A community organizer

In a former life I was a community organizer. I ran a small non-profit organization that sought to develop a network of faith communities to serve senior citizens. I loved the job and I think I had the talents to pull it off. The only problem I had was my age and inexperience - but we still managed to pull off some good things with the talented board of directors I worked with.

That having been said, I know that one of the criticisms leveled against Senator Obama during the campaign was that his big experience and accomplishments were founded during his days as a community organizer and that he had not done much in the political arena since then. This is a decent criticism for someone looking to be President of the United States, but I am not so sure about community organizing being less than political. It definitely is. Defending Obama's experience is the not the purpose of this post however.

What his experience has allowed him to do is to mount and execute two flawless campaigns: one for the nomination and one for the presidency itself. He beat Senator Clinton because he out-organized her and the same can be said in his campaign against Senator McCain. At the same time he has amassed quite a grass-roots network that he is beginning to tap now for political muscle. Of course, grass-roots networks are more unwieldy than campaign staff, but if the past is any indication of the future, I think Obama has the brains and the experience to pull it off.

I know that he was not the sole architect of his campaigns and I am sure that there were mistakes made along the way, but you have to hand it to Senator Obama. Not only did he mobilize people unlike any other presidential candidate in history, he is seeking to consolidate them into a force that has never been seen before. That is what a good community organizer does - and he has done it very well indeed.


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