Let's Hear It for the Heroes of the Obama Triumph
There were many heroes in last week’s glorious election triumph. Barack Obama himself, of course, who maintained his cool, honesty, eloquence and vision in the face of nasty attacks and lies. But don’t forget his vast campaign staff, down to the numerous field organizers. I met two of them – Lindsay Randall and Isaac Goldberg, both in their 20s, both from New York's Westchester County, both working in northeast Philadelphia, both putting their lives on hold for this vital cause. If they are representative of Obama field organizers nationwide, this was quite an impressive operation indeed. And if they are representative of their generation, I will have to abandon my knee-jerk cynicism and weep with joy, with hope for the future. They were so focused, so committed, so inspirational in marshalling their troops, I’m sure they could have gotten Sarah Palin herself to get out and canvass for Obama.
But I have to add a local hero to the mix – Stuart Cadenhead of Hastings, N.Y., who was tireless in his barrage of emails urging volunteers to make one more trip to Pennsylvania, make one more round of calls, attend one more fund-raiser, always with a meticulous listing of the possibilities. Without his daily emails, I feel now like a jilted lover. A huge thanks to Lindsay, Isaac, Stuart and thousands of others.
Finally, a quick reality check. Various articles and commentators have said that Obama’s victory shows that voters have, en masse, rejected attack ads, moved beyond racism, and embraced a new direction. Nonsense. Some 57 million people – 57 million! – voted for a willing accomplice in most parts of the Bush catastrophe, who ran perhaps the most despicable of all gutter campaigns, and a running mate who was not remotely qualified to be president. We were saved from disaster, we elected a man who might well become a truly transformative leader, by a relatively small margin. Make no mistake: Those “low-information” hordes are still out there. (Don’t believe me? A new poll shows 64 percent of Republicans favoring Palin as the 2012 nominee.) There’s still work to do.
Tags: Obama , Palin , McCain , Election , Field Organizers
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