Obama’s organizing for hope

/ 7 March 2008

Great article in RollingStone about the “marriage of online community with on the ground operations” in the Obama campaign:

According to David Axelrod, the campaign's chief strategist, the bottom-up ethos of the campaign comes straight from the top. "When we started this race, Barack told us that he wanted the campaign to be a vehicle for involving people and giving them a stake in the kind of organizing he believed in," Axelrod says. "He is still the same guy who came to Chicago as a community organizer twenty-three years ago. The idea that we can organize together and improve our country — I mean, he really believes that."
For Axelrod, a veteran of old-school politics, tapping the potential of the Internet meant changing the established notion of how a campaign runs. "Part of this new era of politics has been learning how to surrender command-and-control aspects of the campaign," he says. "If you really want grass-roots participation, then you have to give folks at the grass roots some autonomy to do this in their own way. We had hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people who wanted to do things. The challenge was: How do you marshal them in an organized fashion?"