How Will This Baby Run?

Ok, so NLinStPaul wrote an essay back in October entitled Let’s see how this baby runs … and I recall being struck by the fact Obama has built his own grass roots political machine — one that eventually helped him win the Presidency of the United States.

And today I’m reading Al Giordano’s Daily Kos diary, Bipartisanship Isn’t “Weak” and Partisanship Isn’t “Tough” and I’m bickering with some of the commenters who can’t see the forest for the trees because they got hung up on the title and the first paragraphs about approval ratings and such — bickering because they just plain missed the story, which is this:

More consequentially for the long run, he would have lost the moral authority to do what the next few days will bring: the jump-start of Organizing for America (300 of 3,200 house meetings nationwide begin today), a Monday trip to “fire up” the crowds in Indiana, a Tuesday visit to make public opinion “ready to go” in Florida (and a national media narrative set through both events), all leading up to Tuesday’s Senate vote on the Stimulus Bill and the subsequent House-Senate conference committee machinations. What the Obama camp knows – it proved this time and time again in 2008 – is that to exercise maximum force at the moment of decision means taking care to not peak too soon.

From NL’s essay:

Last Friday, the Washington Post reported on a “pep talk” that Obama gave to about 750 volunteers in Columbus, Ohio.

“We’re coming around the turn,” he said. “America recognizes that at this time in history, with so much at stake, with the economy nose-diving, with two wars and the threat of terrorism, the threat of climate change, we need to do something fundamentally different. And all of you are the shock troops.”

Obama acknowledged that his campaign is trying a new model of organizing volunteers and turning out the vote, and said it is now time “to really make this thing work.”

“We’ve been designing and we’ve been engineering and we’ve been at the drawing board and we’ve been tinkering, and we’ve been — now it’s time to just take it for a drive,” he said. “Let’s see how this baby runs.”

What will be even more exciting than seeing how this baby runs on election day, will be to see how this kind of engagement by so many people in “community organizing” changes things afterwards.

(I’m not sure the LA Times link still works but I put it in anyway).

Today it’s starting, and NL’s question will soon be answered.  Today there are folks all across the country having house parties to help work on the stimulus bill.  This is an entirely new political machine.  Like it or hate it, it’s sure something to watch.

As an aside, I found the website Giordano linked not to be very snazzy for this blogger.  I do think bloggers can help these folks on the tech end (for one thing, I don’t want to click on a state to find out information and find it’s a pdf without warning!).

I have to say, this has me curious.  Very high stakes are being played here.


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  1. … a story here.  I don’t think either the MSM or the liberal blogs really grasp what is happening.

    I’d sure like to know more as well and thank NL for calling my attention to this.

  2. Giordano regularly for awhile now to try and understand his perspective as a community organizer (his site, The Field, is now on our blogroll – thanks OTB!) He can certainly be tough on the naysayers – but I think he has something important to say.

    I don’t know if all this will become completely apparent this week. I know I’ll be watching too. But the one thing I’ve learned from reading Giordano is that movement organizing is for the long run. Whenever it becomes apparent – it will be a force to be reckoned with!

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