Obama’s Legacy: His Army Of Campaign Volunteers Continues To Serve

 

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South County 4 Obama
South County 4 Obama

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Obama’s Legacy: His Army Of Campaign Volunteers Continues To Serve

January 5, 20174:34 AM ET Scott Horsley – NPR

On a cold night in January nine years ago, Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses. That first big step on the young senator’s unlikely path to the White House was fueled by an army of campaign volunteers, which Obama later called one of his proudest legacies.

“That’s what America needs right now,” Obama told campaign workers a year later, after he was sworn in as president. “Active citizens like you, who are willing to turn towards each other, talk to people you’ve never met, and say, ‘C’mon, let’s go do this. Let’s go change the world.’ ”

There was nothing glamorous about the work those volunteers did for Obama: A lot of knocking on doors and making phone calls. But for many veterans of that first Obama campaign, it’s a time they’ll never forget.

“I’ll be friends with some of those people forever,” says Nathan Blake, who quit his job at a Des Moines law firm to work for the upstart campaign. “We’ve got that shared experience that was super-meaningful and historic and important, and good for our country.”

It wasn’t obvious at the time that the man they were knocking on doors for eventually would make his way to the White House, but even in those early days, Blake was a “true believer.”

He had plenty of company.

Brian Kirschling, who works at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Iowa City, was older than a lot of Obama campaign volunteers, and he’d never been politically active. But by 2007, Kirschling had decided it was time to roll up his sleeves — a decision he explains by quoting Dr. Seuss.

“His quote from The Lorax is, ‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, noting is going to get better. It’s not,'” Kirschling says.

Kirschling became a “precinct captain” for Obama. Children’s books and a Disney video were key parts of his caucus night toolkit for attracting parents with young children.

“In the Iowa caucus,” he says, “it’s about how many people are standing in your corner. I can tell you everybody in that room that had kids was in our corner.”

Aletheia Henry was just out of graduate school in 2007 when she heard a story on the radio about a training camp Obama was running for campaign volunteers. She packed her car and drove from Ohio to Chicago, listening to a tape of Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, along the way.

“By the time I got there I was really hooked,” Henry says.

She wound up working as a field organizer for Obama in eight different states.

“I would show up in a city and not know anyone,” Henry recalls. But she’d be given the name of someone who’d volunteered to let her sleep on their couch. “And they’d have me over and have dinner and talk a little and they’d let me stay there for weeks or months at a time and we’d work together on this democracy.”

After Obama was elected, campaign workers went their separate ways. Nathan Blake spent time in Washington, working for the Agriculture Department. He’s now back in Iowa, doing consumer protection work for the attorney general.

Brian Kirschling, who’d never done much before in politics, decided to run for his local school board. And in a crowded field of nine candidates he made a point of knocking on doors all over the city.

“Which is exactly what I remembered learning with the Obama campaign,” Kirschling says. “It was uncomfortable at times to go into parts of the district that don’t necessarily agree with my opinion. But it allowed me the opportunity to stand on doorsteps or sometimes come into their house and have those conversations.”

Aletheia Henry went on to run Obama’s successful reelection campaign in Pennsylvania. In 2016, she was an adviser to Hillary Clinton’s campaign there, which was not so successful.

“I think these next few years are going to take a lot of conversation,” Henry says, recalling the motto of Obama’s 2008 campaign: “Respect, Empower, Include.”

For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/05/507927467/obamas-legacy-his-army-of-campaign-volunteers-continues-to-serve

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25 thoughts on “Obama’s Legacy: His Army Of Campaign Volunteers Continues To Serve

  1. WH

    Friday, January 6, 2017

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    First Lady Michelle Obama l delivers remarks at the 2017 School Counselor of the Year event
    East Room

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    Vice President Biden opens the joint session of Congress and oversees the Electoral College Vote Count
    House of Representatives

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. Obama’s Legacy: His Army Of Campaign Volunteers Continues To Serve

    January 5, 20174:34 AM ET Scott Horsley – NPR

    On a cold night in January nine years ago, Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses. That first big step on the young senator’s unlikely path to the White House was fueled by an army of campaign volunteers, which Obama later called one of his proudest legacies.

    “That’s what America needs right now,” Obama told campaign workers a year later, after he was sworn in as president. “Active citizens like you, who are willing to turn towards each other, talk to people you’ve never met, and say, ‘C’mon, let’s go do this. Let’s go change the world.’ ”

    There was nothing glamorous about the work those volunteers did for Obama: A lot of knocking on doors and making phone calls. But for many veterans of that first Obama campaign, it’s a time they’ll never forget.

