James, I don’t care how much an Obama appearance in Alaska (or Wyoming, or Texas) might help some down-ticket Democrats, or how much money he has to burn, a presidential campaign is a presidential campaign. If Obama were a popular incumbent, running for re-election with a 15-point lead in the polls, it might make sense for him to try to “share the love” without regard for his own political fortunes. But the Gallup poll indicates a neck-and-neck race, and there are only so many campaign days between now and Nov. 4.
Team Obama does not necessarily need to follow the swing-state pattern of recent elections scrupulously, but they do need to target states based on legitimate strategic value to their campaign — and it is very difficult to see any value in sending Obama to Anchorage. The logistics alone argue against it.
In fact, assuming that David Plouffe hasn’t gone completely bonkers, I think it safe to say that this talk of Alaska — and Wyoming and Texas — is just that, talk. Either Plouffe’s trying to head-fake the McCain campaign off-balance, or else he’s trying to deceive Democrats (and their media minions) into believing that Team Obama is such a mighty juggernaut that the candidate can afford to kill time in Wyoming to help local Democrats, rather than campaigning in a state he might actually win. I frankly think they’re over their heads, they know it, and they’re talking this bold talk as a facade to hide their own panic.