Friday, June 13, 2008; Page A05
CHICAGO, June 12 -- Moving to harness the grass-roots energy that helped win the Democratic nomination, Sen. Barack Obama's campaign will deploy 3,600 volunteers in 17 states this weekend, each committed to six consecutive weeks of full-time political work.
The project, launched two months before the senator from Illinois became the presumptive nominee, is a measure of his determination to out-organize Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in states that could swing a close election.
The campaign put out word in April about "Obama Organizing Fellowships," an approach that went well beyond the "y'all come" model of luring volunteers with free doughnuts for two-hour canvassing stints. Supporters were required to answer essay questions, supply references and go through a telephone interview with campaign staff members.
A cover letter from Obama, who spent three years in the 1980s working in impoverished Chicago neighborhoods, spoke of lessons in the "basic organizing principles that this campaign and our movement for change are built on."
Obama urged supporters to apply and to "put progressive values to work in the real world."
More than 10,000 people applied, said Obama strategist Jon Carson."They didn't have to have campaign experience before," said Buffy Wicks, the director of the campaign's national volunteer program. "The best organizers are people who are passionate about what they're doing. We were looking for folks who had really compelling stories."
This has nothing to do with the election but it is interesting to read.
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Mike Huckabee, a former Republican presidential hopeful, has been hired by Fox News Channel as a political commentator.
"Gov. Huckabee's campaign experience and knowledge of politics makes him a great addition to our ongoing election coverage," Bill Shine, senior vice president of programming, said in a statement Thursday.
Huckabee, who served as governor of Arkansas for 10 1/2 years, dropped out of the race in March, after John McCain won enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination. Despite a financially strapped campaign, Huckabee won the leadoff caucuses in Iowa and seven other states.
"I hope to bring the unique perspective from `inside the dragon's belly' as well as to try and speak for the millions of hardworking middle-class Americans who really do feel that their voices are not being heard," Huckabee said in a statement released by his daughter, Sarah. "I saw that on the campaign trail and continue to see as I speak to groups of all kinds around the country as well as campaign for other candidates."
Financial terms of the agreement weren't released.
Huckabee, an ordained Baptist preacher, has been mentioned as a potential running mate for McCain. Since leaving the race, Huckabee has formed a political action committee that he says will help raise money for McCain and other Republicans.