The Community Organizer

Last night Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin derided Barack Obama’s role as a community organizer in the South Side of Chicago. So I was wondering how long it would take for the Obama campaign to respond. Turns out not long at all. Here’s David Plouffe from an e-mail sent out to Obama supporters:

Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack’s experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed.

Let’s clarify something for them right now.

Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.

And it’s no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. That promise is what our campaign has been about from the beginning.

Throughout our history, ordinary people have made good on America’s promise by organizing for change from the bottom up. Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek. And it’s happening today in church basements and community centers and living rooms across America.

And it goes on (strangely for an Internet communications director, Plouffe’s e-mails are rarely ever brief.) I think this is a good argument. The campaign should ramp it up through ads attacking McCain’s cluelessness about economy, featuring Obama with steel workers juxtaposed with Phil Gramm belittling our “mental recession.”

I also like Plouffe’s outraged passion here. The Obama campaign needs more of this kind, and a lot less of the messianic crap.

All that said, I’m still waiting for Plouffe to respond to Giuliani’s criticism of Obama’s vote for the telecomm bill. The same bill McCain voted for, but hey, at least we know where that fascist stands. Perhaps Plouffe might mention McCain’s reversal on torture. Flip flop wars!

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One response to “The Community Organizer

  1. this was the piece that had me the most confused, and the most annoyed – the idea that ‘community organizer’ is just inherently funny? Then I got linked to a Mr. Palin liveblog that confirmed that, yes, that was the extent of the joke. Thanks for this, I’m glad to see there is a response, and that it dovetails with the other thing that has me confused – this whole idea of what maverick reform means.