'Campaign of People' Buoys Obama

Candidate, message, technology all combined to take campaign viral
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 25, 2008 12:55 PM CDT
A crowd cheers as they watch the arrival of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., during a campaign stop in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, Saturday, May 24, 2008.    (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s grassroots campaigning is what brought the underdog to the top of the heap, the Chicago Tribune says. His camp’s goal from the start was to dodge the Democratic party’s political machine and address voters directly. “You could see in the first few hours that something was happening,” said the candidate’s web guru of the birth of the site that’s helped bring in some $200 million.

“We wanted this to be a campaign of people,” said campaign manager David Plouffe. The team sought a “holistic relationship” with the public—not just taking in support but speaking to voters through, for example, web videos. Thanks to its bottom-up style, “Obama didn't just defeat any top-down campaign," said a former Howard Dean campaign manager. "He beat the best top-down campaign in Democratic Party history, by far.”