Skip to main content

Today I met up with about 100 Obama supporters in Chico, California for a campaign strategy session. This was my first political strategy session (and this is my first diary), so follow me after the fold to see what this political newbie saw and learned today.

The Chico Obama headquarters originally planned on meeting up with about a dozen supporters after the Republican convention to plan strategies for the home stretch of the campaign.

Instead, as a direct result of the negativity and nastiness of the Republican convention, along with the infuriating nomination of Sarah Palin, some 90-100 fired-up supporters, many of them political newcomers like myself, crowded together on a sunny Sunday afternoon to find out what they could do.  The session was everything you'd expect from an Obama event: High-spirited, well-organized and highly focused.  

After a few introductory remarks about the importance of this election we were randomly broken into small groups of 7-8 people where we each spoke personally about how we came to support Obama.  Now, I am not a "group" person. I prefer working alone and have done phone-banking from home, but I found myself getting fired up all over again listening to other people's reasons for supporting Obama.  I was particularly impressed with a young black educator in my break-out group who spoke quietly but passionately about not getting caught up in all the distractions the Republicans are throwing at the electorate, and the need for staying focused on the issues.  We can win on the issues, so do not get diverted by the outrageousness of Republican lies and attacks.  After all, Obama isn't getting distracted!

I heard many people there say they had never gotten involved in a campaign before but were so furious and personally insulted by Sarah Palin's nomination that they simply had to take action now.

Sarah Palin has been a great fundraiser....for the Democrats. Democrats raised $10 million in the 24 hours after her speech, while Republicans raised $1 million.

Sarah Palin has energized the base... OURS. In my husband's break-out group, five women were former Hillary supporters who had never shown up for a political meeting in their lives, and they were on fire.

We returned to the large group where action options were laid out. There was good-natured competition as each team leader tried to convince us to join their action group. The person in charge of canvassing outlined plans for both local canvassing and groups traveling to Nevada to work in sister precincts, where each person would be paired with a local volunteer to go door to door. The woman in charge of voter registration laid out the case for why we should register as many new voters as possible, as well as the best places to set up booths in Chico.  The man in charge of phone-banking argued his case for the importance of making calls to Nevada. I learned that people are 60% more likely to actually vote if they have told a volunteer they will do so.  We were encouraged to sign up with the group and the actions we were most comfortable with.

I met with the phone-banking group where I learned how to talk from the heart and without a script, moving as quickly as possible to finding out what that person on the other end of the phone is most concerned about and giving them the facts they need to make  a reasoned decision.  Well-prepared fact sheets were handed out and potential voter questions were role-played. I signed up for 2 hours of phone banking a week at headquarters from now until the election, and I'm going to knock myself out to put in more time than that.  I bring my lap top; they provide the phones and the voter lists.

I saw people turning their frustration and anger into action, not apathy.  There was no armchair quarterbacking going on here.  Here on DailyKos it's all too easy to get caught up in the "concerns" and the attacks and the distractions.

But I have never felt better about Obama's chances than I do today.  Obama is right: It's not about him.

It's about us.

Originally posted to smileycreek's corner on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:53 PM PDT.

Poll

What are YOU going to do in the next 57 days to get Obama elected?

9%8 votes
4%4 votes
18%16 votes
4%4 votes
31%27 votes
3%3 votes
6%6 votes
0%0 votes
4%4 votes
17%15 votes

| 87 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site