Under The Hood Of The O-Train

I wanted to know what the real deal was behind the “O-Train”. Is it the smile? The near Sidney Poitier level of courtliness? The much vaunted “charisma” that seems to work its way into the opening lines of nay article about Barack Obama? Or could it be simply - superiority. Because he seems to have a superior level of fund raising, superior advisors, superbly crafted speeches – from the outside looking in, it appears that he has met and exceeded his challengers at practically every organizational detail…

…that’s what I really want to know – what do the nuts and bolts of their operation look like? A little research turned up the playbook and the beginnings of its execution. Again, hats off to this wonderful internet (which I’m sure will be more closely regulated in the future) for providing access to ACTUAL INFORMATION when a brother wants to know how things work.


'Camp Obama' Trains Campaign Volunteers


All campaigns rely heavily on volunteers to carry the candidate's message and do much of the campaign grunt work. And all campaigns spend a significant amount of time and money training volunteers to be more effective. But Riemer says the Obama campaign is trying something different in order to capitalize on the huge number of young people expressing an interest in the Illinois Democratic senator's run for the White House, a demographic that Reimer says campaigns usually ignore or view as unreliable on Election Day.

"Historically, campaigns have looked at young people as the hardest demographics to mobilize," he says. "In reality, if you know what you're doing, they can be one of the easiest to mobilize."

He adds: "The most important thing is that they understand they are an important part of our strategy to win the election. This is not for show, this is not to feel good; this is to get trained and help us to win this election."

Reimer says the campaign needs to equip young volunteers for the long battle ahead in the key early primary and caucus states.

"It's not rocket science," he says. "What we have to do is give them the tools to create a plan and just keep in touch with them as they create their plan and execute it. Winning an election is just a matter of breaking it down into manageable pieces, so we show them what those pieces are, and then turn them loose. As long as we can do that, there's no problem. They can make it happen."

For the entire article, click http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11012254


Stories and Numbers - a Closer Look at Camp Obama

Most of the six regional Camp Obamas held so far have been lead by Harvard Professor Marshall Ganz. Coincidentally, Ganz began his political career 43 years earlier at a seminary right across the street from the weekend's training. He and fellow Harvard undergraduates had driven from Boston to join Freedom Summer. Expecting to find a late night strategy session in progress when they arrived, they instead walked in on a raucous "preach off" among young civil rights activists. And so began a lifelong career in applying story telling, emotion and faith to politics. began a lifelong career in applying story telling, emotion and faith to politics.

From the civil rights movement, Ganz joined the United Farm Workers as an organizer in his home state of California. He was there when Robert Kennedy was shot, organizing immigrants who could not vote to turn out citizens who could. Ganz, who's father was a Rabbi and army chaplain in occupied Germany and whose language is often laced with Bible allusions, says that for America it's been 40 years in the desert since that time. But he says he's beginning to see an out.

Almost every sentence Ganz speaks is at the same time intensely intellectual and intensely emotional. His introductory session Friday night was interspersed with the latest on brain research, experiences growing up in post-Holocaust Germany, Steven Jay Gould's theory of time and the question of where hope comes from.

"Where does your hope come from?" he asked the audience.

After several adequate answers, he finally got one he especially liked: "Faith."

"Exactly. That's why faith movements and social movements have so much to do with each other," Ganz expanded.

But one final audience member gave him the answer that perfectly set up the rest of the weekend: "I get hope from stories. Obama's story that he told at the convention--that gave me hope."

"Yes! 'To inspire'--it literally means to breathe life into each other," Ganz replied, "And we can do that by telling our stories to each other. That's what Barack did for us when he told his story. And that's what we can do for others when we tell them our stories."

The next morning, Ganz followed up by playing a video of the first seven minutes of Obama's famous 2004 speech, and then dissected those seven minutes into three parts. First came the "story of self," Obama's challenges and choices. Second came the "story of us," when Obama pivoted to connect his own story with the challenges and choices that now face Americans as a people. Finally there was the "story of now," where Obama laid out what we have do to make the world a better place right now.

The purpose of this weekend training, Ganz explained, was not only to learn skills, form teams and get organized--but much more importantly, to learn how to tell our own stories, how to "put into words why you're called, and why we've been called, to change the way the world works."

Those "stories of self" and "stories of us" were to be the most powerful tool for these campaigners--along with the ability to teach others how to tell their stories--back home recruiting and motivating volunteers and building relationships.

After a little more instruction and modeling of story telling, the large group was split into a few dozen smaller groups by Congressional district for participants to have a chance to work on their own stories. The goal of this period was for participants to emerge being able to tell their "story of self" in less than two minutes, just as Barack Obama had in his 2004 convention speech.

For the entire article, click http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zack-exley/stories-and-numbers-a-c_b_62278.html


THE OBAMA CAMP HAS ITS OWN MEMO...


Our plan has always called for a focus on the early caucus and primary states, where this race will be shaped.

And now, as the Washington insiders focus on irrelevant and wildly inconsistent national polls, there are strong signs in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina of the growing power and potential of this candidacy.

I will not address fundraising in detail in this memo, because there has been such voluminous coverage about the success you have all helped us achieve in this area.

Just a couple points to underscore, though. Our 258,000 + donors not only provide us the most muscular fundraising base in the field, it also is the bedrock of an unprecedented grassroots movement that will show its’ strength in additional ways on the ground in January and February. And it a manifestation of the enthusiasm gap that Barack Obama enjoys in this race.

Our financial success has also fundamentally altered the strategic calculus of the race. No longer can the quasi-incumbent candidate survive a stumble or two early and rely on an institutional financial and organizational advantage to recover. Obama has the financial and organizational assets to go toe to toe for the long haul with the largest political machine in the history of the modern Democratic Party – something that no pundit could have predicted six months ago.

We will have the strongest organization and deepest financial base in the Democratic field. If we have more momentum than other leading candidates heading into February 5th, it will allow us to marry the success in the early states with our organizational superiority, a potent combination in what will be a quasi-national primary by that point.

Remember, each contest affects the next. Our strategy has always been to focus like a laser on the early states to create the momentum crucial to later contests. What has changed is our ability to also compete in February 5th states more vigorously than any other candidate, allowing us to win the nomination under various nomination scenarios.

For the entire article, click http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/08/06/305863.aspx



NOTE: “Donor” as it applies to FEC regulations includes all purchases of speeches, paraphernalia and clothing – no way to know what percentage of this number would be reduced if it only measured raw contributions – however, all items sold generate profits that are added to the campaign coffers.

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