I have listened to the likes of Pat Buchanan sneer as they call Barack Obama a ' Community Organizer'.
Well, that 'Community Organizer' just used his skills learned there, and in the trenches of Chicago Politics to defeat the most powerful Democratic Party Political Machine in 25 years.
As a reader at JJP stated:
Barack Obama did what the 'Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy' couldn't do: He beat the Clintons.
And, he learned the foundation of how to do it in the Projects on the South Side of Chicago. Obama learned, through that job, the skill of community organizing. How, when faced with an entity more powerful, that one small voice maybe can't make a difference, but joining together hundreds , then thousands of small voices brings a loud chorus that can't be ignored.
When I went to Camp Obama, we were instructed by one of the men who had taught Obama all those years ago, and this guy was a pistol. He was so on point, and made me sit back and think about what Obama was really trying to do. He was training Community Organizers to go back to their homes and find others to come to the Obama Campaign. It was definitely bottom-up organizing,, and this is how Obama was able to win. One of the articles that we were requested to read at Camp Obama was The New Republic one on Obama being influenced by Saul Alinsky. If you've not read the article, you should, because I thought it was very instructive, but also plays into the foundation of what Obama did.
In order to beat those who have 'The Establishment' on their side, you have to create your own ' Establishment'. Barack Obama had to create his own ' Organization' in every state throughout the country. And, he did, just that.
Obama also learned from his time in Chicago, that you can win in two ways:
1. Get those who have always voted to come over to your side
2. Get those who don't vote to come and vote and make sure you have enough of them to overwhelm Group #1. If you bring a voter to the dance, sure it's possible they might switch partners later on in the dance, but not before you get the dances out of them that you need.
Where did Obama learn this from? Chicago. Basically, this is the story of how Harold Washington won. There were a group of activists who thought it was time for a Black Mayor of Chicago, and they went to Harold. Harold told them: raise me this amount of money, and register this amount of voters, and then come back to talk to me. When they did, Harold kept his word, ran, and the rest is history.
This has been Obama's strategy all along. It has been at the foundation of his calling for crossover voters. It was routinely sneered at by the MSM and Political Professionals, because traditionally, young people do everything but vote, and they have never seen Republicans really crossover for Democrats. When Obama said that just as there have been Reagan Democrats, he wanted there to be Obama Republicans - what Democrat has ever said that in the past 20 years? It's a new way of thinking. It's a new map that Obama wants to create, and he's slamming right up against the conventional political wisdom of the past 20 years.
Though I loathed it, I will admit that Barack Obama benefitted in one way from a long primary season: he was able to build an organization, from the ground up, in all 50 states. He can attempt to compete in places where Democrats used to just give up to the Republicans without a second thought. I believe this is a headstart of huge proportions for him over John McCain.
And, just to think...he learned how to do it in the Projects on the South Side of Chicago.