    “I’ll be friends with some of those people forever,” says Nathan Blake, who quit his job at a Des Moines law firm to work for the upstart campaign. “We’ve got that shared experience that was super-meaningful and historic and important, and good for our country.”

    It wasn’t obvious at the time that the man they were knocking on doors for eventually would make his way to the White House, but even in those early days, Blake was a “true believer.”

    He had plenty of company.

    Brian Kirschling, who works at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Iowa City, was older than a lot of Obama campaign volunteers, and he’d never been politically active. But by 2007, Kirschling had decided it was time to roll up his sleeves — a decision he explains by quoting Dr. Seuss.

    “His quote from The Lorax is, ‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, noting is going to get better. It’s not,'” Kirschling says.

    Kirschling became a “precinct captain” for Obama. Children’s books and a Disney video were key parts of his caucus night toolkit for attracting parents with young children.

    “In the Iowa caucus,” he says, “it’s about how many people are standing in your corner. I can tell you everybody in that room that had kids was in our corner.”

    Aletheia Henry was just out of graduate school in 2007 when she heard a story on the radio about a training camp Obama was running for campaign volunteers. She packed her car and drove from Ohio to Chicago, listening to a tape of Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, along the way.

    “By the time I got there I was really hooked,” Henry says.

    She wound up working as a field organizer for Obama in eight different states.

    “I would show up in a city and not know anyone,” Henry recalls. But she’d be given the name of someone who’d volunteered to let her sleep on their couch. “And they’d have me over and have dinner and talk a little and they’d let me stay there for weeks or months at a time and we’d work together on this democracy.”

    After Obama was elected, campaign workers went their separate ways. Nathan Blake spent time in Washington, working for the Agriculture Department. He’s now back in Iowa, doing consumer protection work for the attorney general.

    Brian Kirschling, who’d never done much before in politics, decided to run for his local school board. And in a crowded field of nine candidates he made a point of knocking on doors all over the city.

    “Which is exactly what I remembered learning with the Obama campaign,” Kirschling says. “It was uncomfortable at times to go into parts of the district that don’t necessarily agree with my opinion. But it allowed me the opportunity to stand on doorsteps or sometimes come into their house and have those conversations.”

    Aletheia Henry went on to run Obama’s successful reelection campaign in Pennsylvania. In 2016, she was an adviser to Hillary Clinton’s campaign there, which was not so successful.

    “I think these next few years are going to take a lot of conversation,” Henry says, recalling the motto of Obama’s 2008 campaign: “Respect, Empower, Include.”

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/05/507927467/obamas-legacy-his-army-of-campaign-volunteers-continues-to-serve

  3. Four Freedoms – 76th Anniversary

    The Four Freedoms were goals articulated by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) on January 6, 1941. In an address known as the Four Freedoms speech (technically the 1941 State of the Union address), he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people "everywhere in the world" ought to enjoy:

    * Freedom of speech
    * Freedom of worship
    * Freedom from want
    * Freedom from fear

    Roosevelt delivered his speech 11 months before the United States declared war on Japan, December 8, 1941. The State of the Union speech before Congress was largely about the national security of the United States and the threat to other democracies from world war that was being waged across the continents in the eastern hemisphere. In the speech, he made a break with the tradition of United States non-interventionism that had long been held in the United States. He outlined the U.S. role in helping allies already engaged in warfare.

    In that context, he summarized the values of democracy behind the bipartisan consensus on international involvement that existed at the time. A famous quote from the speech prefaces those values: "As men do not live by bread alone, they do not fight by armaments alone." In the second half of the speech, he lists the benefits of democracy, which includes economic opportunity, employment, social security, and the promise of "adequate health care". The first two freedoms, of speech and religion, are protected by the First Amendment in the United States Constitution. His inclusion of the latter two freedoms went beyond the traditional Constitutional values protected by the U.S. Bill of Rights. Roosevelt endorsed a broader human right to economic security and anticipated what would become known decades later as the "human security" paradigm in social science and economic development. He also included the "freedom from fear" against national aggression before the idea of a United Nations for this protection was envisioned or discussed by world leaders and allied nations.

    For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_freedoms

  4. U.S. Payrolls Rise 156,000 as Wages Increase Most Since 2009

    January 6, 2017, 5:30 AM PST January 6, 2017, 5:46 AM PST by Sho Chandra – bloomberg

    The U.S. labor market turned in a solid performance at the end of 2016, putting job gains above 2 million for a sixth year as paychecks rose by the most during the current expansion.

