Barack Obamas campaign for the Presidency in 2008 has been described by many political analysts as brilliant and virtually flawless. Despite his inexperience in national politics and limited experience in state politics (Obama was first elected to political office in 1994), he assembled a remarkably cohesive and effective “no drama” campaign team which in turn helped him craft and deliver his message of hope and change that ultimately resonated with the majority of American voters on election night, November 4, 2008.
The origins of this improbable campaign, to use Obamas words, can be traced to July 27, 2004. Obama was on his way to an easy victory in his campaign for the U.S. Senate from Illinois when he was invited to give the keynote address at the Democratic Convention in Boston. Many pundits refer to this speech as the one which placed Illinois State Senator Obama before the national electorate and where he established himself as a different type of black American politician.
Obama described himself as a post-civil rights, multi-cultural “Horatio Alger.” He rejected the left and the right divisiveness that had marred American politics for decades and in his rhetoric embraced a singular United States of America while laying claim to the values of hope and change for a better America. That speech before millions of American television viewers generated a resounding outpouring of national support. Consequently Obama toured the nation to introduce himself to the electorate, wrote a best-selling book, The Audacity of Hope, to extend that introduction, and in January 2007, organized a presidential campaign committee.
On February 10, 2007, Barack Obama announced his candidacy at the Old State Capitol Building in Springfield, Illinois. Obama gave an initial insight into his presidential campaign philosophy by making his announcement at the same place that Abraham Lincoln, in 1852, gave his “House Divided” speech. Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech called for a house united not divided. However, it took