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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Spoils Sport

As the Obama administration begins to take shape, inevitably, various interest, identity and advocacy groups are taking credit for his victory, with implicit (probably soon to be explicit) claims on a share of visible appointments, and on the right to influence the President-elect’s agenda.
At Politico, Avi Zenilman has a brisk roundup of victory statements from the National Council of La Raza, the AFL-CIO, the NEA, Rock the Vote, MoveOn.org, Women’s Voices/Women’s Votes, Sojourners, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Jewish Democratic Council, and even the Yankee Group, a technology consulting firm.
As Zenilman notes, there’s nothing new about post-election “you owe us” statements, other than, perhaps, their sheer scope this year:

Such claims are, of course, an election-year standard. Four years ago, social conservative and anti-tax groups boasted of their role in President Bush’s reelection.
Obama’s wider margin of victory this year makes it seem as though America — and the Democratic Party — may just be big enough for virtually every group to claim credit and jostle elbows as they push for their respective agendas.

That’s exactly right. There’s really not one “bullet vote” that won this election for Barack Obama. On one level, that should mean he doesn’t “owe” any particular group any particular thanks or favors, but on another level, it ensures that many will take credit, and down the road, maybe take umbrage if things don’t work out as they hope.

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