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LAT: A secret peek inside Obama's Iowa campaign

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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 10:05 PM
Original message
LAT: A secret peek inside Obama's Iowa campaign
Edited on Fri Dec-07-07 10:35 PM by BeyondGeography
==Today, thanks to The Times' Robin Abcarian and a source of hers within the Barack Obama Iowa campaign, we get a detailed inside look at how they organize, communicate with, motivate, inform and, most importantly, listen to their network of nearly 2,000 precinct captains across the state.

...The key is regular phone calls with headquarters. The captains get maybe two days' notice to call a certain number at a certain time. Meanwhile, they're encouraged to e-mail questions they are hearing on the street and would like answers to. Even if only a few hundred of them do this, those missives give the tacticians back in Chicago an on-the-ground feel for the steadily shifting sands of a campaign. And how tired or enthused their own workers are.

...At the appointed time for the Obama phone meeting, most of the captains call, punch in a code that's different every time, and are connected to a giant conference call. All the callers' lines are muted, but an organizer in Chicago introduces herself and thanks everyone for their hard work. She gives a brief general update on the campaign, encouraging poll numbers and the candidate's activities for a few days; reiterates the campaign's message of the week and the importance of personal front-door contact with voters; and then turns the phone over to "a guest."

Suddenly, Obama himself is on the line, thanking all the grassroots workers profusely for their hard work. He sounds enthusiastic, appreciative and genuine, and even though no one can actually talk to him, he instills a sense of conversation, of intimate contact with the guy they're all working for night and day. For new political workers, this can be a spine-tingling moment. Obama gives a general but always upbeat report on what he's seeing on the trail and then answers two or three of the e-mailed questions.

On one recent call, a question concerned how to handle what seem to be increasingly negative attacks from other campaigns. Obama said these were to be expected since recent polls showed their efforts pulling into the lead. He told the workers not to be defensive or abrasive, to answer with facts and to stay focused on the reality that they were changing the nation and the world. He cautioned them against "faking it" if they don't know the answers and urged them to check with their assigned field organizers and get back to the individual voter...==

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2007/12/insideobamacamp.html
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 10:11 PM
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1. Fascinating! Thanks for the post.
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Grandrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 10:19 PM
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2. Very enlightening! (K&R)
Thanks for posting...great find and deeply appreciated!:applause: :kick:
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 10:26 PM
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3. what`s one of the most important strategies in war?
good communication between the commanders and troops on the ground....
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 10:55 PM
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4. Interesting -- it sounds like a well-run campaign. I like that he encourages
e-mails to inform him of questions on the street that should be addressed.

I especially like the "don't fake it" - approach. So many of these volunteers are there out of their desire to help their candidate in any way, but honestly aren't all that current or on top of everything potential voters might be asking about. Good for Obama!
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. GObama ~ for a man with no "experience" he sure
is doing something right.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 10:59 PM
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5. Obama makes me more proud to call myself a supporter every day...
:patriot:
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loveangelc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
7. .
Obama is adorable:*
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ellisonz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
8. GObama.
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smalll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 01:18 AM
Response to Original message
9. OMG! Obama Central keeps in touch with area offices - by TALKING ON THE PHONE! He's unbeatable!
Edited on Sat Dec-08-07 01:19 AM by smalll
Especially since the Edwards campaign uses carrier pigeons, and Hillaryworld uses a transcontinental string of fiery beacons set ablaze from hilltop to hilltop all the way from Ames, Iowa to Chappaqua, New York (impressive, but a little binary, so unfortunately rather limited in terms of information transfer.) :shrug:

Guess you win, Obamans! :patriot:
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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 01:23 AM
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10. Obama has been misunderestimated by the competition.
You can tell he learned a lot from being as community organizer, and his time in Chicago politics.
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Who can forget the widespread sneering here at the "community organizer" entry on his resume?
It was one of the things that made me most comfortable with him; he had a front-row seat on the limits of charisma in the Harold Washington era and the need to get buy-in at the grass roots level. Great chapters on that experience in Dreams From My Father, btw.
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