Barack Obama is visiting family in Hawaii and trying to avoid the spotlight as he makes his decision whether to run for President. But it can't be easy to keep to yourself with so many supporters in this state. My father-in-law, for one, spotted Obama at dinner Christmas Eve and stopped to say "Hello Mr. President." And Hawaii Democrats are making sure he knows he's got our full support.
Obama would be our first Hawaii-born President, a major source of pride for a state that's rarely visited in the course of Presidential campaigns. A loose-knit group funded a Hawaii airing of the draftobama.org ad on Christmas Day. Obama-mania is so strong here that even Republicans are asking him to run. More...
At a press conference today by the federal building, Rep. Neil Abercrombie and others pledged to support Obama. Large signs with a 'rubba slippa' were created to tell Obama - "If you run, we'll be your feet." So far, those feet include Abercrombie, former House candidate Brian Schatz, state reps and party activists.
Schatz mentioned in the press conference that organizing for Hawaii is easier than anything he's ever done because Democrats and even Republicans including recently defeated U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hogue were calling to find out how they can help.
I've heard that Hillary is hiring as many experienced campaigners as she can, partly to have the staff, and partly to keep them from working for an opponent. If that is her strategy, then Obama may be relying on new faces and people-power. From today's event though, it looks like there will be plenty of people-power to go around.
Another diary today mentioned that John Edwards has better netroots credentials than Obama. That's probably right to an extent with the individuals that currently make up the netroots. But if and when Senator Obama joins the race, he'll be a candidate to bring hope to the discouraged and political will to the disenfranchised. I hope we'll see some new faces in the netroots as well.