the hell down before things blow up even worse. Bitter primary disputes lead to losing. Iowa veterans of Kerry and Dean in 2004, you know what I mean. STILL NEEDED
  2. This needs to get fixed and fixed fast - if possible, before the debate tomorrow night. DONE
  3. Team Bernie needs to be more upfront about what happened with the data and fully cooperate with internal investigations. PENDING
  4. The DNC and NGPVAN need to investigate fast - and I mean around the clock fast - and get Team Bernie back on line as soon as possible. DONE
  5. And yes, someone on Team Bernie needs to apologize to Team Hillary. NOT YET
  6. And Team Hillary needs to graciously accept, even though:
  7. Data that's taken is taken. There's no giving it back and no way to prove it hasn't been used. So Team Hillary has suffered damage that can never be made good.
  8. A ground campaign is dead in the water without its data. So Team Bernie has also suffered damage - a day and a half that can never be made up, and unless they got run on Thursday morning, there won't be any walk or call lists for this weekend.
  9. Even so, “we need the data that has been stolen by the DNC” is remarkable chutzpah from the campaign that did the stealing or looking or whatever it was in the first place.
  10. A simple version of why this matters: Two of the queries - and it's pretty clear there was some systematic work happening - were for strong and weak Hillary supporters respectively. You add the Sanders supporters Hillary has identified to your list of "ones," you cross the Hillary die hards off your call list and save hundreds of hours of calls - and use that time to call the weak supporters who might be persuadable.
  11. Weak Hillary supporters, you may need to turn off your phones for the next seven weeks. Even if Team Bernie didn't keep the data, Team Hillary will be trying to control the damage.
  12. Very very few people in the national press, and even fewer real world voters, understand any of this. But in the insular world of campaign organizing, this is a Where Were You When moment.
  13. Everyone needs to calm the hell down before things blow up even worse. 
  14. Try to look at facts without filtering them through your campaign's official line.
  15. The DNC probably needed to pull the plug, at least long enough to figure out what happened.
  16. But because of other issues - the debate schedule and her obvious preference for Clinton - Debbie Wasserman Schultz is mistrusted and hated in the other campaigns. (Also, for me, there's her foreign policy views that put parochial district pandering ahead of national interest.)
  17. So I doubt this is a Grand DWS conspiracy... 
  18. ...but I can totally see how someone could think that and I don't even blame them.
  19. Best analysis:
  20. The incident has also called into question Sanders' control over and engagement with the mechanics of his own campaign - he didn't know about the incident till  Debbie Wasserman Schultz told him.
  21. There's also some risk to damaging Sanders' Not Just Another Politician brand, depending on how the investigation turns out.
  22. Suing the DNC is a double edged sword. It reinforces support among Bernie's self styled outsiders...
  23. ... but "he's not really a Democrat" and "he won't do anything to help the down ballot candidates" are still live issues for a lot of near-left undecided Democratic activists. The near-left undecideds are where my county at least will get decided... and to these folks, suing the Democratic Party that you either did or didn't just join is terrible optics.
  24. And supporters talking about third parties because they've been locked out of data for 28 hours is even worse optics.
  25. Headline refers to.
  26. The argument that Sanders staff grabbed data to prove there had been a breach is analogous to the reporter who sneaks a fake bomb onto an airplane. It makes the point, but it's still a big no-no.
  27. And it's not a fake bomb. It's a real bomb that may or may not have been detonated. Give the techies a few hours to see if it's ticking.
  28. Everyone needs to calm the hell down before things blow up even worse.

1 comment:

Rod Sullivan said...

Good analysis, John!