From my house I can see the dark cloud of political op-ed articles that was formed across the border when Hillary Clinton conceded the nomination. This turn of events was not unexpected. The political stunts that Hillary pulled in the final weeks of the primaries range from merely condescending to outright bone-headed. However, it turns out that Clinton’s fate was sealed many months ago as she organized her campaign.
An article in the March Rolling Stone told the story of the Obama Campaign. While Hillary Clinton favored paid organizers and top down management approaches, the Obama campaign relied on social networking websites and thousands of volunteer organizers. The Campaign’s own website, MyBo, served as an information clearing house. Organizers could get in contact with other supporters in their area for whatever they needed, be it rallies, letter-writing campaigns, or voting road trips. Working from a basic framework outlined at various three day training seminars, Obama’s front-line campaign workers were allowed to make crucial decisions on how to get this man into the whitehouse. That whiff of self-determination has given the Obama Campaign energy that Clinton could not hope to duplicate. She was content to let her supporters stand around and clap when she should have been offering them the tools to change the entire country.
The Clinton, McCain and the rest of the old guard politicians wasted their time either buying or stealing the kind of intellectual and political capital that Obama gets for free. I believe that the reason Obama is vague on certain issues is that he expects the electorate to do his thinking for him. In a democracy, this is a good thing. If people feel that they’ll be listened to, that an exchange is taking place, then they feel a gratifying sense of responsibility for what the other person is thinking. The actions of your Mayor, your Member of Parliament, your President are now dependent on what you have to say right now. That is the point when people stop thinking about what their country can do for them, and start thinking about what they can do for their country.