    The 156,000 increase in December payrolls followed a 204,000 rise in November that was bigger than previously estimated, a Labor Department report showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 175,000 advance. The jobless rate ticked up to 4.7 percent as the labor force grew, and wages rose 2.9 percent from December 2015.

    For moe: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-06/u-s-payrolls-rise-156-000-as-wages-increase-most-since-2009

  5. January 06, 2017

    Remarks by the President in Vox Live Interview

    Blair House

    11:15 A.M. EST

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Good morning.

    MS. KLIFF: Good morning.

    MR. KLEIN: Thank you for being here.

    THE PRESIDENT: It is great to be here. And thank you so much for all the good reporting you guys have been doing on this important issue.

    MR. KLEIN: Thank you.

    MS. KLIFF: So we will get started. So there was an expectation that was shared among many of your staff, many congressional Democrats, that as the Affordable Care Act rolled out, as it delivered benefits to millions of people, that it would become more popular. It would be safe from repeal or even substantial reform. And it appears at this point that doesn’t seem to be quite true. What do you think that theory got wrong? Why didn’t the health care law become more popular?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, let’s back up and say from the start there’s a reason why for a hundred years no President could get expansion of health care coverage beyond the work that had been done for Medicare and Medicaid, targeting primarily seniors. And the reason was that this is hard. The health care system is big; it is very personal. Families I think recognize the need for health insurance, but it’s not something that they think about except when things go wrong — when you have an accident or you’re sick. And so any costs, particularly at a time when families are feeling stressed economically, any added costs, higher premiums, higher co-pays, all that ends up having real impacts on families.

    And so the challenge of getting it passed was always the fact that, unlike other advanced countries, we didn’t start with a system in which everybody was covered, and we have a very complicated marketplace, and we have third-party insurers. And what that meant was that even after we got the law passed anything that dissatisfied people about the health care system could be attributed to — quote, unquote — “Obamacare,” even if it had nothing to do with Obamacare. And that was something that we recognized even when we were trying to get the law passed.

    The other thing is the fact that the unwillingness of Republicans in Congress and around the country, including some governors, to, after the fight was over, say, all right, let’s try to make this work — the way Democrats did during the time when President Bush tried to expand the prescription drug program, Part D — meant that the public never heard from those who had originally been opposed any concession that, you know what, this is actually doing some good. And that ends up affecting public opinion.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/06/remarks-president-vox-live-interview

    • President Obama ‘Heartbroken’ for Victims’ Families After Fort Lauderdale Shooting

      Jan 6, 2017, 6:43 PM ET By NICKI ROSSOLL – cbs

      In his first comments on today’s horrific shooting at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport in Florida, which left at least five people dead, President Obama said he is “heartbroken” for the families of the victims.

      “I don’t want to comment on it other than just to say how heartbroken we are for the families who’ve been affected,” Obama told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview that will air Sunday on “This Week,” when asked if the shooting was an act of terrorism.

      The shooting at a baggage claim at the airport left eight other people injured before the suspected gunman was taken into custody, according to officials.

      “These kinds of tragedies have happened too often during the years that I’ve been president,” Obama said. “The pain, the grief, the shock that they must be going through is enormous.”

      He also said that he has asked his staff to reach out to the mayor to make sure efforts are coordinated between state and local officials.

      “I think we’ll find out over the next 24 hours exactly how this happened and what motivated this individual,” Obama added.

  6. January 06, 2017

    Statement by the President on the Celebration of Orthodox Christmas

    Michelle and I wish a joyful Christmas to Orthodox Christians in the United States and around the world. During this sacred season, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and reflect on the commandment that we love one another as He has loved us. We are grateful for the many ways in which Orthodox Christians have shown such love to their neighbors and strengthened both religious and civic bonds. As worship services take place in churches across the nation and around the world, we reaffirm our commitment to protect the universal and inalienable right of all people to practice their faith and stand in solidarity with communities and congregations that have been persecuted and subjected to violent attacks. As we enter this new year, we join our Orthodox brothers and sisters in praying and working for peace and justice.

  7. 1:00 PM EST
    Vice President Biden opens the joint session of Congress and oversees the Electoral College Vote Count
    House of Representatives

  8. WH

    Saturday, January 7, 2017

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama departs the White House
    South Lawn

    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews

    President Obama arrives Jacksonville, FL

    President Obama attends the wedding of Marvin Nicholson and Helen Pajcic
    Private Residence, Jacksonville, FL

    President Obama departs Jacksonville, FL

    President Obama arrives Joint Base Andrews

    President Obama arrives the White House
    South Lawn

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  9. President Obama To Attend Aide’s Wedding Saturday In Florida

    JANUARY 6, 2017, 5:12 PM EDT By ASSOCIATED PRESS

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama plans a quick trip to Florida on Saturday to attend the wedding of a longtime aide who wears several hats.

