|My husband has been volunteering for Barack Obama in New Hampshire for a few days every other week. He's been putting in 12+ hour days doing whatever needs to get done and is looking for folks to sponsor him. No, he doesn't get the money, the money goes straight to the campaign. Here's his pitch:|
"Remember when you were a kid and you did some charity walk-a-thon where you got sponsored by all of your neighbors who agreed to donate $1 for every lap you walked around some high school track?
Well, I have a similar proposition for you.
I'm committed to spending as much time as possible volunteering for the Obama/Biden campaign in the swing state of New Hampshire (in fact, I'm in Nashua right now). Now ideally I'd love for all of you to join me here in the Granite State or at least join the movement in whatever battleground state is closest to you. But for those of you unable to come out and volunteer to make phone calls, knock on doors, enter data, and do all of the other stuff leading up to the election that will allow us to boost our turnout and win on November 4th, I'm asking you to sponsor me.
I'm asking you to donate $10 to the Obama campaign for every day I spend up here.
It makes sense, because for all the work I do, I eat about $10 worth of campaign donuts and drink $20 worth of campaign coffee every day I'm here.
So please, if you can't give your time, please donate through my fundraising page and sponsor my volunteer time. If I can work 10 hours a day up here, surely you can give $10."
Bill Fletcher, on why we need to support Obama:
"I remain steadfast in support of the Obama candidacy. I do so because I am clear what the candidacy represents and what it does not. One does not have to support a candidate only because s/he represents a fundamental break with the past. Supporting candidates must be decided based upon an assessment of the moment, specifically, the overall balance of forces and the openings that can emerge through the victory of a specific candidate. In that regard, real politics are not the politics of anger and symbolism, but are the politics of coalition building with a long-term objective of changing the balance of power and, ultimately, introducing a new practice of politics.
In order to construct a real strategy, we have to be clear as to what stands before us. Throughout the months of the Obama campaign many activists - myself included - have cautioned against the deification of Barack Obama. Not only has the deification been a problem, it has led to the failure to recognize that receiving mass attention and gaining mass excitement does not equate with a social movement. Yes, people are in motion, but the motion is far from clear. They are looking for something different, but the objectives have not solidified. Rather, the mass base for the campaign rejects the corruption of the last eight years, but also rejects the velvet-covered steel bat of the Clinton era. This, however, does not translate, for example, into a movement against neo-liberal globalization. It is a sentiment for change. This is what distinguishes the candidacy - and its supporters - from a mass social movement.
We, on the Left side of the aisle, can build upon this sentiment if we reject symbolic politics of anger, and, if we are prepared to actually build progressive, grassroots electoral organizations that ally with other social movements. With regard to the symbolic politics of anger, frankly, we should have had enough of 3rd party candidacies that express our outrage with the two mainstream parties. Of course we are outraged, but our outrage, whether through third party candidacies or even many of our street demonstrations, is simply not enough. If we are really angry, then this must translate into a strategy based on the actual conditions we face in the USA.
To do any of this means building an electoral organization, something that too many of us shy away from, perhaps because we do not believe that it amounts to REALLY progressive political work. Lacking organization, we are condemned to howling in the dark, hoping to get someone's attention."