Entries in Obama for America (3)


As Election Looms, Obama Dishes Out Advice to His Volunteers Via Webcam

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages(LAS VEGAS) -- With 55 days until the election, President Obama invoked his deep roots in political organizing, for the first time joining his campaign’s monthly video conference call to rally thousands of his grassroots volunteers and offer tips for success.

“I hope everybody is as determined as I am, as energized as I am,” Obama said Wednesday night from a computer Web camera backstage at his Las Vegas rally. The appearance was broadcast online nationwide.

“You guys are heart and soul of this campaign and you’ve been for a very long time. Dating back to 2007, 2008 some of you’ve been involved for years now in the campaign … every step of way you’ve been there and my main message today first and foremost is just to say thank you,” he said.

Campaign sources say they had expected between 2,000 and 4,000 volunteers to dial into the video conference from around the country, but ended up with 6,000. Most of them were “team leaders” in the Obama organization, tasked with organizing volunteers and building the organization, an official said.

They received from the Grassroots Organizer-in-Chief a primer in how to get votes.

"Here’s the deal,” Obama said. “2008 was so special that in some ways people naturally registered, naturally turned out. This time we’re coming off of three and half years of really difficult economic times. There are folks some places that feel discouraged. And it's not as trendy maybe to participate as it was in 2008. So even though we’ve really done a great job hitting our voter registration numbers, we’ve got to push. … Keep in mind the other side have millionaires and billionaires who are writing $10 million checks and running non-stop ads. We’re being outspent 3-1, 5-1 in some of these places. The good news is money like that is not going to beat great people on the ground who know their neighbors, know their friends and believe in what they’re doing. But they can beat us if we are not on the case.”

On developing leaders inside his own campaign, Obama said there was one simple rule to follow: “Listen more than you talk.”

"If all you’re doing is just telling them you got to vote for Obama because x-y-z but you’re not asking people what are they going through, and what struggles and challenges are they experiencing, they’re not going to be as engaged,” he counseled. “People step up to meet these challenges particularly if they have got the support of other people who are interested in the same mission.”

On voter registration, Obama seemed to take a swipe at the voter ID laws now being challenged in various states.  “Our job is to try to make it as easy as possible for people to exercise that franchise, that’s what we are all about,” Obama said. “Just from a practical point of view … there are a bunch of states where if turnout is like it was in 2010, we lose, if turn out is like it was in 2008, we win. And so its pretty straight forward. If you’re in … all the battleground states basically, the difference between us winning or losing that state and then the difference between us winning and losing the elections as a whole may come down to a few  thousand votes. So that person you register could end up being a deciding factor,” he said, almost with a dire tone.

Obama signed off with his campaign slogan: “Good job. Keep it up. Forward.”

Obama first joined a volunteer teleconference on his birthday in 2011.  The campaign has been holding them monthly with volunteers around the country since Obama For America has been operating. Other big names to join the line include first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaign Courts Latino Voters -- President Obama’s re-election campaign is stepping up efforts to mobilize Latino voters — a key Democratic voting bloc — launching its first Spanish-language TV and radio ads of the 2012 election and a new grassroots organizing group “Latinos for Obama.”

The ads, which will air in the battleground states of Nevada, Colorado and Florida, present positive looks at Obama’s record on economic and education policies that Democrats say have benefited Latino communities.

The spots feature personal testimonials from Latino supporters of Obama, talking about why they are organizing for his re-election.

The campaign says “Latinos for Obama” is the “largest-ever national effort to communicate to Latino voters and organize and mobilize the Latino vote.”

“It’s no secret that Latinos will be the deciding factor in this election and the outcome will have an impact on the Latino community for years to come,” said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina on a conference call with reporters.

Obama won 67 percent of the Latino vote in 2008.  Most independent analysts say the Republican nominee will need to get around 40 percent of Latino voters in 2012 to win the election.

“Our victory depends on people spreading the word,” Messina said, stressing the importance of voter turnout.

Campaign officials say the new initiative will aggressively expand recruitment of volunteers, voter education and registration and turn out operations for November. Hundreds of grassroots events are planned for the next few weeks, Messina said.

The campaign also plans to deploy high-profile Hispanic Obama surrogates to conduct targeted outreach.  The team includes San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, actress Eva Longoria, and comedian George Lopez.

Republicans have recently touted their efforts to dispatch Hispanic outreach directors to a dozen key battleground states and push an aggressive Spanish-language media campaign in the battle for Latino votes.

Messina said Democrats’ efforts would be more effective and sustained than the Republicans’.

“They’re naming one person per state from what I read, while we’ve had people on the ground for years,” he added.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaign Pushes Vegas Debate Donation ‘Game’

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- You don’t have to be in Las Vegas to gamble away some cash during Tuesday night's GOP presidential debate.

The Obama campaign has concocted an online debate watch game that charges supporters’ credit cards an incremental, predetermined amount each time the candidates say a selected phrase, like “Obamacare,” “9-9-9,” “socialism” and “fence.”

Matthew Barzun, Obama for America national finance committee chairman, says the novelty literally puts “money where their mouth is.”

“As the Republican candidates prattle on about defunding Social Security, ending Medicare as we know it, and everything else they support, they will literally be building this campaign,” Barzun wrote in an email blast to supporters.

“Don’t worry,” he said, “you can set a cap on how much you want to give, in case someone (not saying who) says '9-9-9' two dozen times,” a clear reference to GOP businessman Herman Cain.

So how much would you be on the line if you pulled the lever with $5 dollars down on “9-9-9″ in the last GOP debate?

You’d be on the line for $55, according to an analysis of the debate’s transcript. Cain’s economic plan was mentioned 11 times at the Dartmouth debate, including seven times by Cain himself.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio