Reviewing the campaign of 2008, I have concluded that the #1 reason for his success was his ability to get out the vote:
- In North Carolina Obama has a whopping 45 field offices. McCain claims 40, but these are simply local Republican Party offices, which have to handle local and congressional races as well.
Obama's offices are his own. Each one is typically led by a paid staffer, but nearly all the work is done by the 17,000 volunteers Obama has recruited in the state. (The Republicans won't say how many volunteers they have.)
Some of Obama's volunteers sign up the old-fashioned way, in person. Others volunteer online. In their local corner of the Obama Web site, they can meet other Obamaphiles and arrange to knock on specific doors in their neighborhood.
They can download information about who lives in each house, which party they belong to and what they told the last phone canvasser. They can update this information each time they meet a voter. They can also spend hours on the Web site chatting with like-minded people, watching the candidate's speeches and uploading their own Barack-related videos.
- Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.
And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.
I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities.