July 26, 2008

Obama's Kumbaya Organizers

(St. Louis, Missouri) According to a report in the WaPo, voter registration volunteers for Barack Obama were told during St. Louis training sessions to canvas the public with a line of personal, heart-plucking stories about why Obama should be viewed as a prophecy fulfilled. Think politics by anecdote.

During training, the volunteers are "encouraged to perfect their stories, a short narrative suitable for doorsteps and living rooms about where they came from and why they care about Obama."

There have been 23 formal training sessions in 17 states, producing more than 3,000 Obama volunteers agreeing to work at least six 30-hour weeks bolstering the grass-roots effort.

More than 10,000 people applied for slots as "Obama Organizing Fellows" and about 5,500 were interviewed by telephone, answering such questions as "Why Barack?"
Obama state director Buffy Wicks and field director Peachy Myers run the recruiting effort out of St. Louis, screening and training the mostly 20-something volunteers.

Neither Buffy nor Peachy disputed the contention that the Obama campaign is largely Kumbaya-themed. Buffy said, "for us it's about winning."

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