The Winning Factors
The most outstanding feature of Obama's campaign was how it was craftfully organized. Money was important; he rejected Federal funds & seeked to create an expansive donor base.
- Supporters: Facebook founder Chris Hughes was the first step. He helped to develop an innovative Internet fundraising system which collected $650 million from about 3 million users. Obama had a mini country of campaign staff & volunteers who worked to obtain key data for the election. The website drew people in to contribute & Obama had enough money to face the cost of buying airtime which is one of the most crucial branches of the campaign. Ads were not restricted to airtime: Obama could afford ad-space embedded in video games; stretching the Republican campaign fund thinner as they bid to keep up.
- Strategy: The man himself is a very appealing individual; a superb orator, a self-made family man: certainly a more wholesome image as compared to McCain who divorced the wife who waited for him through the Vietnam war, married an heiress & couldn't remember how many houses he has. This appeal has pulled in many new voters: more than 29 million people voted in 30 states before election day; plus adding new Democrat voters: more than 29 million registered in Florida alone.
- Anti-Bush candidate: With the negative effects of the Bush administration still coursing through many Americans, Obama was in a primed position to promise change; a position McCain was unable to achieve. Obama connected more deeply with the minority groups, certainly the blacks, the younger voters, the Hispanics & Jews that were formerly mostly Republican.
The Road Ahead
Winning the election was no easy task. Fulfilling the promises he made that, in a way, helped him to get into office will be far more challenging than any electoral campaign. The road ahead is a long & challenging one:
- The Promises: He has promised a tax cut for 95% of Americans, better access to health care, more teachers with improved salaries, etc.
- Economic crisis: A lot of repair is needed to improve the US economy; he will be inheriting a budget deficit of hundreds of billions a yr & a national debt that's expected to hit the $11 trillion mark.
- The Vision: His vision for America is to unite all Americans; the young & the old, the black & the white, the rich & the poor, the gay & the straight; to work together for a common purpose. Racial tension is still prominent in the US & this is an issue he has to face to achieve that vision.
- Foreign policy: The withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the complex conflict between Iran & Israel, Afghanistan, Palestine: he will probably be just as tested by these issues as Mr. Bush was.
Barack Obama has promised change; only time will tell if he will be able to realize the promises he's made not only to America, but also to the world. I have faith in Mr. Obama & that we could not ask for a better man to lead America out of this troubling times & into the light. Rowie wishes him all the best & may he bring positive change for the US & the globe.