    Marvin Nicholson is the White House trip director and personal aide to the president. He’s also one of Obama’s most frequent golf partners.

    Nicholson and his fiancee, Helen Pajcic, are tying the knot at an evening ceremony in Jacksonville, Florida.

    Pajcic’s LinkedIn profile identifies her as a special assistant for vocational and adult education at the U.S. Department of Education

    Both worked on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign before they joined the administration.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest didn’t identify the soon-to-wed White House staffer when he announced the trip on Friday. Nicholson and Pajcic’s wedding website gave them away.

  10. January 05, 2017

    President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to Ghana to Attend the Inauguration of His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo

    President Barack Obama today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to Ghana to attend the Inauguration of His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo on January 7, 2017 in Accra, Ghana.

    The Honorable Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, will lead the delegation.

    Members of the Presidential Delegation

    The Honorable Robert Jackson, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana, U.S. Department of State

    The Honorable Karen Bass, U.S. House of Representatives (CA-37)

  11. Weekly Address: President Obama’s Farewell Address to the Nation

    Remarks of President Barack Obama as Delivered
    Weekly Address
    The White House

    December 31, 2016

    Happy New Year, everybody. At a time when we turn the page on one year and look ahead to the future, I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for everything you’ve done to make America stronger these past eight years.

    Just eight years ago, as I prepared to take office, our economy teetered on the brink of depression. Nearly 800,000 Americans were losing their jobs each month. In some communities, nearly one in five folks were out of work. Almost 180,000 troops were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden was still at large. And on challenges from health care to climate change, we’d been kicking the can down the road for way too long.

    Eight years later, you’ve told a different story. We’ve turned recession into recovery. Our businesses have created 15.6 million new jobs since early 2010 – and we’ve put more people back to work than all other major advanced economies combined. A resurgent auto industry has added nearly 700,000 jobs, and is producing more cars than ever. Poverty is falling. Incomes are rising. In fact, last year, folks’ typical household income rose by $2,800, that’s the single biggest increase on record, and folks at the bottom and middle saw bigger gains than those at the top.

    Twenty million more Americans know the financial security of health insurance. Our kids’ high school graduation rate is at an all-time high. We’ve brought 165,000 troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and took out Osama bin Laden. Through diplomacy, we shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program, opened up a new chapter with the people of Cuba, and brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could save this planet for our kids. Almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago. And marriage equality is finally a reality from coast to coast.

    We’ve made extraordinary progress as a country these past eight years. And here’s the thing: none of it was inevitable. It was the result of tough choices we made, and the result of your hard work and resilience. And to keep America moving forward is a task that falls to all of us. Sustaining and building on all we’ve achieved – from helping more young people afford a higher education, to ending discrimination based on preexisting conditions, to tightening rules on Wall Street, to protecting this planet for our kids – that’s going to take all of us working together. Because that’s always been our story – the story of ordinary people coming together in the hard, slow, sometimes frustrating, but always vital work of self-government.

    It’s been the privilege of my life to serve as your President. And as I prepare to take on the even more important role of citizen, know that I will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that this country forever strives to live up to the incredible promise of our founding – that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve every chance to live out our dreams. And from the Obama family to yours – have a happy and blessed 2017.

  12. WH

    Sunday, January 8,, 2017

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    Vice President Biden attends a event for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
    Los Angeles, CA

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
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  13. Meryl Streep rips Trump at Golden Globes

    01/08/17 10:54 PM EST By REBECCA MORIN – politico

    Actress Meryl Streep on Sunday called out President-elect Donald Trump during a speech at the Golden Globes — without even mentioning his name.

    Streep, who was being honored with a lifetime achievement award, alluded to Trump’s proposal for a stricter vetting process for immigrants and slammed him for mocking New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski.

    “An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people and let you feel what that feels like… there was one performance this year that stunned me,” said the actress, who was also nominated for her performance in “Florence Foster Jenkins.” “It sank its hooks in my heart. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter — someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to right back. It kind of broke my heart.”

    Streep continued by saying: “This instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence invites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

    During her nearly six-minute speech, Streep also urged in her speech to support the Committee to Protect Journalists “because we are going to need them going forward.”

    “This brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution.”

    The Committee to Protect Journalists responded on Twitter: “Thank you Meryl Streep for your generosity & support of our mission to protect journalists and press freedom around the world #GoldenGlobes

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