Right now, the strategy means handing over large grants to state parties from the DNC, and also paying for local organizers in the state. It was effective both as an organizing strategy (see the DNC memo on the subject) and as a political strategy for Howard Dean, as state parties hold large numbers of votes in the DNC and like receiving lots of money and free organizers from the DNC.
This was a program for which the netroots fought hard the past several years. Now that it seems to be over, I hope that our opinion of the fifty-state strategy doesn’t take the same route as our opinion of the utility of appearing on Fox News, including telecom immunity in FISA, or elevating Rahm Emanuel to positions of extreme power. It isn’t right just because Obama did it, although I fear many people will say so.
I think this strategy made both good sense and political sense, and it’s strange to think the Dems would leave all that work behind. But this is something Emanuel fought Dean on, and now the former is Obama’s chief of staff, so, from that perspective, it very well could be true.