Friday, April 17, 2009

Alan Kennedy-Shaffer and The Obama Revolution

The first book to be written by a campaign staffer and offering rare insider glimpses, The Obama Revolution explores how a generation of believers and the politics of hope won the presidency for Barack Obama and changed the world.

The Obama Revolution carefully examines what Obama plans to do as president, how Obama clinched the Democratic nomination and won the general election, and why Obama’s evocative rhetoric inspired millions of Americans to create a political revolution that toppled the status quo and changed the face of American politics forever.

Drawing on both first-hand campaign experience and scholarly analysis, the author delivers everything from personal stories of grass-roots organizing and grueling all-nighters to candid assessments of the Obama campaign’s strengths and weaknesses. Insightful and powerfully written The Obama Revolution offers an enlightening, annotated, documented overview of Obama’s path to the White House and what it means to every American.

Learn how Obama used policies of change, strategic vision, and the rhetoric of hope to transform the campaign into a political movement. Discover how field organizers (most under 30), using cell phones and the Internet, mobilized and energized a whole new generation of voters. Follow the author as he registers voters, spreads the word and is touched by the people he meets.

Anyone wondering whether America's flame still burns brightly needs to read this book and be inspired by the hope, the promise, and the ardor of Barack Obama and “Generation Change”—the future of America—as they work hand-in-hand to fulfill the legacy of change that is the Obama Revolution.

Today's guest blogger is Alan Kennedy-Shaffer, who served as a regional field director for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in Virginia. Educated at Yale University and William & Mary Law School, Kennedy-Shaffer is the author of Denial and Deception: A Study of the Bush Administration’s Rhetorical Case for Invading Iraq. Kennedy-Shaffer’s writings have also appeared in The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, the Patriot-News, the Daily Press, and the Virginia Gazette. Alan lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

You can visit his website at

Alan's turn:

The Grassroots Revolution
By Alan Kennedy-Shaffer

With talk of tea parties and taxes dominating the Rush Limbaugh Republican agenda, the time has come to bring Barack Obama’s grassroots revolution back into the spotlight. From Minnesota to Missouri, longtime Republicans and apathetic Independents joined diehard Democrats in an extraordinary campaign that brought Americans together in a way not seen in decades. From Harrisburg to Hampton, organizers fanned out across long ignored neighborhoods, recruited thousands of volunteers, and mobilized millions of voters, sparking a movement for change.

The Obama Revolution, the first book published about Barack Obama’s historic presidential campaign by a former staffer, provides an in-the-trenches look at how the 44th President of the United States came from behind to win the presidency and sparked a movement that has changed the face of American politics forever. The energy of a citizenry invigorated by the opportunity to steer the ship of state cannot be adequately measured, but it must not be ignored. In the months leading up to Obama’s election last fall, something stirred in the American psyched. Consider this excerpt:

There may seem to be little in common between the young children who scampered after me in the housing projects on Allison Hill, eager for Obama stickers, and the Democrats in Westmoreland County who turned out in droves for rural action meetings. But below the surface, they all hope for a brighter future for their children and they share a belief that America can—and will—change. . . . Empowered to serve as the backbone of Obama’s well organized, well funded, quintessentially grassroots presidential campaign, young people left their jobs, their schools, and their homes, in order to recruit and mobilize an army of volunteers committed to positive change.

This brief passage in The Obama Revolution begins to tell the story of the grassroots revolution that turned a long shot candidacy into a transformative presidency. How Obama became president matters because it says more about the American people than it does about Obama. What made Obama’s campaign different was our ability to reach across the aisle, across neighborhoods, and across the street, to voters from all walks of life. To me, it was electrifying when I rang the doorbell and a young child saw my Obama sticker, ran back inside, and yelled to his mother, “Barack Obama’s at the door!”

Sometimes powerful, sometimes poignant, always hopeful, The Obama Revolution includes encounters with Barack Obama, insight into why thousands of organizers left their jobs, their schools, and their families to join the most organized presidential campaign in American history. It is the story of how thousands of organizers spurred millions of Americans to register to vote and recruited millions of volunteers. At once meticulously researched and motivational, The Obama Revolution tells the story of a generation of young people—most under 30—who dropped everything to get involved.

Although we will never agree on everything, we must continue to hope that the change we fought so hard for at every door, on every call, and in every neighborhood, will have a fighting chance of coming to America. Our grassroots revolution goes beyond tea parties promoted by Fox News and ranking Republicans, and beyond knee-jerk animosity toward the taxes that pay for our highways, our schools, our parks, and our national security. Our revolution is about the ability of Americans young and old, black and white, gay and straight, to unite behind the change that we still believe in.

Alan Kennedy-Shaffer is the author, most recently, of “The Obama Revolution.”

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Thanks for writing a great article for my blog, Alan. Wishing you all the best with your book.