another day, another email...
Like you say, professor. As for Mr. Giuliani's campaign strategy, the fact that he tends to wear out his welcome may have had something to do with it. Remember, he'd frittered away much of his popularity as he neared the end of his tenure as New York mayor and people were sort of relieved to see him go, like the Brits with Margaret Thatcher. Then 9.11 happened. The new Giuliani seemed oddly subdued, too, as if he'd aged or his heart wasn't really in it. In any case, Mr. Giuliani had so many negatives as a Republican in the first place that it's hard to point to say what sank him. Eurasia Group’s Ian Bremmer from the beginning never thought that he had a chance.
Here is a near-post mortem that shows the messiness of the Clinton campaign. Little of this came out until very, very recently. I wonder why. So yes, an organized campaign is important, and it won’t run itself.
I think you’re right that negative campaigning was not as effective as it used to be. I think that it’s a combination of several things. I agree with you that Barack Obama and his campaign team responded well on the few occasions that he faced it and even managed to turn it to his advantage on some occasions. Of course it’s easier when everybody likes you in the first place. A match works best when a lot of people are willing to fan the flames. Also, I think that Democrats tend to be more sensitive to negative campaigning.
As for the students getting involved with the Obama campaign, I’ve been reading about it, but it’s good to hear it firsthand.
And you’re right, Mr. Obama won’t lack for experienced people wanting to work for him, including the people around Hillary Clinton. Even the Clintons will campaign all out for Mr. Obama; it could still be their turn in 2012. Don’t count John McCain out.