When the race for the Democratic nomination for president, Hillary Clinton was well ahead of everyone else in pretty much all metrics. So what happened? How did Obama win - and win handily - at the end?
Karen Tumulty wrote this interesting behind-the-scenes of the Obama campaign for TIME magazine:
How did he do it? How did Obama become the first Democratic insurgent in a generation or more to knock off the party's Establishment front runner? Facing an operation as formidable as Clinton's, Obama says in an interview, "was liberating ... What I'd felt was that we could try some things in a different way and build an organization that reflected my personality and what I thought the country was looking for. We didn't have to unlearn a bunch of bad habits."
When Betsy Myers first met with Obama in his Senate office on Jan. 3, 2007, about two weeks before he announced he was forming an exploratory committee to run for President, Obama laid down three ruling principles for his future chief operating officer: Run the campaign with respect; build it from the bottom up; and finally, no drama. Myers was struck by how closely Obama had studied the two campaigns of George W. Bush. "He said he wanted to run our campaign like a business," says Myers. And in a good business, the customer is king. Early on, before it had the resources to do much else, the campaign outsourced a "customer-service center" so that anyone who called, at any hour of the day or night, would find a human voice on the other end of the line.
Even Obama admits he did not expect the Internet to be such a good friend. "What I didn't anticipate was how effectively we could use the Internet to harness that grass-roots base, both on the financial side and the organizing side," Obama says. "That, I think, was probably one of the biggest surprises of the campaign, just how powerfully our message merged with the social networking and the power of the Internet."
Link (Photo: Callie Shell/Aurora for TIME)