In Iowa, it feels as if no matter when in the campaign cycle you start to call voters, someone will say, "It’s too early to start." But the reaction I’ve seen to the launch of the 2012 campaign has been different—and really exciting. Supporters and volunteers are lining up to get involved and to help build this campaign block by block.
We may be 18 months out, but it’s never too early to start organizing. This lead time gives us an opportunity to build this organization from the ground up, time to hear from everyone who wants to be involved—and we want to hear from everyone. Now is the time to build our volunteer teams, speak to voters, engage Iowans across the state, and make sure that we're one of the best campaign organizations in the country.
People sometimes ask me why we’re putting so much effort into Iowa, and other early states like New Hampshire and Nevada, when there won’t be a Democratic primary. The answer is easy—our potential opponents on the Republican side are here campaigning already, fighting for votes we need to win. GOP candidates are looking at Iowa as a place to stand out from the crowd. We know they will do and say whatever it takes to win. If we’re not out there talking to voters about what President Obama has accomplished already, and what he will do over the next two years, we’re not doing justice to the voters of Iowa.
We're also focusing on early states like Iowa because we have a responsibility to set the tone for the campaign moving forward. And Iowans take that responsibility seriously. Through our conversations in the days and weeks to come, we'll be able to talk to Iowans about what President Obama has done for them, and hear from Iowans about what they think this campaign should be about.
Over the coming weeks we’ll be organizing local team meetings to hear from people who want to be involved and get the chance to have their say in how this campaign is run in their neighborhood. “Respect, Empower, Include” is a tenet that was born here in Iowa and still resonates with people in this state.
I’m never happier than when I’m talking to Iowans about Iowa and our future—it’s a real honor that people want to take time out of their day to talk to me about what they want to see from this campaign.
There’s no need to wait for us to call you. Wherever you're from we want to hear from you, and if you live in Iowa, I want to hear from you. We want to be the best volunteer-led organization in the country—and that starts now and it starts with you.