CHICAGO---One of the formative experiences for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is his community organizing work on the city's South Side. Obama's presidential campaign represents the ultimate organizing challenge for the former organizer and it is a massive, ongoing communtarian experiment and experience in organizing at the largest level.
The Obama campaign is creating events that pull people together--book clubs studying his memoir and the latest, "Got Hope? Get Hoops" basketballl tournaments in New Hampshire and a contest in Iowa to attend a BBQ with Obama.
The latest rollouts of activities in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two key early presidential voting states, are examples of how the Obama team is putting together activities to build a sense of community while at the same time making crucial voter contacts to be harvested later. Obama is a passionate basketball player and in New Hampshire his campaign is organizing a series of 3-on-3 tournaments starting Friday.
His brother-in-law and Brown University mens basketball coach Craig Robinson will guest at the finals Aug. 11 in Manchester. In Iowa, the Obama campaign is inviting people to "grill" Obama. People are being asked to submit questiions and ten of them will be picked tol BBQ with Obama in Iowa on Aug. 18, the day before a Democratic debate in Des Moines.