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Obama Hits the Streets in Grassroots Effort

"What I said" about Obama's performance in the last debate:

Obama did "all right." He doesn't seem to impress people and do as well sharing the stage and spotlight as he does when he's alone. That may hurt him in the polls over next few months. Everyone I've talked to who has met the guy in person walks away blown away with the guy, so maybe it's time for Obama to start walking precincts, and keep walking them until election day.

And now he's off and... walking:

Obama hits streets in intense focus on grass roots

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama hit the streets Saturday in what he said was an unprecedented grass-roots focus as the campaign for the nomination begins to take shape in a handful of states which hold early tests of strength.

"What we are kicking off this weekend is what we are claiming is the biggest grass-roots canvass, this early, in presidential campaign history," said Obama. "We have people canvassing from New York to San Diego, all across the country."

Obama, a first-term senator from neighboring Illinois, joined about 250 volunteers going door-to-door in heavily Catholic Dubuque, part of an intense focus on grass-roots efforts in Iowa, where precinct caucuses traditionally launch the nominating season.

In all, 1,500 backers were spending the weekend banging on doors in 38 cities across the state, including 150 in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids and 250 in Iowa City, all Democratic strongholds where candidates must build campaign organizations to score well in caucuses next winter.

This is far and away his best shot at maintaining his viability as a candidate. He would have sunk into oblivion if he didn't get out there and start walking, and I am totally serious about him walking all the way through election day. I can foresee people lining the streets of his route just to get a chance to shake his hand and talk with him.

He needs to set as his goal the desire to shake every hand in America, young and old, voting-age or not. If he can show America that he's genuine and real then he has a decent shot at this. None of the other candidates has this ability, and Obama should take full advantage of this strength.

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Comments (2)


Maybe he can borrow the famous plaid shirt that Lamar! wore when he went walking for votes.

Paul Hamilton:

Or he could go from location to location in a red pickup truck like Fred Thompson did...

Seriously, I agree that he needs street cred. The academics and pundits love him because he actually gives thoughtful answers to the meaningful issues of the day, and that's just about unheard-of among candidates. But that same sort of intellectual depth can actually work against him by whose job it is to pick hurtful soundbites out of a nuanced answer. If he can make a direct connection with the American people -- like my great political hero, Robert Kennedy did -- then that could give him real momentum from the grassroots.


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