Why Barack Obama won

Although the first black President of the USA is a huge and meaningful step, welcomed with a surprising dignity by John McCain and George Bush, this is not because of his being black that Barack Obama was elected, which is probably even more meaningful, but because of the precision and the impressive hard work of his campaign, in which every single detail was thought.

The Obama campaign's program was deliciously well prepared. Vague enough to allow a large target to identify, when Hillary Clinton' s program was too precise not to be boring and segmenting, it determined the keys points and brought really bright answers, turning the flaws of his proposals into strong qualities.
His being black and his lack of experience, which could have been his main handicaps, were connected to this powerful need of change after what is perceived as a failure by the Bush administration and used as a symbol to proove his ability to get the country to a new era.
His vote against the war in Irak was well used and completed by his willing to renforce the troops in Afghanistan, which avoided the risk of making him sounded as a weak pacifist and outlined the failure of Bush in those two wars.
His health care plan was not ambitious enough to scare the independent and republican voters.
His tax plan was well thought to speak to the middle-class, of which he took such a care since the financial meltdown, while John McCain remained silent about them, not even mentioning them during the debates.
Otherwise, he remained uncomfortable on moral issues, being unable to take a straight to the point stand, probably too afraid to take the risk to alienate voters. His positions on the death penalty, the gun control, the gay marriage, god, abortion, were confused, weak and coward as we saw on the faith forum. We may ask if he was disguising his point of view. His "blunder" about people "getting bitter and clinging to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations" sounded way more frank and sincere and was really more interesting. But the campaign is not conceived to let candidates being sincere and honest anyway and a brighter opponent than John McCain would have used this weak point of Obama's wanting to keep both parties happy.

After this program, he also worked on the form.
He took advantage of his beautiful skill of speech. He used it to rebound after Hillary Clinton's attacks about Jeremiah Wright during the primary and calm it down when it made him sounded too intellectual and elitist after his speech in Berlin, where he was not that convincing, probably because he has no good reason to be there and was smartly weakened and mocked by McCain.
He was able to mix up different levels in his speeches. Composed with touches of facts and symbols, politics and emotions, determination and attention, promises and compromises, all his speeches are build with the same technical pattern. Each of them is a story made up to allow people to identify and to hope.

His campaign did not forget the fundamentals of an election: the ground game.
They spin a tight web throughout the country: "The Obama campaign has broken the country into a collection of battleground states, which are dissected into precincts that are parceled one more time into neighborhood teams. (Ohio, for example, is divided into 1,231 neighborhoods.) And each of these teams, if the recruiting is up to speed, has a leader who, ideally, lives just down the block from all those doors that need to be knocked on." They deploy lawiers to control the polls (Kerry neglected this point in 2004). His rejecting the public financing allowed his campaign to raise a amount which has reach an unprecedented level. And they used the most aggressive marketing strategies and the opportunity of the new technology to do this: social networks, mobile phones to keep people tuned and get them involved.
They offered for instance to win a dinner with Obama or a backstage pass on Election night to encourage donations; they reveal the choice of the running mate by texting those who would give their names, collecting this way plenty of contacts; they made up contests, counting the events hosted, the calls made, the doors knocked, the amount raised to motivate the members of my.barackobama.com, as at McDonalds; and they strongly encourage registration of new voters...

We may notice that if the Obama team spent such an energy to work on every single detail, they avoided the negative campaigning, despite the asks of a lot of democrats in August to fight back (the memory of a Kerry too weak was persistent). They launched a site to fight against the rumors (the members of my.barackobama.com were frequently asked to send disclaimers emails to every kind of people) but mostly refused the low blows, saying, for instance, that the issue about Sarah Palin's daughter's pregnancy was "off limits".
After the financial crisis, Obama's image of seriousness, dignity and calm turned out to be reassuring in storm times and gainful for him.

This campaign was a really beautiful deployment of skill and hard work. We may regret that in those times where probably any democrat would have been elected, as Bill Clinton was close to suggest in The View, Barack Obama's program is so shy and not ambitious enough, not taking enough advantage of this republican tiredness.

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