This is the main thing I like about Hillary Clinton. Obama eroded the state and county parties and I'm absolutely thrilled Clinton is working to build them up again:
CONCORD, N.H. — Hillary Clinton had a message to relay in private meetings with state and local Democrats during her highly-choreographed swings through Iowa and New Hampshire this month: let me help you.
The implication? She’ll fix the party infrastructure that withered under President Barack Obama.
The Democratic front-runner has stressed the importance of bolstering — and in the case of Iowa, rebuilding — the state parties from the ground up, as they received scant national attention since 2008. Some Democrats even pin the blame on the president himself.
Clinton’s pitch is especially resonant in Iowa, where her team is already encouraging rural Democrats to run for their school boards and county commissions. It’s not just a standard exercise in party-building: Team Clinton is betting that the organizing and goodwill generated by this outreach will pay dividends when it comes time to flip the switch on her own caucus and primary machines.
“What typically happens is when a president comes in, the national [party] committee becomes a presidential re-elect, and that hollows out the local parties,” says former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean, who ran for president in 2004. The result, as outlined in the party’s February midterm autopsy report, has been sweeping losses for Democrats at every level during the Obama era, from statehouses to the U.S. House and Senate.