Great weekend for Obama

/ 11 February 2008

Barack Obama’s campaign won ALL of the contests this weekend, and by bigger margins than expected. Yes We Can. But here’s a blog entry that helps to explain why, I think. It’s worth reading not only the entry, but the pieces linked within it (like this one), because it gives “on the ground” descriptions of college students’ experiences with the Clinton and Obama campaigns. Consider this:

"A simple cursory search of campaign visits to Washington by Clinton and Obama show another contrast in their respective campaigns. Clinton has focused more on the big-ticket fundraisers here, while Obama speaks at area Community Colleges and High schools. (See Connelly's blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer here to read more). I’m not saying that Obama doesn’t do his share of fundraising. According to Postman Obama is the first candidate to break the $1 million mark in fundraising in W.A., but who is giving?</p>

A look here the Center for Responsive Politics website called Open Secrets. They give a list of donor demographics for 2008. Notice how most of Obama’s donors are giving in the $200+ category. Clinton’s numbers show quite the opposite trend with the majority of her donors giving in sums exceeding $2,300. "</blockquote>

It's not simply the money, though, it's the way in which the campaign treats volunteers. As the professor who wrote this post notes,

"Viewing all this through the lens of faith: To ignore these young people is akin to ignoring the stranger. Time and again we tell young people -- implicitly or explicitly -- that they aren't important, that they don't matter as much as older adults, that in time they'll grow up. What the Obama campaign did in response to my students is to value them as equally as anyone else. In the words of Giertz in an email to me today: "Why should I treat journalism students any differently than journalists?" Why indeed?

This experience is just one, but since I posted the piece on kos I've heard from several people of similar positive interactions with the Obama campaign and dismissive interactions with the Clinton campaign. I always look for many data points in whether people live out their faith talk. What I saw with Obama's campaign these past few weeks is that they welcomed in young strangers. To their benefit, of course. But they did it, and they did it well. I thank them for their treatment of my students, and I now have one very important data point."