The Barack Obama HQ in Nashville is definitely an inspirational place. It is filled with people from all over the city who are drawn together by the common themes of the Obama campaign. I atended a meeting there last night, and I was struck by the energy and enthusiasm of the assembled group. Not only did the group seem to represent a wide variety of the people of Nashville, it also put forward a can do spirit that is refreshing in the age of wholesale politics.
All politics is local, and the people in the Obama capaign seem to understand that in ways that have been out of vogue in presidential politics for some time. The inspirational theme of the Obama campaign draws people into political action who have previously stayed on the sidelines. People turned off by the process, too busy to get involved, and too cynical to begin to hope are now talking to friends, wearing buttons, and putting their hopes into words.
The news since New Hampshire has been slowly, but consistently in Obama's favor. The close second place finish was really a significant gain compared with all pre-Iowa expectations, and the post-Iowa expectations aside, those gains seem to be holding in South Carolina, while significantly well-organized unions (SEIU and Culinary Workers) in Nevada and prominent Democratic leaders (John Kerry) keep breaking for Obama.
While the national endorsements and other state organizations are significant, I am most impressed by the way in which the New Hampshire results seem to have energized the Obama supporters to work harder. The room at the meeting was packed, and the ideas were good. There are many ways to get involved using your own skills and abilities whatever those may be, and people across the city and across the state seem to be responding to the call.
There's something happening in Tennessee. There is something happening here.