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There are several reasons why Obama was uniquely qualified to run in the post-Citizens United era. His ability to draw historic levels of youth and minority support provided one element of fortification against big money's influence.
I certainly think this article has merit. President Obama is clearly an exceptional presence, and I also diaried about Planned Parenthood PACs outperforming Rove's. But reform is clearly needed going forward, and Citizen's United joins a list including Plessy v. Ferguson, Dred Scot, and Bowers in the annals of horrible S Ct decisions. And as this article mentioned, outside money did impact the efforts to retake the House.
But this part particularly warmed my soul:
African-American turnout was higher in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida in 2012 than it was in 2008. One Obama staffer said that the reelection team could sense early on that the black community felt emotionally "protective" of the president in addition to being angered by various voter restriction laws pushed by Republican governors. By the time Election Day rolled around, the implications were clear. One campaign volunteer, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said he spent Tuesday getting out the vote in predominantly black neighborhoods in Richmond, Va.
"Every door I knocked on, the person said they either had voted already or were going soon," the volunteer said. "I didn't really have to do much work."
Duplicating that kind of enthusiasm for a candidate that is not Barack Obama will be a challenge; my hope is that a political consciousness has been awakened that will carry over to future elections.