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Behind the Obama scene: How he is using book tour to cultivate national network.


Potential Dem presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is on the West Coast portion of his book tour. The publicity over his new book proved so successful he moved up his timetable and put a 2008 White House bid in play. Here's an inside look at how the book tour is helping Obama build a national political infrastructure. Without organization, Obama will not be able to translate his popularity into presidential political primary power.

Today he is in Seattle.

Besides the public events, there is an exclusive lunch with a select group of Seattle Democrats. It's at the Wild Ginger restaurant and it is organized by Obama's campaign fund, Obama 2010. The contact is Jordan Kaplan, who is one of Obama's fundraisers for Obama 2010 and Obama's national political action committee, the Hopefund.

2010, that's the year Obama would be seeking re-election to a second term as senator, that is, if he is not president. There is no ticket price for this Wild Ginger private event--and no one is expecting a direct solicitation. However, the invite does detail how to make contributions to Obama 2010.

It's an example how Obama is using his senate re-elect fund to piggyback on book selling events. Obama 2010 also organized a party in Chicago on the eve of his book launch, with the guest list his old friends and best supporters.

Don't try to crash the Wild Ginger affair. As the invite says, ''This is a private event and this invitation is non-transferable.''


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 26, 2006 7:24 AM.

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