Yesterday marked my first day as an Organising Fellow with the Obama campaign. This post will only be a quick summary of some thoughts and observations.
- It’s Conference season at the moment — the Republican one just gone, and the Democratic Conference was under-way yesterday. The DNC goes for three days, with Obama accepting the nomination on Thursday.
- Everything in the US is on a massive scale. Massachusetts for example, while a fairly small state relative to large ones like Texas or California, is still huge compared to Australian standards. And the campaigns mimic that.
- The field campaign for Obama is already impressive. A key element for the conference is to organise house parties to encourage Obama supporters to watch his nomination speech. This is a great initiative and really positive. There’s over ninety house parties in Massachusetts, and the field campaign is working on overdrive to make sure they’re as successful as possible.
- Massachusetts is such as (small-l) liberal state that most of their attention is aimed at encouraging Obama supporters to volunteer up in New Hampshire, the local swing state. I’ll be headed up there most weekends.
- I watched some of the DNC conference last night, in particular Julian Castro’s speech and Michelle Obama’s speech. Something that is very clear in the US is that the campaigns have worked very hard to craft compelling narratives about their spokespeople. A strong narrative helps bind the disparate policies together, and even though all the speeches were very, very cheesy, the strength of those narratives and the vast scale of the conference itself, helped make it all work.
- If you’re interested in the polling, take a look at the Five Thirty Eight blog and Politico’s helpful web page.
- In case you thought that the Presidential election is the only election on in Boston at the moment, think again. A whole host of city-based elections are taking place. Additionally, there is a close Senate contest between challenger Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Tea Party Republican senator Scott Brown, which is a lot closer than everyone thought it would be. (I don’t know who is challenging Dello Russo.)