[Charlie Burr: This guest post was just sent to me from local organizer Emily Kintzer, one of the many folks who helped Obama win the most delegates today.]
What do you get when you mix 10 Oregonian politicos under the age of 29, 17-degree weather, an endless supply of cookies and the Nevada Voter Activation Network? A victory for Barack Obama in Carson City, Nevada.
Most of the 10 of us are brand-new to politics. We all met each other volunteering for the Bus Project and have somewhere between four days and 5 years of experience in grassroots campaigns. Though our overarching reason for making this 12-hour drive twice over the space of four days was to support a candidate we believe in and to drum up support in a critically early caucus state, we also came here to learn. How does a presidential campaign in a Republican-leaning caucus state differ from a state legislative campaign in a swing district in Oregon? How would the character of the campaigns with which we, as Bus people -- young, idealistic and numbers-driven -- are so familiar differ from the style of the Obama for America team?
Well, we discovered that they aren't really much different at all. It's the same scramble to cut turf, frenzy of volunteers and chronically understaffed offices. It's the same constant re-strategizing, creating indelible bonds with your co-workers that no one else in your life can quite understand, and getting inspired by the conversations with voters that are the heart and soul of your work. And, ultimately, it's the same opportunity for 10 people to have a determinative impact. The precincts we hit posted record turnout numbers and Carson City went to Obama with 51 percent to Hillary's 43.
The point? Maybe a small group of thoughtful, committed people can also change presidential campaigns. (OK, it would probably have to be several small groups. But still.)